Glenna Clifton | University of Portland

Glenna Clifton

Assistant Professor, Biology

Glenna CliftonGlenna Clifton combines approaches from multiple disciplines to understand how animals move. Before joining UP, Glenna completed a postdoctoral fellowship in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). At UCSD, she combined field experiments with deep learning based tracking of large video datasets to understand how ants and cockroaches adjust walking to negotiate uneven terrain. After starting her career with a B.A. in physics, Glenna received her Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University where she studied the anatomical patterns and paddling motions of foot-based swimming birds, including grebes and loons. Glenna has received several grants and awards to support her research with the aim of inspiring new robotic designs and understanding ecological and evolutionary patterns in animal diversity. As an educator, Glenna strives to encourage scientific thinking and an appreciation for the complexity of nature. Glenna also co-founded the “What is a Scientist?” outreach program, organizing over ninety interactive classroom visits with scientists to show middle school students that science is exploratory, trustworthy, and fun. In her free time, Glenna continues to perform as a professionally trained ballet dancer. She also loves biking, baking, and hiking with her dog.