Amherst College Biologist Ethan Clotfelter Receives NSF Grant to Study Effects of Chemical Contamination on Fish

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen
September 28, 2007
Contact: Katherine Duke '05
Writer/Editor
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—Ethan Clotfelter, assistant professor of biology at Amherst College, has received a grant of $244,541 from the National Science Foundation. The award will support three years of research on the effects of phytoestrogens on animals.

When animals ingest or are exposed to phytoestrogens, these naturally occurring plant compounds amplify the effects of the estrogens that the animals’ own bodies produce. The results are alternations in behavior, reproductive endocrinology and neurophysiology.

Clotfelter’s work will focus on fish, which are likely to experience phytoestrogen contamination from industrial and agricultural sources.

A member of the Amherst faculty since 2003, Clotfelter received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in zoology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His primary research concerns the behavioral ecology and physiology of animals, particularly of birds and fish.

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