Evolutionary Studies Program


November 2011:

The lineup for the 2012 EvoS Seminar Series has been announced; check it out here! Also take a look at our new lineup of EvoS courses, which can be found here!

Justin Garcia, Ph.D., will be coming on Dec 1st to give a talk entitled "From Singles to Swingers: Biopsychosocial Views on Contemporary Human Sexual Behavior" -- View full details here or check out the event's Facebook page!

October 2011:

Congratulations to William Borchert (Class of 2010), one of the first from SUNY New Paltz to graduate with the EvoS Minor; William was recently accepted to the prestigious University of Tokyo as a master's student in Global Health Policy in the Graduate School of Medicine, where he will be focusing on (among other things) evolutionary medicine!

April 2011:

EVO 201 - Evolution and Human Health; Approved by the SUNY New Paltz curriculum committee! First course of its kind in the country (to our understanding). Hamilton Stapell (History/Evos) and Keith Kenney (Wellness and Rec.) wil co-teach. First offering is this summer. The Evolution Revolution continues! http://faculty.newpaltz.edu/glenngeher/evolution-and-human-health-offered-this-summer/

February 2011:

New Paltz's EvoS minor is now available FULLY online during the summer. People from all around the world can now complete this program!


September 2010:

Alumna Ayla Fleming (2009) is currently teaching Evolutionary Theory and English at the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Ayla graduated in May 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental/Organismal Biology and two minors in Evolutionary Studies and Philosophy. Ayla was placed at AUW by WorldTeach, a Harvard-affiliated non-profit which sends teachers to underfunded schools in developing countries. She is part of a full-scholarship program which prepares young women, many from refugee backgrounds, for an undergraduate position at AUW. Before Ayla began teaching in Bangladesh, she completed a year of community service with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). In NCCC, Ayla joined a Type II Wildfire Handcrew, rebuilt homes in New Orleans, and volunteered at various Denver community organizations including the regional food bank, an animal shelter, a childrens' home and the police station. Ayla plans to return home in May 2011 and secure an international social work or public health related position in New York City. At some point she hopes to return to graduate school to pursue a degree in humanitarian aid abroad.

August 2010:

William Borchert, a recent (2010) EvoS graduate, has been selected as a Government  Scholar in Japan through university recommendation based on inter-university agreements. William will be studying  Political Science and Economics at Meiji University.  Recently, Meiji University has been selected as part of  the Global 30 project initiated by MEXT in order for Japanese universities to globalize. William is the first New Paltz  student to attend Meiji.

May 2010:

SUNY New Paltz graduates 12 students with the EvoS minor. A record - with an expectation of beating the record next year!

February 2010:

New Paltz psychology major Kristyn Muller has the first undergraduate-authored article published in EvoS Journal. This article, titled "Evolutionary educational psychology: The disparity between how children want to learn and how they are being taught," is based on a paper she wrote for EVO 301 - Evolutionary Studies Seminar. 

November 2009:

Third Annual EvoS Spring Seminar Series is announced - including such luminaries as paleontologist Niles Eldredge, anthropologist Richard Wrangham, and biologist Marlene Zuk. All talks are FREE and are followed by free food. How could you miss this???

May 2009:

First-Ever Evolutionary Studies Academic Excellence Awards are Announced

As a way to recognize the high-caliber work of EvoS students who are graduating, the EvoS Board decided to honor outstanding graduates with awards for Academic Excellence in Evolutionary Studies. Recipients of this award are selected by the EvoS Board based on such criteria as GPA, performance in class, work with faculty on research related to evolutionary studies, work with the EvoS Club, etc. The May 2009 winners are as follows:


Rachael Carmen

Ayla Fleming

Stephanie Wallman


Congratulations to these outstanding graduates!


Evolutionary Studies Program Awards Faculty and Students for Course Development and Research Projects Related to Evolution


With the support of National Science Foundation monies, three course proposals were selected to receive support: Kerry Dean Carso (Art History) will develop “Nature and Science in Nineteenth-century American Art”; Alex Bartholomew (Geology) will develop “Evolution of Reefs through Time,” which will include a field excursion to a research site in the Bahamas; and Jed Mayer (English) will work on “Literature and Culture in the Age of Darwin.”

“We are very excited about the breadth of the additional courses that will soon be available to EvoS students and the entire campus,” said Glenn Geher, founding director of the program.

Recipients will receive a summer salary stipend and guidance through the course submission process.

Additionally, four summer undergraduate research projects will be funded through the National Science Foundation. Jacyln Martin ‘09 (Geology) and Alex Bartholomew (Geology) will explore “The Coordinated Stasis hypothesis with a field investigation of biofacies within the Middle Devonian Hamilton Group.” Rachel Carmen ‘09 (Psychology) and Corwin Senko (Psychology) will investigate “Women’s Attraction to Men with Different Styles of Humor.” Zuchra Zakirova ‘10 (Biology, English) will work with Jeff Reinking (Biology) to answer the question of “When did nuclear receptors evolve the capability to bind heme?” Finally, Jannett Dinsmore ‘09 (Biology) and Aaron Haselton (Biology) will study the “Effect of Dietary Restriction on Fruit Fly Stress Resistance Responses.”

The faculty and student members will receive a supply budget, a stipend for their efforts over the five-week period, and the students will also receive a cost-of-living allowance. 

March 2009:

The Evolutionary Studies Program officially received a "Breakfast of Champions" award from the National Residence Hall Honorary. This award, which included both an official certificate as well as a bag of several fresh bagels, is in recognition of "serving the student body well" at SUNY New Paltz. Specifically, the EvoS program was cited for having an outstanding celebration in honor of Darwin's bi-centennial.

August 2008:

The university was recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant of $211,387.00 to support the Evolutionary Studies program over the next two academic years. This grant was submitted in collaboration with Binghamton University – the total amount of the award is nearly $500,000. In collaboration with David Sloan Wilson (professor of biology at Binghamton), Glenn Geher (professor of psychology and director of evolutionary studies) and Jennifer Waldo (assistant professor of biology) served as principal investigators for this project, titled “Expanding Evolutionary Studies in American Higher Education.” In addition to supporting New Paltz and Binghamton’s existing programs, monies from this grant will be used to help start new programs in evolutionary studies at more than a dozen other institutions of higher learning across the country – ranging from large research universities (e.g., Cornell University) to community colleges (e.g., Ponoma College in California). At New Paltz, grant monies will be used (among other things) to support student research on projects dealing with evolution, support the development of new courses by faculty members across disciplines that pertain to evolution, and to develop an interactive online journal that will serve to connect this national consortium.

May 2008:

Albright College has approved their own undergraduate program in Evolutionary Studies - and students graduating with the EvoS minor at Albright will walk in commencement this May - The Evolution Revolution continues! Congratulations to Susan Hughes (who spoke this year in our EvoS seminar series) for making this happen! 

February 6, 2008:

For our third annual Darwin Day celebration, Lionel Tiger, Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers, gave two provocative and highly attended presentations on the impact of biological evolution on human behavior. People have been talking about his visit ever since! Click HERE for a pictorial of the event hosted by the Biology Department.

December 15, 2007:

SUNY New Paltz EvoS is proud to announce our first graduate. Megan Mitchell, biology major and EvoS minor, successfully completed the EvoS curriculum and graduated this December. Congratulations Megan - you make us proud!