The Quantitative and Evolutionary STEM Training (QuEST) Program provides doctoral students with the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to solve environmental and global health problems in an ever-changing workforce and research environment.

The UVM NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is an innovative and evidence-based model for transforming STEM graduate education training. Emerging infectious diseases, antibiotic and pesticide resistance, reduced crop yields caused by climate extremes and shifts, and the loss of biodiversity affect environmental and global health and food security. In each case, identification of successful solutions to these global challenges requires a fundamental knowledge of evolutionary principles. QuEST trains these problem-solvers.


Research activities are intersectional and explore new directions centering around three topical areas: evolutionary and ecological impacts of rapid environmental change, global change and disease dynamics, and modeling for prediction. Study systems will reflect the research expertise of over 30 faculty across eight academic units at the University of Vermont and will span diseases, pests, and species invasions in the plant, insect, marine, amphibian, and human systems. Learn more about QuEST research.

QuEST Faculty

The QuEST program is unique among other interdisciplinary, big-data programs across the country in our emphasis on evolutionary training, modeling for prediction, and culturally sensitive teamwork. Meet QuEST faculty.


Meaningful internships drive career connections. QuEST internships are designed to develop a continued partnership with industry and non-academic institutes and centers. Students will identify possible internship partners by end of the first year. Then during their second year include the internship as part of a dissertation research proposal incorporating deliverables resulting from their work. Learn about internships.