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.  A list of faculty who are activiely seeking graduate students can be found HERE

Name Research Interests
Annaliese Beery

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

Neuroendocrinology of social behavior

Patricia Brennan

Research Assistant Professor of Biology and Psychological & Brain Sciences

Evolutionary consequences of interactions between behavior, morphology and the environment

Bruce Byers

Associate Professor of Biology

Acoustic communication in birds

Brian S. Cheng

Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Marine global change ecology and the dynamics of predator-prey interactions

Ethan D. Clotfelter

Associate Professor of Biology, Amherst College

Reproductive behavior of birds and fishes

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

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, Biology Department

Animal behavior, especially perception, learning, and social behavior

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

Paul S. Katz

Professor, Department of Biology

Neuroethology, central pattern generators, single neuron RNA-seq, developmental neuroscience, evolution of neural circuits, molluscan systems


Melinda Novak

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Behavior of microtines and primates

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

Luke Remage–Healey

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Neural basis of behavior

Laela Sayigh

Assistant Professor of Animal Behavior, Hampshire College

Social behavior and communication of cetaceans (whales and dolphins)

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

Paige S. Warren

Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation

Urban ecology, human-environment interactions, animal behavior