The Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology (EEMB) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, comprised of approximately 25 faculty research groups, is strongly committed to excellence in the fundamental sciences of ecology and evolution, with a special emphasis on the marine realm. The EEMB department is focused on how organisms interact, how these interactions change over time, and how these interactions influence physiology, morphology, and behavior. These interactions form the foundation of all applied biological disciplines from medicine to conservation to agriculture. In this respect, the EEMB department is especially focused on acquiring the knowledge needed to support the many UCSB initiatives focused on global change.
EEMB researchers use their scientific understanding to address some of the world's most pressing environmental issues including consequences of global warming, invasive and endangered species, impacts of environmental change, biological control of introduced pests and parasites, biodiversity, pollution, harmful algal blooms, and acid rain. Over 60 graduate students and dozens of post-docs conduct research in the Department and over 2,500 undergraduates are jointly instructed by faculty in EEMB and its sister department, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB). EEMB administers four specialized undergraduate majors (Aquatic Biology, Ecology and Evolution, Physiology, and Zoology) and jointly oversees a general Biological Sciences major with MCDB. The undergraduate Aquatic/ Marine Biology Major has been ranked second in the nation and many undergraduates participate in original field and laboratory research with faculty. EEMB faculty are also known for their excellence in teaching. Two professors have received the campus' Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in the Sciences and another has been recognized as the campus' Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Undergraduate Research.
The Department has been rated in the top 10 departments nationally for its overall research impact (Science Watch), and in the top 10 in ecology, evolution, and behavior (National Research Council). Distinctions earned by EEMB researchers include The Ecological Society of America's Eminent Ecologist, Robert H. McArthur, and Mercer Awards, the President's Award from the American Society of Naturalists. Many of the faculty have been elected as Fellows of national societies including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union. EEMB faculty founded the NSF-sponsored National Center for Ecosystems Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) in Santa Barbara in 1995. Two NSF Long Term Ecological Research Sites, one in the Santa Barbara Channel and one in French Polynesia, are organized and implemented by faculty in the Department and faculty participate in 3 additional LTER sites in Alaska and Antarctica.
Located in an incomparably beautiful setting directly on the California coast, faculty and students in EEMB conduct research and teaching in a myriad of unique environments including the oceanic Pacific, deep coastal basins, estuarine, subtidal and intertidal marine coastal ecosystems near major faunal boundaries, and mountain, chaparral, oak woodland, desert, island, and coastal terrestrial and freshwater habitats. EEMB research studies are underway not only in California, but across the globe including such regions as the South Pacific, the Sargasso Sea, Central and South America, the Arctic and Antarctica. Outstanding faculty, top tier graduate students, state-of-the-art research facilities, excellent support staff, mild climate, and a breathtaking campus setting on the Pacific Ocean amid an historically diverse and culturally sophisticated local community combine to provide EEMB students and faculty with a rich and intellectually stimulating environment for research and learning.