Graduate studies at the Odum School of Ecology provide students with an interdisciplinary program that allows them to develop a broad background in ecology and related disciplines while providing rigorous theoretical and methodological training in ecology. Students work with faculty to become independent thinkers, researchers and decision-makers.
The Ph.D. program provides a scholarly setting within which a course of study can be designed to fit the individual goals of students.
Three core courses are required for the Ph.D. program: ECOL 8000 (Topics in Modern Ecology), ECOL 8310 (Population Ecology), and ECOL 8322 (Ecosystem Concepts). Students may also take additional course work in organismal and community ecology.
The program is deliberately designed to be flexible to complement the student's background and emphasize their career objectives in ecology. Major emphasis is on course work related to dissertation research, but students are expected to develop a broad background in environmental science. A wide array of relevant courses is offered by the Odum School and other departments (especially botany, entomology, forest resources, genetics, geology, microbiology, and statistics).
Facilities of the Odum School of Ecology in Athens and off-campus provide opportunities for training in a wide variety of environments. Off-campus research facilities include the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, the UGA Marine Institute, the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, the UGA Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe, and the San Luis Research Station in Costa Rica.
Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia as well as the public and private sectors. Our alumni include college and university presidents and faculty as well as environmental consultants, policy analysts, conservation directors, nonprofit executives, and officers in government agencies.
The Ph.D. in Ecology program was approved by the Board of Regents in 1971.
Infectious Disease Ecology Across Scales (IDEAS) area of emphasis
IDEAS is a new area of emphasis within the Ecology Ph.D. program designed to address the complex challenges infectious diseases pose to human health, social stability, and economic welfare. Approved in 2015, IDEAS takes a cross-disciplinary and cross-scale approach to address the complex challenges such diseases pose to human health, social stability, and economic welfare. Odum School faculty partner with colleagues from a number of academic and professional entities within and beyond the UGA campus to provide a unique program to train students in new ways to solve infectious disease problems occurring at the interface of different scales of biological organization. For more information, see ideas.ecology.uga.edu.
“As former director Frank B. Golley said, our goal is 'to develop a community of scholars.' For me, this has meant not only being involved in developing my own research, but also the research of my colleagues for the general advancement of scientific knowledge. As ecologists, we believe that in order to better understand the Earth's ecological systems, we must actively observe and seek to understand the environments and the communities in which we live and work.” -John Kominoski (Ph.D. Ecology, Class of ’08)