Ethan Gahtan



Ethan received a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Macalester College and PhD in Cognitive and Biological Psychology from the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on molecular and neural circuit mechanisms of behavior and neurological disease, with a secondary focus on evolutionary psychology.  Ethan is a long-serving member of Humboldt’s IRB and IACUC.

Make an appointment with Dr. Gahtan here.


Behavioral Neuroscience, Behavioral Genetics, Evolutionary Psychology


Courses he has taught at Humboldt include Intro and Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology, Substance Use & Addiction, Evolutionary Psychology, Research Methods, History and Systems of Psychology, and research supervision courses.

Selected publications:

1. Bishop, B.H., Spence-Chorman, N., Gahtan, E. (2016). Three-dimensional motion tracking reveals a diving component to visual and auditory escape swims in zebrafish larvae. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219(Pt 24): 3981-3987.
2. Stednitz SJ, Freshner B, Shelton S, Shen T, Black D, Gahtan E. (2015). Selective toxicity of L-DOPA to dopamine transporter-expressing neurons and locomotor behavior in zebrafish larvae. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 52(Pt A):51-6.
3. Physiological stress reactivity and empathy following social exclusion: a test of the defensive emotional analgesia hypothesis. (2014) Soc Neurosci. 9(5):504-13.
Ellyn Charlotte Bass 1, Sarah Josephine Stednitz, Kevin Simonson, Tori Shen, Ethan Gahtan
4. Griffiths, B.B., Schoonheim, P.J., Ziv, L., Voelker, L., Baier, H., Gahtan, E. (2012). A zebrafish model of glucocorticoid resistance shows serotonergic modulation of the stress response. Frontiers Beh Neuro, 6: 68
5. Stobb, M., Peterson, J.M., Mazzag, B., Gahtan, E. (2012). Graph theoretical model of a sensorimotorconnectome in zebrafish. PLoS One, 7(5):e37292.

Ethan Gahtan
(707) 826-4545
BSS 428; Mon & Wed 10:30am-2:00pm in BSS 122 or Via Zoom (appointment link in Biography section)