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LAB NEWS

March 2024
Sam Rothberg '21 publishes new paper in Animal Behaviour
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Samantha Rothberg '21, along with Ethan Clotfelter and Sarah Wolf (Indiana University), published the results of her senior thesis research in Animal Behaviour. Sam used social network analysis to test the hypothesis that winter flocks of chickadees are more closely connected on cold days than warm days, presumably due to the need to share information about food resources. Spoiler alert: her results didn't conform to expectations, so check out the paper!

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August 2023
Derek Benson '21 publishes senior thesis work

Derek Benson '21 and Ethan Clotfelter were co-authors on the paper entitled "Size, but not sex, predicts pinch force and exoskeleton mechanical properties in crayfish of the genus Faxonius" published recently in the journal Invetebrate Biology. Derek investigated the potential for sexual dimorphism in the material properties of structures used in combat and display, namely the major chelae of freshwater crayfish. Derek is now a 3rd year graduate student at Arizona State University, studying the physiological ecology of rattlesnakes.

(Photo credit: Missouri Department of Conservation)

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May 2023
Congratulations, Jess Butler!

A huge congrats to Jessica Butler '23, who recently completed her senior thesis in the lab. Jess investigated the potential interactive effects of diet and ectoparasitism on nestling tree swallows. She did this while also co-captaining the Amherst College women's softball team. Jess recently received the highly competitive NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women's Enhancement Graduate Scholarship to support her graduate work in Exercise and Sports Studies at Smith College, where she will also be an assistant softball coach. 

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April 2023
OTS site visit

Ethan was recently invited by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) to participate in a site visit of their Skukuza Research Station inside Kruger National Park, South Africa. In addition to Amherst College, the group included faculty and staff from Colby College, Cornell University, Indiana University, St. Edward's University, and the University of Connecticut. One of the goals of the site visit is to promote research and study abroad collaborations with OTS in the future. (Photo credit: Brooks Bonner)

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March 2023
New lab paper in Ecology & Evolution

Ethan Clotfelter and Sam Zhang '21 are co-authors, along with lead author Sarah Wolf, on a new paper entitled "Experimental ectoparasite removal has a sex-specific effect on nestling telomere length" published in Ecology & Evolution. The paper, which is based on Zhang's senior thesis, shows how ectoparasites can accelerate shortening of the telomeres in the red blood cells of tree swallows. (Photo credit: Sam Zhang)

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March 2023
Clotfelter lab contributes to large-scale insect study

A paper recently published in Ecology, on which Ethan Clotfelter is a co-author and included samples collected by lab alumni Isabel Davis '24, Callie Hundley '24, and Kailey Tobin, showed evidence of regional and taxonomic variation in the effect of temperature on aerial insect abundance. We plan to continue sampling insects at our site and collaborate with regional and national partners to better understand insect responses to climate change.

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