Photo of Dr. Natalie Clay

Dr. Natalie Clay

Associate Professor

Department: Biological Sciences

Phone: 318.257.3197

Fax: 318.257.4574


Office: CTLH129

Address: 1 Adams Blvd CTLH215

P.O. Box 3179

Ruston, LA 71272



  • BA Double Major: Biology & Art, Colby College 2008
  • PhD Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program, University of Oklahoma 2013

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Clay is an Assistant Professor of Biology in the School of Biological sciences. She grew up in Maine playing outdoors. She double majored in Biology and Art at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. During her college and graduate degree, Dr. Clay traveled for education and research to New Zealand and Central and South America where her interests in ants and science were cemented. Understanding how organisms interact with their environment (Ecology) and insects in particular (Entomology) are her passions and she enthusiastically shares these interests with students. In both the classroom and her research lab, she strives to create a learning-friendly environment that engages and excites students. In the Clay Ecology Lab, undergraduate and graduate students engage in research doing both fieldwork and lab work to better understand how nutrient and resource availability impacts how material like dead leaves and wood decomposes. This research aims to better understand how future changes in nutrient gradients will impact organisms and ecosystem functions. 

Research Interests

  • Community & Ecosystem Ecology
  • Nutritional Ecology/Ecological Stoichiometry
  • Decomposition
  • Insects and Invertebrates

Courses Taught

  • BISC/ENSC 313 Ecology
  • BISC 314 Entomology
  • BISC 380 Biology Colloquium
  • BISC 450A Domestication of the Dog
  • BISC 513 Ecological Topics
  • BISC 535 Ecological Stoichiometry

Scholarly Activity

Units and Center Appointments

  • School of Biological Sciences