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About Us

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto is at the forefront of teaching and research into the factors governing biodiversity, from genomes to ecosystems. Our integration of both basic and applied perspectives into our research and teaching mean our activities are making major impacts on both the fundamental understanding of the natural world, as well as on policy and practice for minimizing and managing human impacts on biodiversity.

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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Statement on Departmental Climate & Moving Forward

A thriving department requires an inclusive, welcoming environment free of harassment, discrimination and bullying. Where all students, staff & faculty have fair & equitable opportunities to conduct their work and be supported.

EEB Allyship Network

An inclusive, vetted, and trained support network dedicated to listening and providing resources. We stand beside members of underrepresented groups and community members that have experienced unwanted or unwelcome behaviour.

Broadening Representation & Equity With Science (BREWS)

We promote inclusion and equity through community-building tea breaks and data-driven discussions. BREWS helps gather & disseminate data to improve inclusion and equity within the department.

Statement of Values

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto commits itself to be:

Code of Conduct

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is committed to ensuring that all community members and visitors 1) are aware of and adhere to University of Toronto policies on appropriate behaviour and 2) uphold the values of respect, inclusion and professionalism outlined in the Statement of Values, both when operating at the University of Toronto and when representing the department elsewhere.

The department defines appropriate behaviour and language as that which maintains the safety, respect, understanding, and comfort of all members and visitors, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental or physical health, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, immigration status, Indigenous status, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion or any of the prohibited grounds as set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code.[1]

We expect all faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students and staff who are members, associates, or visitors to both encourage and model behaviour, language, and attitudes that foster a positive environment. We define a positive environment as one that is both free of and actively works against actions and language that are discriminatory in nature or constitute harassment of any kind, including but not limited to verbal, physical, sexual and psychological harassment [1,2,3,4]. This expectation applies to all professional, scholarly, and social activities taking place on campus, online (e.g., social media, email, online webinars and conferences), during fieldwork, at conferences and professional events, and during visits to other institutions and public spaces on behalf of the department.

All members and visitors of the department commit themselves to:

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto does not condone behaviour that violates any of the above commitments or University policies.

The department and University further do not condone retaliatory action taken by its members or visitors against others who have, in good faith, raised concerns about their behaviour or language.[ 6,7]

The department commits itself to prioritizing the needs and desires of any individual harmed by a violation of the Code of Conduct when responding to violations (see EEB Allies and the U of T Discrimination Guideline [5] for options in responding). As outlined in University of Toronto policies, [6,7] violations of University policies on Workplace Harassment and Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including the termination of employment or expulsion [6,7].

[1] University of Toronto Governing Council: Policy on Ethical Conduct of Research
[2] University of Toronto Governing Council: Statement on Freedom of Speech
[3] Student code of conduct
[4] Ontario Human Rights Code
[5] Guideline for employees: discrimination guideline
[6] Policy and guidelines with Respect to Workplace Harassment & Civility guideline
[7] Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
[8] Alcohol Policy

Proactive Action Subcommittee

Guided by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology’s Statement of Values, the Proactive Action Subcommittee of the Department’s Wellness Committee actively works to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community by removing systemic barriers to access and participation in education, research, financial and mentorship support, and the social environment.

The goal of the subcommittee is to develop, deliver and act on informed, intentional and specific programming including reviewing departmental policies, hosting education initiatives, facilitating conversations, and creating resources for use in labs and classrooms.

2020-2021 Objectives

Each year, the Subcommittee identifies 2-3 key areas of action.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, we identified 1) accessibility and disability 2) anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and 3) the ongoing legacy of eugenics, colonialism and racism in ecology and evolutionary biology.

To address these issues, we will:

  1. Develop a plan to make the Department more accessible to individuals with disabilities, by:
    1. Consulting with experts in the fields of equity and accessibility;
    2. Consulting with individuals in the Department;
  2. Hosting visiting scholars with expertise in anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, and the history of eugenics in ecology and evolutionary biology to:
    1. Give Departmental Seminars
    2. Host workshops and/or discussions about their work
  3. Drawing upon the expertise shared by visiting scholars to develop a list of recommendations for the Department to:
    1. Actively address anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism in the Department
    2. Confront, and work toward dismantling, the legacy of eugenics in our fields of study

Department History

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) was established on July 1, 2006 following a reorganization of the Departments of Botany and Zoology.

Botany building & Greenhouses circa 1932

For decades these departments have run very successful graduate programs that attract the best students from around the world. The tradition of graduate education in the fields of Botany and Zoology and their many subdisciplines is a long and successful one at the University. Bringing together professors and students with common interests in ecology and evolutionary biology has produced a stronger, more cohesive and dynamic community of scholars.

Botany building & Greenhouses circa 1932
Botany building & Greenhouses circa 1932

The pressing challenges facing society today—combating global climate change, saving rare and endangered species, managing exploited resources, slowing the spread of infectious disease, comprehending the variation present in the human genome—have their root in ecological and evolutionary forces.

Our ability as scientists, educators, and citizens to provide the necessary context, expertise, and guidance on these issues is the central challenge facing our disciplines. EEB at University of Toronto, is and will remain a world leader in discovery, innovation and teaching in this science.

Why Study Here?

Undergraduate programs

  • Over 60 undergraduate courses, covering areas in molecular evolution, population & quantitative genetics, genomics, animal behaviour, population, community, & landscape ecology, evolutionary & ecological theory, biodiversity, conservation biology, and systematics.
  • Over half of our undergrad courses have a “hands-on” laboratory or field component.
  • Get to know your peers and professors better by participating in a field course. EEB offers field courses at Algonquin, the Koffler Scientific Reserve, and the New World Tropics.
  • Take part in cutting-edge research

Graduate programs

  • Graduate students pursuing an MSc or PhD program can study with faculty located at the three campuses: St. George, Mississauga, Scarborough and at the Royal Ontario Museum.
  • the department supports approximately 150 graduate students supervised by 50 faculty members on all three campuses as well as by scientists at the ROM, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.