First-year Cohort Field Trip 2007: Angelo Coast Range Reserve (First Row L-R: A. Perkins, M. McGee, S. McCauley, G. Lee, C. Martin. Second Row R-L: S. Dalrymple, A. Lemmon, E. Lemmon, D. Grosenbacher, M. Afkhami, C. Boettiger.)
Population biology is an interdisciplinary field that uses concepts and techniques from ecology, evolution, systematics, genetics, and mathematics or statistics. We often work near the interface between ecology, the study of interactions between organisms and their environment, and evolutionary biology, which aims to understand how populations and species evolve. Our research is often directed towards basic science but also often addresses applied problems such as overcrowding, invasive species, and extinction.
Areas of specialization include population growth, structure and dynamics (basic and applied); population interactions (competition, predation, parasitism, and mutualism); community ecology; food webs; biogeography; behavioral and physiological ecology; life history strategies; systematics; evolution; population and quantitative genetics; and genomics. We encourage intellectual independence of students and the creativity that it encourages.
David Begun, Chair