The Ecological Genomics Institute is a multi-disciplinary initiative that seeks to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying responses of organisms to their natural environments. This is being achieved through the application of functional genomic approaches to identify and characterize genes with ecological and evolutionary relevance. By its very nature, ecological genomics is an interdisciplinary field. The Ecological Genomics Institute at Kansas State University comprises more than 25 faculty from seven disciplines.
Initiated in 2003 with funding from the National Science Foundation, the Kansas EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Program brought together scientists from Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and Wichita State University who were interested in researching questions in the emerging field of Ecological Genomics. Scientists share their research plans and progress in an annual workshop with a goal toward building collaborative relationships that cross university boundaries.
With support from the Kansas State University Targeted Excellence program, the Ecological Genomics Institute is now based at K-State. Scientists there are engaged in many activities that continue to play a role in generating international recognition for the institute. Major activities include funding new research through seed grants, sponsoring the annual Ecological Genomics Symposium, developing an interdisciplinary graduate curriculum, enhancing the infrastructure of the university, and initiation of an international exchange program with multiple universities in The Netherlands that will lead to international student experiences and research collaborations.