BioBlitz and Biology Department Showcase

On Saturday, September 14th, the Biology department will be hosting the annual BioBlitz event, at the Amherst College Wildlife Sanctuary, followed by the Department Showcase. Come by to meet our faculty, eat some snacks, and learn about the fascinating projects happening here at the Biology department!  The Bioblitz will run from 1:00 - 3:00 PM, preceded and followed by the Department Showcase, which will have two sessions, one 11:00 a.m. to noon and the other 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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Photographs from the previous BioBlitz Event!

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KROPF SYMPOSIUM: New Approaches in Cancer Research - September 24, 2015

ew Approaches in Cancer Research

The Kropf Symposium features leading cancer researchers from Harvard, Stanford, Bilbao and King's College. Participate in short general discussions of emerging technologies in research leading to clinical applications. Participants will be available for discussion following the presentations. Students attending may sign up for dinner to follow with the participants and faculty (seating limited). Participants available earlier in the day to discuss careers in biomedical research with students.

Contact Information:

Professor Dominic Poccia • (413) 542-2198 •


Edward R. Leadbetter (1934-2015)

The Biology Department wishes to acknowledge the passing of Edward Renton Leadbetter on April 25th, 2015.  Dr. Leadbetter was a Biology faculty member at Amherst College from 1959 to 1977.  Our condolences to his family and our gratitude to his youngest son Jared for writing the obituary that follows:

Edward Renton Leadbetter, a former resident of Amherst and former Professor of Biology at Amherst College (AM Honoris Causa, ’70), died peacefully in his sleep at his winter residence in Falmouth MA on April 25. He was 81. He had just completed a week lived exactly as he liked to and chose to, and as a microcosm of his entire adult life: in the research laboratory each and every day, thinking and doing science, conversing with colleagues of all ages; and at home, enjoying food, drink, music, books, and conversation with his spouse of 58 years, Gloria.  More... (14 May 2015)


Many congratulations to Sophia Padelford '15 and Eric Steinbrook '15.  Both senior Biology majors have been offered Fulbright ETA grants. (14 May 2015)


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The students enrolled in this spring’s “Seminar in Tropical Biology” (BIOL-454, Professors Clotfelter and Levin) got a head-start in their studies with an Interterm field course in Costa Rica.  While in Costa Rica they studied the biota of three terrestrial habitat types (lowland tropical forests, montane cloud forests, and tropical dry forests) as well as the invertebrates of the rocky intertidal zone.  Learning alongside local specialists, the students learned more about taxonomic groups that are particularly significant in the tropics, such as bats, ants, and epiphytic plants.  Students conducted an intensive research project on tree species diversity, comparing three tropical forest types with a New England forest.  During the seminar portion of the course, they read papers from the primary literature and developed their interests in tropical biology into full-length research proposals. 

The field trip emerged from collaboration between the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the Office of the Provost, the Department of Biology, The Center for Community Engagement (CCE), and the Collins Fund for Biology Fieldwork. (7 May 2015)


Professor Ethan Temeles

Professor Ethan J.Temeles, Thomas B. Walton, Jr. Memorial Professor of Biology, will be offering a virtual lecture entitled, "Food, Sex, and a Hummingbird: The purple-throated carib of the Lesser Antilles" on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:30 p.m, ET. His talk is the first of Amherst College's Virtual Lecture Series of the 2014-15 academic year. An abstract of the talk and online registration instructions can be found here(29 August 2014)

Food, Sex, and a Hummingbird: The purple-throated carib of the Lesser Antilles
12:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

See Biology News Archives for older stories. Last Updated: 14 May 2015 TLR