For the Birds: Student Research Project Studies Parasites’ Effects on Swallow Nestlings

July 1, 2015

By Elaine Jeon ’17

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Elizabeth Black ’16 and Victoria Luizzi ’17, collecting data

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 swallow nestlings.

Hematophagous parasites of nestling tree swallows

Summer 2014 SURF fellows ask, "Do hematophagous parasites compromise the
immune system of nestling tree swallows?"

Acting Like Animals


Ethan Clotfelter, associate professor of biology and neuroscience, answers questions about his course Biology 281: “Animal Behavior,” which Tracy Montgomery ’10 took while at Amherst.

Interview and photos by Rob Mattson

Submitted on Monday, 11/19/2012, at 11:46 AM

Acting Like Animals

Ethan Clotfelter, associate professor of biology and neuroscience and chair of the Department of Biology, answers questions about his course Biology 281: “Animal Behavior.” He taught the course last semester and will offer it again in Fall 2013.

Interview and photos by Rob Mattson

Amherst Professors Reel in NSF, NIH Grants

August 1, 2011

Four faculty members at Amherst College—John-Paul Baird, Ethan Clotfelter, Michael Hood and Katharine Sims—have recently been awarded sizable research grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

The four professors will use their grants to work with students to continue researching brain circuitry, fish evolution, plant disease and environmental conservation, respectively. Below are brief descriptions of the grants and the research that will be supported.

Daily Hampshire Gazette: Eureka!!: Professors who turn up the heat

The work of biology professor Ethan Clotfelter was described in this column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

August 29, 2008

Warmer Nests Mean Healthier Mothers and Chicks, Finds Amherst College Research Team

AMHERST, Mass. – Heating the nests of tree swallows enables them to spend more time incubating their eggs and maintain higher egg temperatures as a result, according to Amherst College biology professor Ethan Clotfelter and his team of collaborators, who conducted a series of experiments investigating the energetics of reproduction in tree swallows in 2006 and 2007. Through the studies, Clotfelter and his research group also discovered that swallows whose nests had been experimentally warmed had higher body mass and fed their babies at higher rates, leading to healthier nestlings overall.

It's the Environment, Stupid

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

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