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
R. Craig Albertson

Professor, Biology

Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Tobias Baskin

Professor, Biology

Regulation of Plant Morphogenesis During Growth & Development

Jesse Bellemare

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Smith College

Plant ecology, biogeography and evolution

Eric L. Bittman

Professor Emeritus, Biology

Circadian Rhythms, Reproduction, and Seasonal Changes in Brain Function

John P. Buonaccorsi

Professor Emeritus, Mathematics and Statistics

Statistical theory, methods and applcations, Quantitative ecology

Graham Caldwell

Associate Professor, Kinesiology

Muscle mechanics and modeling in human motor performance

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

Lillian Fritz–Laylin

Associate Professor, Biology

Quantitative Evolutionary Cell Biology

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

Cynthia Gill

Associate Professor of Physiology, Hampshire College

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

Gary B. Gillis

Professor of Biological Sciences, Mt. Holyoke College

Biomechanics and neuromuscular control of vertebrate locomotion

Rachel Hestrin

Assistant Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

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

Brigitte M. Holt

Professor, 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.

Abigail Jensen

Associate Professor, Biology

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

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

Rolf O. Karlstrom

Professor, Biology

Developmental neurobiology; axon guidance and forebrain patterning

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

R. Mark Leckie

Professor, Earth, Geographic, and Climate Sciences

Micropaleontology, Biostratigraphy, Paleoceanography

Stephen D. McCormick

Adjunct Professor, Biology

Adjunct Professor, Environmental Conservation

Scientist Emeritus, USGS Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center

Environmental Physiology of Fish

Jeffrey E. Podos

Professor, Biology

Mechanisms and evolution of vertebrate behavior, bioacoustics

Luke Remage–Healey

Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Neural basis of behavior

Alan M. Richmond

Retired Senior Lecturer, Biology

Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles, Natural History Collections

Phylogeography of New England amphibians and reptiles

Allison H. Roy

Research Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation

Freshwater ecology, fish and macroinvertebrates, urban ecology, 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

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

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