What are Undergraduate Highlights?
The undergraduate program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is a thriving, inspiring hub housing passionate students who are engaged in many different applications and projects relating to their areas of curiosity and expertise. We want to highlight these innovative and developing projects and people coming out of our program, in order to support and encourage more direct engagement with the world through the lens of ecology and biology. Explore recent projects below, and help to share and support work you care about!


Morphew examines an artificial beehive.

Wild Bees: The Pollinator Underdogs - Alex Morphew

April 6, 2017

My foray into biology and research at CU was entirely by chance. Upon transferring to CU in 2014 from Washington D.C., I found a summer research assistantship in the Bower’s Lab working for a USDA-funded study examining bee communities in agricultural ecosystems. Luckily, being stung by bees all summer did...

Resilience of Restored Landscapes - Marguerite Behringer

April 6, 2017

My fascination with intersectionality and evolution brought me to CU’s EBIO department. In Costa Rica, where I studied abroad, I completed my first research study on soil health differences between different land-uses. This program revealed the real-life nature of research: muddy boots, meticulous data collection, awe-inspiring creatures, journal jargon, frustration,...

From Coral Reefs to Alpine Forests - Madison Sankovitz

April 6, 2017

Studying ecology and evolutionary biology has allowed me to delve into the investigation of many different organisms and ecosystems on Earth. During my sophomore year at University of Colorado Boulder, I spent my time at the Butterfly Pavilion as an entomologist intern, caring for a great variety of insects and...

Lopez shows off a sample of biological soil crust.

Fungal Presence in Biological Soil Crust - Naomi Lopez

April 6, 2017

As a descendent of Mexican ranchers from the Chihuahuan desert, I wanted to learn more about desert ecosystems and the role that desertification will play in a warming climate. Upon perusing the EBIO website for potential research opportunities, I found Nichole Barger’s lab which specializes in desert ecosystems and more...

Smith grins over a tethered blue crab.

Climate change: don’t be blue, be crabby! - Kylie Smith

April 6, 2017

I have always had a passion for marine life, and I was fortunate to take marine biology during senior year at Monarch High School. However, I was unsure what to study at CU Boulder and initially considered a degree in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology for cancer research. As part...

Loria smiles in front of a chilly alpine lake.

Little Creatures and Big Questions - Kelly Loria

April 6, 2017

Scientists are lucky, we get to spend our time asking questions and then seeking the answers. The University of Colorado’s EBIO department is filled with inspiring people asking questions across all scales of nature. Personally, I’m curious about how the indirect and direct actions of humans affect aspects of aquatic...

McCahill poses with a barn swallow.

The Mitey Barn Swallows & The Omegga Egg - Kelley McCahill

April 6, 2017

After researching the Safran lab upon my arrival to CU, I became fascinated by their barn swallow research on sexual selection and hybridization. In fact, seeing the short video of their summer work on the EBIO webpage was what originally drew me towards CU Boulder. When I first started off...

Gabbert surveys a tranquil lake.

Examining plant-herbivore interactions and their impact on indirect interactions between herbivores - Whitney Gabbert

April 6, 2017

I have loved plants, wildlife, and nature since my childhood, so choosing to go into ecology was a no-brainer for me. From alpine biocrusts to tropical rainforests, I am interested in every aspect ecology has to offer. My current research for my honors thesis is in Dr. Katharine Suding’s lab...

From the Backyard to the Lab - Micaela Enger

April 6, 2017

As a kid, I loved to collect cicada exuviae and search milkweed for Monarch caterpillars in my backyard. Overtime, my passion for ecology increased, leading me to choose a degree in EBIO. My classes at CU encouraged me to pursue research. I worked in Deane Bowers’ Lab for about a...

Dube takes a careful measurement.

Finding Ectoparasite Paradise - Will Dube

April 6, 2017

When I came to CU I chose EBIO because it was a major that allowed me to get prerequisites for medical school, while also pursuing my lifelong interests in ecology and evolution. In my second semester, I found myself volunteering in Dr. Safran’s lab helping study the evolution of sexually...