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
Lynn Adler

Professor, Biology

Ecology and evolution of insect-plant interactions

Jesse Bellemare

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Smith College

Plant ecology, biogeography and evolution

Jeffrey L. Blanchard

Associate Professor, Biology

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

Bethany A. Bradley

Professor, Environmental Conservation

Biogeography and spatial ecology of terrestrial plant invasions

Jill L. Bubier

Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, Mt. Holyoke College

Carbon cycling in northern wetlands

John P. Buonaccorsi

Professor Emeritus, Mathematics and Statistics

Statistical theory, methods and applcations, Quantitative ecology

Theodore Castro–Santos

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Biology

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

Brian S. Cheng

Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

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

Daniel R. Cooley

Professor of Plant Pathology, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Epidemiology, ecology and sustainable management of plant diseases

Cristina Cox Fernandes

Lecturer/Adjunct Research Associate Professor, Biology

Curator of Fishes, Natural History Collections

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

Andy J. Danylchuk

Professor, Environmental Conservation

Fish conservation, recreational fisheries, sustainable aquaculture

Kristen M. DeAngelis

Professor, Microbiology

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

Graziella V. DiRenzo

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Assistant Unit Leader, USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research

Quantitative ecology, population dynamics, applied ecology

Joseph S. Elkinton

Professor, Environmental Conservation

Population dynamics and biological control of invasive forest insects

Jenn Fair

Research Hydrologist, USGS Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center

Laura Figueroa

Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Agroecology, applied ecology, pollinator health, invertebrate monitoring

John Finn

Professor Emeritus, Environmental Conservation

Network Analysis of Acoustic Telemetry

Alexander R. Gerson

Associate Professor, Biology

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

Jessica Gersony

Assistant Professor

How plants respond to climate change, and physiological processes underpinning how plants interact with the changing climate around them

Curtice R. Griffin

Professor, Environmental Conservation

Wildlife ecology and conservation

Rachel Hestrin

Assistant Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Plant-microbe interactions, biogeochemistry, ecosystem response to change, sustainable agriculture

Martha Hoopes

Professor of Biological Sciences, Mt. 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 II, Biology

Animal Behavior, Vertebrate Ecology, and Conservation Biology

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

Ashley D. Keiser

Assistant Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture


Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology; Climate Change Biology; Soil Ecology; Biogeochemistry

David King

Adjunct Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation

Research Wildlife Biologist, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station

Wildlife ecology and conservation

Lisa Komoroske

Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Conservation genomics and ecophysiology in marine and freshwater ecosystems

Michael L. Lavine

Professor Emeritus, Mathematics and Statistics

Statistical Theory and Methods

Susannah B. Lerman

Adjunct Research Professor, Environmental Conservation

Urban and suburban ecology, wildlife conservation, and citizen science

Benjamin Letcher

Adjunct Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation

Section Leader, USGS Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center

Population ecology of stream fishes

Rachel A. Levin

Senior Lecturer in Biology and Environmental Studies, Amherst College

Plant systematics, biogeography and ecology

Meghan Graham MacLean

Lecturer, Environmental Conservation

Aboveground carbon consequences of future land use in New England, Carbon accounting of timber from current harvest trends in Massachusetts, Modeling direct and indirect impacts of forest insects and pathogens, and Inclusive pedagogy in quantitative undergraduate biology

Jill Miller

Professor of Biology, Amherst College

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

Toni Lyn Morelli

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Research Ecologist, USGS

Climate change ecology, montane and boreal wildlife, and decision analysis and translational ecology for climate adaptation  

Keith H. Nislow

Adjunct Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation

Research Fishery Biologist, USDA Forest Service

Ecology and conservation biology of stream fishes and invertebrates

Klaus Nüsslein

Professor, Microbiology

Microbial ecology of terrestrial and aquatic environments

Adam H. Porter

Associate Professor, Biology

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

Allison H. Roy

Research Associate Professor, 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

Associate Professor, Food Science

Nutrition, human milk, gut microbiome, systems biology, host-microbe interactions/co-evolution, translational research

Nathan Senner

Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Paul R Sievert

Adjunct Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation

Conservation biology, physiological ecology and biostatistics

L. David Smith

Professor of Biological Sciences, Smith College

Ecology and evolution of marine predator-prey interactions

Maria Stager

Assistant Professor, Biology

Michelle Staudinger

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Ecologist, USGS

Climate change impacts on coastal biodiversity and trophic relationships

Kristina Stinson

Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation

Plant Ecology, Invasive Plants, Biological Responses to Global Change

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