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June 2019
Road trip to Fluid Loco Lab

Senior honors student Jocelyn Hunyadi (right) and I traveled with some crayfish to do three-dimensional PIV analysis of swimming behavior in Brooke Flammang's Fluid Locomotion lab at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

September 2018
New Science Center officially opens!

After years of planning and construction, we finally moved into our new home.  There were a few bumps early in the moving process, but the building is beautiful and we are thrilled to be here.  So much exciting science going on for everyone to see.  Check out live cams here and here.

August 2018
Louise Stevenson '09 lands faculty position

Lab alum Louise Stevenson '09 just started her new position as an Assistant Professor of Environmental Toxicology at Bowling Green State University.  After graduating from Amherst, Louise went to UCSB for her Ph.D. Her research (read more here) focuses on how ecological risk assessment measured at the individual level can predict population-level consequences of environmental contamination in aquatic environments. Congrats Louise!

July 2018
SEB meeting in Florence

Ethan traveled to Florence, Italy to present our crayfish research at the annual Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) meeting.  The talk went well, the setting was fantastic, and Ethan came back with lots of ideas for future projects.

July 2018
Tree swallow field work

Another great field season is in the books!  Sam Zhang '21 and Phebe Palmer '21 joined the tree swallow crew this summer and did a great job.  We continued our collaboration with Alex Gerson's group at UMass, investigating the relationship between ectoparasites and metabolism.  Results coming soon!

April 2018
Amherst College BioBlitz

Ethan and Sarah represented the Clotfelter Lab at the first annual Amherst College BioBlitz on April 28.  Our Biology 181 students spent the day learning to identifying the plants, fungi, insects, amphibians and birds in the Amherst College Wildlife Sanctuary.  It was a great day, and got a lot of students pumped up about biology!

April 2018
Natalie gets a Fulbright!

Senior Honors student Natalie Sun '18 was awarded a Fulbright research fellowship to study the effects of heavy metal contamination in wild carnivores in Taiwan.  Natalie is ultimately headed into veterinary medicine, so this Fulbright experience will be a great opportunity for her.  Congratulations Natalie!

November 2017
DeSimone et al. publish new paper

Joely DeSimone '15 (center), now a doctoral student in Creagh Breuner's lab at the University of Montana, was the lead author on a new paper from our lab, which was published in the Journal of Avian Biology. The paper details host avoidance, tolerance, and resistance strategies in tree swallows parasitized by hematophagous blowflies. This was the culmination of Joely's senior thesis and a lot of hard work!  A big shout out to collaborator Sarah Knutie at the University of Connecticut. 

November 2017
Crayfish morphology paper published

Former student Brian Malave '17 was the first author, along with collaborator Joe Styga from the University of Alabama, on this paper published in the Journal of Morphology.  In the paper, we used traditional and geometric morphometrics to compare sex differences in shape-force relationships in the major chela of red swamp crayfish.

September 2017
First telemetry data

We recently got our data back from the Motus network of radio telemetry towers, which revealed that some of our tree swallow fledglings made it successfully down the East Coast!  After monitoring their development all summer, it's been a thrill to track their migration.

June 2017
Alternative male tactics in convict cichlids

In the June 2017 issue of Environmental Biology of Fishes, we report the first evidence of alternative male reproductive tactics in convict cichlids.  This paper includes data collected from Lake Xiloa, Nicaragua, where we found that 1-2% of male convicts have enlarged testes and female coloration.  The behavior of these ART males is yet unknown.  You can read more here.