Director of Natural Science
Emily returned to her home state of Massachusetts to become the Director of Natural Science for the Maria Mitchell Association in August 2016 after studying and working across Europe and the United States. Emily began her scientific career at Mount Holyoke College where she majored in Biological Sciences and minored in Mathematics. She was involved in National Science Foundation funded biomechanics research from her first semester and continued to work in this field through her independent senior year research. Emily moved to Ireland shortly after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College to work towards her Master of Science in Ecosystem Conservation and Landscape Management which involved coursework and fieldwork in three European countries: Ireland, The Netherlands, and Finland.
Emily remained in Ireland to earn her Ph.D. from University College Cork in Ecology and Zoology specializing in the ecology of biological invasions with the invasion of the grey squirrel in Ireland as her case study. Following the award of her doctorate, Emily continued to work for the University in an outreach and educational capacity with high school and mature students. A return to research beckoned and Emily moved to Arizona to work as a postdoctoral associate at the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona studying the population ecology of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel in one of the foremost squirrel ecology research groups in the world.
Emily’s scientific interests center around the demographic processes of species change and turnover. As humans continue to change the natural balance of ecosystems, species populations change in response. She has used recent changes in both invasive and endangered squirrel populations to probe the population level demographic effects of species invasion, range change, land use modification and the changing climate. She has published her work in international peer reviewed journals and has collaborated on scientific book chapters.
Nantucket’s small mammal populations represent a rich study system to investigate processes of island biogeography, species invasion, and disease ecology, as well as habitat change and succession. She looks forward to involving students and the community in her research.
Emily is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and The Wildlife Society and often serves as a peer-reviewer for international journals related to her expertise.
As a science graduate of one of the leading women’s colleges in the country, Emily is passionate about inspiring and fostering the confidence needed for women to pursue careers in science. In Ireland, she mentored female high school and college students interested in the life sciences. She hopes to play a similar role here on Nantucket.
In her spare time, Emily enjoys knitting and exploring the outdoors with her husband, Vince, who is also an ecologist.