Clotfelter Animal Behavior and Physiology Lab

Clotfelter Animal Behavior and Physiology Lab We are interested in behavioral ecology, life history evolution, reproductive and sensory physiology, and environmental toxicology in both birds and fish.


Hey friends, I'm going to shut this FB site down soon and keep my professional postings on Twitter. If you are on Twitter, follow me at @ethanclotfelter. See you around!


If your to-do list includes getting duct tape, zip ties, and a claw hammer, you are either a field biologist or a psychopath.


New paper from the lab published today! Claw size and shape independently affect pinching force in crayfish, but more in females than in males. Undergrad is lead author!


Nothing better on a Monday morning than an email saying your paper has been accepted for publication, with a comment from one reviewer that it "will set a new standard for research of this type"!


Now that I devote the majority of my work time to administration, getting these emails is that much sweeter: "We are pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been accepted for publication..."


I'm super-proud that lab alum Louise Stevenson has just accepted a tenure-track position in environmental toxicology in the Department of Biology at Bowling Green State University! Way to go Louise!


A huge shout out to lab alum Jonathan Perez: Jon recently finished his dissertation in the Ramenofsky lab at UC-Davis! Soon he is off to Scotland to work with Tyler Stevenson and Simone Meddle. Congrats Dr. Perez!


Congrats to two alums from my lab who landed sweet grad school gigs: Victoria Luizzi is headed to Judie Bronstein's lab at the University of Arizona (after a 1-year deferral for a Fulbright Fellowship in Sweden) and Joely DeSimone will be joining Creagh Breuner's lab at the University of Montana with her new NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in hand. I'm a proud (academic) papa!


Not one, but TWO of my students just received Fulbright Fellowships. Big congrats to Victoria Luizzi and JiaMei Huang!


I'm super-proud of my former student Joely DeSimone, who just received a prestigious and competitive NSF graduate research fellowship. She has been accepted into some great grad programs, and no doubt has a bright future ahead of her. Great work Joely!


Congratulations to lab alum Claire Hoffmann '14, who will be starting her Ph.D. in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow!


Great news, our most recent paper "Evidence for male alternative reproductive tactics in convict cichlids (Amatitlania siquia) in Lake Xiloá, Nicaragua" has been accepted for publication in Environmental Biology of Fishes! Congrats to co-authors Ryan Earley, Caleb Anderson and Liz Johnson.


Congrats to lab alum Erin Morrison '09 for her kick-ass new paper in BMC Evolutionary Biology! If you don't have time to read it, here is the conclusion:

The finding that the diversification in species-specific carotenoid networks is qualitatively predictable from the connectivity of the underlying enzymatic network points to significant structural determinism in phenotypic evolution.


Congrats to lab alumni who are starting in med school this fall! Brigit High '12 (Colorado, MD/PhD program), Matt Cahn '13 (Georgetown), Jorge Flautero '13 (Georgetown), and Ben Norton '14 (Tulane MD/MPH program)

Dietary carotenoids and bacterial infection in wild and domestic convict cichlids (Amatitlania...

New paper from the lab with co-authors Lexi Brown, Matt Cahn '13 and Sara Choi '13. Congratulations all around!

Honest signaling of carotenoid-based ornaments may be reinforced by dietary limitation and by competing physiological demands for carotenoids. This study measured dietary carotenoids in a natural population of the convict cichlid Amatitlania siquia, a species in which females possess carotenoid-base…

With all the amazing students that pass through my lab, it's no wonder that they go on to do amazing things.  Just this ...
Allometric Relationships Better Explain Seed Coat Microsculpture Traits in Mentzelia Section...

With all the amazing students that pass through my lab, it's no wonder that they go on to do amazing things. Just this week I found out that Julian Damashek '09 is finishing up his Ph.D. in Earth Systems Science at Stanford and moving on to a postdoc in Marine Science at UGa. Melissa Sullivan '12 is a co-author on this recent paper on seed coat structure and seed dispersal.

AbstractPremise of research. Variation in seed coat microsculpture traits provides reliable characters for species delimitation as well as synapomorphies that support phylogenetic hypotheses; however, botanists have not yet identified the ecological or evolutionary reasons why closely related specie…


New paper accepted for publication in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology with the Earley Lab at the University of Alabama! I'll post a link when it appears online.

My former postdoc advisor just got funding for two postdoctoral fellows - please spread the word.  There are some great ...
Common Themes in Reproductive Diversity: Faculty

My former postdoc advisor just got funding for two postdoctoral fellows - please spread the word. There are some great people in this research group.

Common Themes in Reproductive Diversity (CTRD)

This T32 has 2 open positions for 2-year NIH traineeships to support broadly integrative training in the areas of sexual reproduction and development. Training will focus on behavior in both humans and other animals and will address key questions in three related themes: (1) genetic, epigenetic, environmental, and parental contributions to reproductive and social behavior; (2) the origins and expression of differences among the sexes; and (3) sex and immunity in health and disease. Indiana University's excellent support for research and its globally recognized strengths in animal behavior, endocrinology, human sexual health, and evolution of development will ensure high quality training. PhD in anthropology, biology, gender studies, neuroscience, psychology or a related field is required. Funding is from NIH T32 training grant, "Common Themes in Reproductive Diversity." For more information, make initial contact with one or more of the training faculty who might serve as primary mentors. Positions begin as early as June 2016. Evaluations will begin as early as March 15, 2016, but positions will remain open until filled. Please check back for updates on timing.
My former postdoc advisor just got funding for two postdoct

An NIH-funded research training program of the topic of Common Themes in Reproductive Diversity, which supports graduate and prodoctoral researchers.

SURF Video | Amherst College

Clotfelter lab members Victoria Luizzi and Natalie Sun (and our tree swallows!) featured in this nice little video about the benefits of undergraduate summer research.

The Amherst College website has a short article about our bird research
For the Birds: Student Research Project Studies Parasites’ Effects on Swallow Nestlings |...

The Amherst College website has a short article about our bird research

Rain or shine, four dedicated biologists Elizabeth Black ’16, Joely DeSimone ’15, Victoria Luizzi ’17 and Natalie Sun ’18 have been spending seven days a week in the College’s Wildlife Sanctuary this summer collecting data on the effects blood-sucking fly larvae have on the growth and health of tree…


The Clotfelter lab at Amherst College is looking for a postdoc to begin in the fall of 2015 (start date flexible). Project will focus on coloration and vision in convict cichlids in Lake Xiloa, Nicaragua. Candidate must have a Ph.D. and be scuba certified. Position is funded for 1.5 years. Please help to spread the word.


Lab alum Melissa Sullivan will be joining the lab of Cori Richards-Zawacki at Tulane as a doctoral student. Congratulations Melissa!


Congrats to Matt Cahn '13 for getting his undergraduate honors thesis submitted - and recently accepted - for publication in Journal of Experimental Zoology! "Guanine-based structural coloration as an indicator of oxidative stress in a cichlid fish" to be published soon!


25 Merril Science Drive
Amherst, MA


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