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
R. Craig Albertson

Professor of Biology, University of Massachusetts

Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Tobias Baskin

Professor, Biology

Regulation of Plant Morphogenesis During Growth & Development

Annaliese Beery

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

Neuroendocrinology of social behavior

Jesse Bellemare

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Smith College

Plant ecology, biogeography and evolution

Eric L. Bittman

Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology

Circadian Rhythms, Reproduction, and Seasonal Changes in Brain Function

John P. Buonaccorsi

Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Statistics

Statistical theory, methods and applcations, Quantitative ecology

Andy J. Danylchuk

Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation

Fish conservation, recreational fisheries, sustainable aquaculture

Kristen M DeAngelis

Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology

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

Graziella V. DiRenzo

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Department of Environmental Conservation

Assistant Unit Leader of Wildlife

U. S. Geological Survey

MA Cooperative Research Unit

Quantitative ecology, population dynamics, applied ecology

Lillian Fritz–Laylin

Associate Professor of Biology

Quantitative Evolutionary Cell Biology

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

Norman Wait Harris and Emma Gale Harris Foundation Professor of Biological Sciences; Associate Dean of Faculty; Director of the Science Center, Mount Holyoke College

Biomechanics and neuromuscular control of vertebrate locomotion

Barry Goodell

Research Professor, Department of Microbiology

Fungal biochemical mechanisms involved in human disease, and also involved in the degradation of lignocellulose biomass and xenobiotics

Steven Goodwin

Deputy Chancellor and Chief Planning Officer;

Professor of Microbiology

Rachel Hestrin

Assistant Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

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

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.

Abigail Jensen

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

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

Ilia Karatsoreos

Associate 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, Department of Biology

Developmental neurobiology; axon guidance and forebrain patterning

Paul S. Katz

Director of Neuroscience and Professor of Biology

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


Diane A. Kelly

Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Neurobiology, biomechanics, and evolution of reproductive systems.

Jane Kent

Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Quantifying age, gender, and activity based changes in human skeletal muscle function. Measuring the roles of neural activation, intramuscular metabolism, contractile function and blood flow in the development of muscle fatigue in a variety of populations.

Michael L. Lavine

Emeritus Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

Statistical Theory and Methods

R. Mark Leckie

Professor and Department Head, Geosciences

Micropaleontology, Biostratigraphy, Paleoceanography

Stephen D. McCormick

Adjunct Professor of Biology

Research Physiologist, Conte Anadromous Fish Lab

Environmental Physiology of Fish

Jeffrey E. Podos

Professor, Department of Biology

Mechanisms and evolution of vertebrate behavior, bioacoustics

Luke Remage–Healey

Program Leader / GPD of Neuroscience and Behavior Program; Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Neural basis of behavior

Alan M. Richmond

Lecturer in Biology

Curator of Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles , NaturalHistory Collections

Phylogeography of New England amphibians and reptiles

Allison H. Roy

Research Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation

Freshwater ecology, fish and macroinvertebrates, urban ecology, conservation

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

Michelle Staudinger

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Science Coordinator, DOI Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center

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, Department of Environmental Conservation

USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Assistant Unit Leader

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