OEB brings together more than 75 faculty, providing critical mass needed for effective graduate training. Our faculty are drawn from 10 departments at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and from across the Five College System (Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith Colleges), as well as from off-campus institutions. OEB faculty are engaged in cutting edge research, with research clusters in four broad areas:

Animal Behavior

Behavioral ecology, communication, learning


Community ecology, population ecology, landscape ecology, conservation biology

Evolutionary Biology

Evolution, phylogenetics, population genetics, molecular evolution

Organismal Biology

Physiology, morphology, paleontology

All OEB faculty are listed below. To help applicants to our graduate program locate a faculty sponsor, the faculty list can be filtered by four broad research areas.

Click any OEB faculty member's name to view their directory page.

Name Research Interests
Lynn Adler

Professor, Biology

Ecology and evolution of insect-plant interactions

R. Craig Albertson

Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Massachusetts

Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Peter Alpert

Professor, Biology

Ecology of plant invasion, resource capture and utilization by clonal plants.

Anne Averill

Professor, Environmental Conservation

Insect pollinators and pollination services in managed ecosystems

Courtney C. Babbitt

Assistant Professor and Honors Faculty, Department of Biology

Evolutionary Genomics

Madelaine Bartlett

Assistant Professor, Biology

Evolution of plant development; Molecular evolution

Tobias Baskin

Professor, Biology

Regulation of Plant Morphogenesis During Growth & Development

Annaliese Beery

Assistant Professor, Departments of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Biology, Smith College

Neuroendocrinology of social behavior

Jesse Bellemare

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Smith College

Plant ecology, biogeography and evolution

Eric L. Bittman

Professor, Department of Biology

Circadian Rhythms, Reproduction, and Seasonal Changes in Brain Function

Jeffrey L. Blanchard

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Microbial cellular and community networks; influence of environmental change on the evolution of molecular processes; systems biology; bioinformatics

Jeffrey D. Blaustein

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Director, Neuroscience and Behavior Program

Neuroendocrinology, Hormone-Neurotransmitter Interactions, Hormones and Behavior, Reproductive Endocrinology, Peripubertal Stress and Reproduction

Bethany A. Bradley

Assistant Professor of Environmental Conservation

Biogeography and spatial ecology of terrestrial plant invasions

Patricia Brennan

Research Assistant Professor of Biology and Psychological & Brain Sciences

Evolutionary consequences of interactions between behavior, morphology and the environment

Jill L. Bubier

Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Mount Holyoke College

Carbon cycling in northern wetlands

John P. Buonaccorsi

Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

Statistical theory, methods and applcations, Quantitative ecology

Bruce Byers

Associate Professor of Biology

Acoustic communication in birds

Ana Caicedo

Associate Professor, Biology

Evolutionary genomics of adaptation and divergence in wild, weedy and crop plant species

Graham Caldwell

Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Muscle mechanics and modeling in human motor performance

Theodore Castro–Santos

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology

Biomechanics and Behavior of Migratory Fishes; Bioengineering of Fish Passage Structures

Ethan D. Clotfelter

Associate Professor of Biology, Amherst College

Reproductive behavior of birds and fishes

Daniel R. Cooley

Professor of Plant Pathology, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Epidemiology, ecology and sustainable management of plant diseases

Cristina Cox Fernandes

Adjunct Research Associate Professor and Curator of Fishes, Department of Biology

Ecology and evolutionary diversity of neotropical freshwater fishes, particularly within the Amazon River

Andy J. Danylchuk

Assistant Professor of Environmental Conservation

Fish conservation, recreational fisheries, sustainable aquaculture

Kristen DeAngelis

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology

Community ecology and physiology of soil microbes, climate change, plant-soil interactions

Stephen DeStefano

Research Professor of Environmental Conservation

USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Leader

Urban and suburban wildlife, forest wildlife, and human-wildlife interactions

Robert L. Dorit

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Smith College

Molecular evolution; comparative & statistical approaches to molecular & genome evolution

