The Clotfelter Lab at Amherst College is committed to creating a safe, supportive, and anti-racist environment in which all students are equally and inclusively supported in their education and research training.

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 also study crayfish (Procambarus and Faxonius spp.) 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 and crayfish more than a decade ago.  He joined the faculty at Amherst College in 2003.  He is the Rufus Tyler Lincoln Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Amherst.  He is married with three (young) adult children and enjoys hiking and canoeing with his family and dog, scuba diving, and distance running.

Kailey Tobin
Research Specialist
ktobin [at] amherst.edu

Kailey joined the lab in 2020.  She grew up in Amherst and attended Colgate University.  She received her BA in Biology in 2019.  She wrote her senior honors thesis about black-capped chickadees' ability to cope with oxidative stress when dealing with temperature variation as a model for how small songbirds may cope with climate change.  In the fall of 2021 she will begin vet school at Cornell, with a focus in large animal ambulatory medicine, working mostly with dairy cattle.  She is the happy owner of Argos, a border collie lab mix.  She enjoys running and hiking, learning to read Latin, and practicing archery.

2021-2022 lab members 

Isabel Davis '24
Summer research fellow
Luis de Pablo '22
Senior thesis student
Nick Gulow '22
Senior thesis student
Callie Hundley '24
Summer research fellow