Alexander R. Gerson, Ph.D.

Integrative Environmental Physiology

Avian Migration Physiology, Avian Heat Tolerance, Animal Energetics


Dr. Alexander R. Gerson -  PI

I investigate the physiological adaptations associated with migration and heat tolerance in birds. I focus primarily at the organismal level but I integrate across many levels of organization to fully understand physiological responses to environmental perturbations. See my current research page for more!

Mariamar Gutierrez Rameriez - PhD Student


Mariamar started her PhD in the fall of 2015 after successfully completing a MSc. at Delaware State University.  Mariamar is using automated telemetry to assess the role of body condition and habitat quality on stopover duration during spring on the North Gulf Coast.

Michael Griego - PhD Student


Michael received a B.S. in Biology and Psychology at the University of New Mexico and will be starting his PhD at UMass Amherst in the OEB program in Fall 2016.  As an undergraduate he studied avian physiological responses to heat stress; thus beginning his hermetic lifestyle and deep love affair for desert ecosystems. When he isn’t thinking about birds, he’s coming up with excuses to go outside and play in the dirt. In the Gerson lab, he will be studying the environmental physiology of migratory birds, focusing on the metabolism of migratory birds during stopover.

Cory Elowe - PhD Student


After Cory received his B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College in 2011, he spent two years in the field with the Bureau of Land Management, The Nature Conservancy, and Bird Research Northwest. He finally settled down to conduct his Master’s research in the Environmental Proteomics Lab at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. Cory is now a first-year Ph.D. student studying the physiological mechanisms of fuel use in response to varying environmental conditions during migratory flights in birds.

Joely DeSimone - Technician


Joely graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 2015 with a degree in Biology. As a senior, she wrote an honors thesis investigating the consequences of the ectoparasitism of blowfly larvae (Protocalliphora sialia) on nestling tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) condition and parental investment. She is excited to be part of the Gerson Lab, contributing to many of the on-going lab and field projects this year.

Alexander R. Gerson


Department of Biology

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Amherst, MA 01003