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Seminars are free and open to the public

Block 3
Alyssa Gehman (former CC student), University of Georgia
Parasitism from the Savanna to the Savannah
Block 4
Dr. Robin Tinghitella, University of Denver
Understanding the roles of behavior and ecology in rapid evolutionary change
Block 6
Dr. Tobin Hieronymus, Northeast Ohio Medical University, College of Medicine
Inside the feathers: The structural underpinnings of avian wing shape and function
Block 7
Dr. Joshua Ginsberg, President of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Roaring back? A fragile global recovery of large carnivores and what it tells us about conservation
Dr. Dan Sloan, CSU Fort Collins
Cytonuclear co-evolution under extreme mitochondrial mutation rates

See the Seminar Archive for more.

Who We Are

The Organismal Biology and Ecology (OBE) Department studies the structure and function of organisms in answering questions about ecology and evolution.  OBE encompasses cross-disciplinary approaches such as physiological ecology, evolutionary ecology, systematics, and biogeography, which all provide complementary insights into the processes of evolutionary diversification and adaptation to life on earth.

Our research foci include botany, animal ecology, comparative physiology, conservation biology, and molecular ecology. We strive to perform cutting-edge research and include students in these opportunities.

OBE on The Block Plan

The focused three and a half week course style of the block plan enables our OBE faculty to design classes and research opportunities that are not possible in traditional school settings.

Small Class Size: Colorado College limits class sizes to a maximum of 25 students; most field and lab courses have even smaller sizes. This allows each student to receive individual attention, and to do investigative projects even in their first biology class.
    Transmission electron microscopy: 8 students
    Ecology: 14 students
    Comparative Animal Physiology: 12 students

Field courses: Our exceptional location is adjacent to rich and diverse ecosystems situated at the northern, southern, eastern and western limits of ranges for many species of plants and animals. In an east-west direction, the elevation changes from roughly 6,000 to over 14,000 feet on top of Pike's Peak, resulting in a mosaic of  ecosystems ranging from plains to forests to tundra,.

Many classes take day trips, overnight trips or multi-day trips to explore zoos, museums and ecosystems near and far. Some of these are camping trips, but we also utilize the CC Cabin in the montane pine forests of the Pikes Peak foothills an hour from campus as well as the CC Baca Campus in the San Luis Valley three hours to the southwest.

Research opportunities: Our faculty have active and diverse ongoing research and can also help students develop their own project, e.g. students can receive credit for as many as two mentored research blocks with a professor. We encourage and financially support collaborative student-faculty research projects. These opportunities provide excellent experience for students interested in graduate school or those planning on becoming part of a research team upon graduation.

Prospective Students

Apply to the Margaret T. Barnes Scholarships in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics

View Student Work

Colleen Cahill Venture Grant

Colleen Cahill was awarded a venture grant to combine her passions of ornithology and photography in a study contrasting wetland bird adaptations on the east and west coasts of the US. She presented her results on campus in block 7, 2015.