The Clotfelter Lab is part of the Department of Biology at Amherst College in Amherst, MA.  We are broadly interested in animal behavior, physiology, and functional morphology.  Most of our current work focuses on a long-term study of tree swallows (Tacycineta bicolor) breeding in Western Massachusetts and on convict cichlid fish (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) in Central America.  We are also in the early stages of studying crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) biomechanics. 

Ethan Clotfelter, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
edclotfelter [at] amherst.edu

Ethan attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill before getting his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He spent most of his early career studying birds, then started working on fish more than a decade ago.  Currently he is a Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Amherst College, as well as an administrator in the Office of Student Affairs.  He is married with three teenage children and enjoys spending time outdoors, scuba diving, and distance running.

Sarah Goodwin, Ph.D.
Research Associate
sgoodwin [at] amherst.edu

Sarah joined the lab in 2017.  She got her bachelor's at Colby College, her M.S. in Wildlife Biology at the University of Delaware, and her Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Massachusetts (with Jeff Podos).  Her dissertation was on bird song and communication networks.  Currently she is working on similar questions in field crickets.  She lives in Hadley, MA with her husband and son.

2019-2020 lab members to be added soon!

Jocelyn Hunyadi '19
Senior Thesis student

Jocelyn is a Biology and Statistics major from Cleveland, Ohio. Her senior Honors thesis focuses on the impacts of claw and tail morphology on escape speed in crayfish. She is a member of the Amherst College women's ice hockey team and in her free time enjoys drawing, baking, reading, and scuba diving.

Phebe Palmer '21
Research Assistant

Phebe is an undeclared major from Illinois. She is currently a sophomore, and spent last summer in the Clotfelter Lab as a SURF fellow. Phebe spends the majority of her time on campus participating in music related extracurriculars, and enjoys taking bike rides in her free time.

Gussie Hollers '19
Senior thesis student

Gussie is a senior Biology major from North Carolina. For her Honors thesis, she is studying the role of the acoustic environment on mate choice in field crickets, with Sarah Goodwin as her lead advisor. She loves to take children backpacking and her dream is to swim with a sperm whale.

Sam Zhang '21
Research Assistant

Sam is a Biology major from Massachusetts. He is helping with work on tree swallows and crayfish in the Clotfelter Lab. He sings a cappella and enjoys birding. He is always on the lookout for birds, always.