Gerald B. Downes

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Development and function of spinal cord networks

Elizabeth R. Dumont

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs;

Director, Interdisciplinary Grad. Programs, CNS;

Professor of Biology

Vertebrate Morphology

Joseph S. Elkinton

Professor of Environmental Conservation

Population dynamics and biological control of invasive forest insects

Aaron Ellison

Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Forest, Harvard University

Adj. Res. Professor of Biology, UMass

Assembly and disassembly in ecological systems

John Finn

Professor of Environmental Conservation

Network Analysis of Acoustic Telemetry

Todd K. Fuller

Professor of Environmental Conservation

Mammalian population ecology and natural history

Alexander R. Gerson

Assistant Professor, Biology

Integrative ecological physiology of birds, energetics, water balance, bird migration

Cynthia Gill

Associate Professor of Natural Sciences, Hampshire College

Human and comparative physiology, neuroscience, endocrinology, herpetology, conservation biology, and behavioral biology

Gary B. Gillis

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Mount Holyoke College

Biomechanics and neuromuscular control of vertebrate locomotion

Steven Goodwin

Dean, College of Natural Sciences

Professor of Microbiology

Evan Grant

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental Conservation

Research Wildlife Biologist, Conte Anadromous Fish Lab

Ecology and management of amphibian populations and habitat

Curtice R. Griffin

Professor and Department Head of Environmental Conservation

Wildlife ecology and conservation

Joseph Hamill

Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Professor and Associate Dean of Research, School of Public Health and Health Sciences

Biomechanics of human locomotion

Alex Haro

Adjunct Professor of Environmental Conservation

Ecologist and Section Leader, Fish Passage Engineering S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center

Fish behavior and migration; fish passage

Brigitte M. Holt

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Biocultural evolution of the genus Homo, functional morphology and biomechanics of the appendicular skeleton, paleoecology, forager ecology, Old World prehistory, Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene ecology, bone mass and physical activity.

Michael Hood

Associate Professor of Biology, Amherst College

Evolutionary forces that shape systems of inheritance and disease transmission

Martha Hoopes

Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Mount Holyoke College

Spread dynamics, impacts, and lag times in invasion ecology, as well as metacommunity dynamics, particularly for plants and herbivores.

Peter W. Houlihan

Senior Lecturer in Biology

Animal Behavior, Vertebrate Ecology, and Conservation Biology

Duncan J. Irschick

Professor, Department of Biology

Functional Morphology, Evolution, and Behavioral Ecology

Elizabeth M. Jakob

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Animal behavior, especially perception, learning, and social behavior

Abigail Jensen

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Molecular and cellular mechanisms of vertebrate retinal development and retinal disease.

Norman A. Johnson

Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Biology & Environmental Conservation

Evolutionary genetics, evolution of development

Adrian Jordaan

Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Ecosystems, modeling, tagging, movement, trophic dynamics, diadromous, marine,
fisheries, historical ecology

Jason M. Kamilar

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Comparative biology of primates and other mammals

Rolf O. Karlstrom

Professor, Department of Biology

Developmental neurobiology; axon guidance and forebrain patterning

Laura A. Katz

Elsie Damon Simonds Professor of Biological Sciences, Smith College

Genome evolution and biodiversity studies of microbial eukaryotes

Diane A. Kelly

Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Neurobiology, biomechanics, and evolution of reproductive systems.

Jane Kent

Professor of Kinesiology

Muscle physiology

David King

Adjunct Research Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation

Research Wildlife Biologist USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, Amherst

Wildlife ecology and conservation

Agnès Lacreuse

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Sex hormones and cognition across the lifespan in primates

Michael L. Lavine

Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

Statistical Theory and Methods

R. Mark Leckie

Professor and Department Head, Geosciences

Micropaleontology, Biostratigraphy, Paleoceanography

Benjamin Letcher

Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation

Section Leader, Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center

Population ecology of stream fishes

Rachel A. Levin

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Amherst College

Plant systematics, biogeography and ecology

Li–Jun Ma

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Fungal comparative genomics, eukaryotic genome evolution and organism adaptation

