The Biological Data Science (BilDS) 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 BilDS program (formerly known as the Quantitative Evolutionary STEM Training (QuEST) 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 biological principles. BilDS gives our graduate students the skills and experience to tackle these problems.


Our mission is to foster an interconnected diverse academic and social community of scientists through collaboration and communication who work together across disciplines using quantitative tools to solve environmental and global health problems locally, nationally, and internationally.


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 25 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 BilDS research.

BilDS Faculty

The BilDS 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 the BilDS faculty.


Meaningful internships drive career connections. BilDS internships are designed to develop a continued partnership with industry and non-academic institutes and centers. Students are encouraged to find partners that they can intern with during the second year of their PhD. Learn about BilDS internships.