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Discussion Groups

Most of these groups are on hiatus for the spring and summer. Updates regarding fall plans will be posted when we know more. Stay well!


Meets weekly

Time and date TBD



NEW: EEB 800 seminar: Ecology Reading Group

Contact: Nate Sanders

The Ecology Reading group is open to any grad student interested in Community Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology, and/or Macroecology. Each semester, we might choose a theme, or read recent papers, or choose a book and go through it chapter by chapter.


Fall meeting day and time


Avian Research Reading Group  (ARRG!)

Contacts: Susanna Campbell

Studies on the ecology and evolution of birds have inspired many scientists, from Darwin to MacArthur, and provided a deeper understanding of the natural world. A goal of this reading group is to read literature from the ornithology field that have been influential in ecological and evolutionary theory or have advanced our understanding of biodiversity. We welcome papers and topics from outside the ornithology field, that are applicable to avian research. This group is for ornithology enthusiasts and researchers, and anyone who may benefit from reading about avian research.

Public listserv



Wednesdays, 12 - 1:30 p.m.


EEB 800 seminar: The latitudinal diversity gradient: Earth’s fundamental biodiversity pattern

Contacts: Dan Rabosky

The latitudinal diversity gradient is perhaps the most prominent biodiversity pattern on Earth, but the ecological and evolutionary causes of the pattern remain elusive. In this seminar, we will discuss the generality of the gradient and its proposed ecological and evolutionary causes. We will also discuss the relationship between the latitudinal diversity gradient and other regional diversity anomalies, towards understanding why species richness is distributed so unevenly across the Earth’s surface.


Meets monthly

Data Analysis Networking Group (DANG!)


Networking/seminar group focused on microbial data analysis. This meeting is geared at trainees doing analysis – postdocs, graduate students etc., actively analyzing their data sets and concentrates on problems and solutions. 

Don't know how to visualize your results? Come to DANG, and hopefully as a group we can come up with a method. Did you recently discover an amazing R package or script? Come to DANG, and share with us how you used it. Our hope is that these meetings/discussions will foster new ideas within our respective fields.

To sign up for future meetings/announcements or propose a topic (which come on a rolling, volunteer basis):

Join the umich DANG group on MCommunity


Thursdays, 12 - 1:30 p.m.


Virus Ecology Group (VEG)

Contact: Melissa Duhaime

Paper and data discussion around all things viral (with slant towards using omics to advance viral ecology). Our first meeting theme was "CRISPRs (microbial acquired immunity) at the intersection of community omics and eco-evolutionary modeling."

Join the VEG group on MCommunity   




Thursdays biweekly,
1-2:30 p.m.

Theoretical Biology Reading Group

Contacts: Avinash Subramanian , Bhaskar Kumawat

Reading group focused on the discussion of quantitatively-oriented EEB papers    (both theoretical and data-based). Discussion presenters can be students, post-docs, staff, and faculty. The group provides a relaxed and flexible space to discuss quantitative papers more deeply in a way that appeals to both theory and non-theory folks in and out of the department. 

*3150 BSB; timing and location subject to availability


Dates, times and
location will be announced via 
email once you 
sign up  

EEB/MCDB Journal Club

Contact:  Taylor Nye and Joe Walker

Last summer we started a joint EEB/MCDB journal club, where we get together to discuss interesting papers that appeal to both departments. It's been a great opportunity for us to dissect papers from various angles and to meet some of the people we pass by in the halls of Kraus each day. The ultimate goal of this journal club is to foster a collaborative and interdisciplinary atmosphere, with opportunities to discuss both our own research and current manuscripts that are important to both fields.

If anyone has an interest in presenting, please email us and we'll get it on the schedule. We meet once per month.


Days, time, location TBA

Integrative Behavioral Ecology Group (BEG)

Contact: Ben Dantzer

This group meets approximately biweekly for paper discussions to informal talks about behavioral ecology, evolutionary ecology, physiological ecology, etc. One specific goal is to provide a venue for people to discuss what they are actively working on and get feedback. This includes graduate students, postdocs and faculty. By adding integrative to behavioral ecology, we hope to make this a group that studies the behavior of animals from a whole-organism approach (the mechanisms underlying the behavior) but at the same time addresses research questions in the evolutionary and ecological context of their study organism. We are open to any type of talk that incorporates behavioral ecology/animal behavior even if it isn’t integrative.

E-mail user group:

Contact Miriam if you are interested in attending

Morphometrics Discussion Group

Contact: Miriam Leah Zelditch

The morphometrics seminar will be held this year (at a time and place to be decided). The focus of the seminar is on using modern morphometric methods to address major questions in evolutionary biology and ecology.  Two related issues will be the main themes of this year’s seminar: (1) the relationship between rates of diversification and morphological divergence, and (2) the spatial relationship between species richness and ecological and morphological diversity.  Following introductory lectures on methods for acquiring morphometric data and the mathematical theory underlying analytic methods, we will read recent studies addressing these questions, and explore methods for answering them. Participants are welcome to use their own data but data will be provided. Familiarity with multivariate statistics and R are helpful but not necessary.


5:30 - 7 p.m., 
Biological Sciences Building, Room 3150

New World Agriculture and Ecology Group

Contact: Chatura Vaidya

NWAEG is made up of faculty and students from various departments who share an interest in agroecological, political, and economic issues of importance in the western hemisphere, although issues of global interest are occasionally dealt with. Meetings are held once a week and feature presentations and/or discussion of readings, followed by a social hour. Other activities that the group engages in typically focus on education and outreach, and range from writing letters to journals and newspapers, to designing and teaching a minicourse on a topic not addressed by existing courses.

Email user group:



Days, time, location TBA

Plant Ecology Discussion Group

Contact: María Natalia Umaña

Also known as PEDG or pedagogue, meets weekly to talk about current research, both from the literature and by members of the group. It is an excellent forum to discuss all stages of research, from initial half-baked ideas to practice conference presentations or critiques of a manuscript draft. The range of topics depends on the interest of the group and (despite the name) is not limited to plant ecology.



Fridays, noon

Phylogenetics Discussion/Reading Group

Contact: Caroline Parins-Fukuchi

We get together to discuss recent papers on phylogenetic methods, biogeography, comparative methods, and anything related to using phylogeny to answer interesting ecology and evolutionary questions. The meeting location may rotate so if you're not sure, stop by Room 2071 a little early. Visit mcommunity, login and search systematics to join the group.

Email user group:


In order to join the above e-mail user groups visit You need to login using your uniquname and password. Select "bind" to make changes. Now click on your uniquname in the upper-right-hand-corner. Your entry should appear. Then press group memberships and a list of the user groups to which you belong will appear. Click Add, and enter the name is it appears above in the top box. Click your uniquname to return to your profile. The name of the user group should now appear.