Stephen D. McCormick

Adjunct Professor of Biology

Research Physiologist, Conte Anadromous Fish Lab

Environmental Physiology of Fish

Kevin McGarigal

Professor of Environmental Conservation

Landscape ecology, ecosystem management, wildlife ecology

Jill Miller

Associate Professor of Biology, Amherst College

Ecology and evolution of plant reproductive systems, molecular phylogenetic systematics, population and evolutionary genetics, hybridization and speciation

Keith H. Nislow

Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation

Research Fishery Biologist, USDA Forest Service

Ecology and conservation biology of stream fishes and invertebrates

Benjamin Normark

Professor of Biology

Evolution of alternative genetic systems; evolution of host range; scale insect systematics

Melinda Novak

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Behavior of microtines and primates

Klaus Nüsslein

Professsor of Microbiology

Microbial ecology of terrestrial and aquatic environments

Sarah Partan

Associate Professor, School of Cognitive Science, Hampshire College

Visual and acoustic communication in mammals

Jeffrey E. Podos

Professor, Department of Biology

OEB Graduate Program Leader

Mechanisms and evolution of vertebrate behavior, bioacoustics

Adam H. Porter

Associate Professor of Biology

Admissions Committee Chair, OEB

Evolutionary biology; hybridization, introgression & speciation; ecological genetics; evolution of regulatory genetic pathways; computer and mathematical modeling; invasion and range expansion; insects, especially butterflies and moths

Stan P. Rachootin

Professor of Biological Sciences, Mount Holyoke College

Evolution and development, history of evolutionary theory

Luke Remage–Healey

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Neural basis of behavior

Stephen Rich

Professor of Microbiology

Molecular Evolution and Population Genomics of Arthropod-borne Microbial Pathogens

Alan M. Richmond

Lecturer in Biology

Curator of Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles , NaturalHistory Collections

Phylogeography of New England amphibians and reptiles

Margaret (Peg) Riley

Professor of Biology

Microbial molecular evolution and ecology

Charles Ross

Associate Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Hampshire College

Ecological and evolutionary genetics of hybrid zones and speciation

Allison H. Roy

Research Assistant Professor of Environmental Conservation

Freshwater ecology, fish and macroinvertebrates, urban ecology, conservation

Tristram Seidler

Extension Assistant Professor, Biology

Plant ecology, plant diversity, invasive plants, climate change

David A. Sela

Assistant Professor, Food Science

Host-microbe coevolution, microbial genomics & ecology, host dietary influences on microbiota form and function

Lynnette Sievert

Professor of Anthropology

Evolution of menopause

Paul R Sievert

Research Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation

Conservation biology, physiological ecology and biostatistics

L. David Smith

Professor of Biological Sciences, Smith College

Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program

Ecology and evolution of marine predator-prey interactions

Kristina Stinson

Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Plant Ecology, Invasive Plants, Biological Responses to Global Change

John Stoffolano

Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Behavior and physiology of flies especially of the adult crop organ and the mechanisms regulating filling and depletion

Alexander Suvorov

Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

Effects on behavior by environmental xenobiotics with endocrine disruptive properties

Ethan J. Temeles

Professor of Biology, Amherst College

Foraging behavior; Territoriality; Intra- and Interspecific competition; Resource partitioning; Mutualism; Coevolution;
Sexual dimorphisms and polymorphisms

Brian R. Umberger

Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Biomechanics and energetics of hominin locomotion

Elsbeth Walker

Gilgut Professor, Biology

Molecular genetic approaches to studying mechanisms of metal ion homeostasis in plants

Paige S. Warren

Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation

Urban ecology, human-environment interactions, animal behavior

Andrew Whiteley

Assistant Professor of Environmental Conservation

Conservation genetics and evolutionary ecology of fishes

R. Thomas Zoeller

Professor, Department of Biology

Environmental endocrine disrupters