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, developmental biology

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
Patricia Brennan

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Mt. Holyoke College

Evolutionary consequences of interactions between behavior, morphology and the environment

John P. Buonaccorsi

Professor Emeritus, Mathematics and Statistics

Statistical theory, methods and applcations, Quantitative ecology

Bruce Byers

Associate Professor, 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

Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Amherst College

Reproductive behavior of birds and fishes

Andy J. Danylchuk

Professor, Environmental Conservation

Fish conservation, recreational fisheries, sustainable aquaculture

Alex Haro

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Research Ecologist and Section Leader, USGS Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center

Fish behavior and migration; fish passage

Peter W. Houlihan

Senior Lecturer II, Biology

Animal Behavior, Vertebrate Ecology, and Conservation Biology

Duncan J. Irschick

Professor, Biology

Functional Morphology, Evolution, and Behavioral Ecology

Elizabeth M. Jakob

Professor, Biology

Animal behavior, especially perception, learning, and social behavior

Adrian Jordaan

Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation

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

Jason M. Kamilar

Professor, Anthropology

Comparative biology of primates and other mammals

Ilia Karatsoreos

Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences

The general research objective in our lab is to understand the neural and physiological systems that the brain and body use to protect us from harm and adapt to changes in the environment. We focus on biological rhythms, stress, immunology, and metabolism

Paul S. Katz

Professor, Biology

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


Michael L. Lavine

Professor Emeritus, Mathematics and Statistics

Statistical Theory and Methods

Melinda Novak

Professor Emerita, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Behavior of microtines and primates

Sarah Partan

Associate Professor of Animal Behavior, Hampshire College

Visual and acoustic communication in mammals

Jeffrey E. Podos

Professor, Biology

Mechanisms and evolution of vertebrate behavior, bioacoustics

Luke Remage–Healey

Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Neural basis of behavior

Laela Sayigh

Associate Professor of Animal Behavior, Hampshire College

Social behavior and communication of cetaceans (whales and dolphins)

Michelle Staudinger

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Ecologist, USGS

Climate change impacts on coastal biodiversity and trophic relationships

Alexander Suvorov

Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

Graduate Program Direction, Environmental Heath Sciences

Effects on behavior by environmental xenobiotics with endocrine disruptive properties

Ethan J. Temeles

Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Amherst College

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

Paige S. Warren

Professor, Environmental Conservation

Urban ecology, human-environment interactions, animal behavior

Tammy L. Wilson

Research Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Unit Leader, USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research

Landscape ecology, spatial ecology, wildlife conservation and management, structured decision-making