Press Release: Sarah McGrath

Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 24, 2018
Contact: Trinity Foreman


 Former Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Natural Science Museum Intern to Speak at Weekly Science Speaker Series

Nantucket, MA – The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is hosting a lecture on Maria Mitchell’s 200th Birthday – August 1 – at 7:00 PM by former MMA intern, Sarah McGrath. The talk will focus on the importance of the microbiome and taking lessons from the world of amphibians.  It will be held at 33 Washington Street.

Sarah McGrath is a National Geographic Young Explorer and collaborator at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. McGrath is a graduate student in Biology at James Madison University where she is conducting research surrounding the amphibian microbiome. Her work focuses on how tadpoles develop their microbiome to potentially generate a better way to help conserve amphibian populations, which are one of the fastest declining vertebrates on the planet. She is conducting fieldwork in Brunei, a very small country on the island of Borneo in Asia.

McGrath will discuss the importance of her research and how an unlikely amphibian, a frog, might offer incredible insight into our own bodies, immune systems, diets, and even behavior. She will discuss the answers to questions and how those questions might be answered by the study of frogs such as, “Where do our microbes come from and why do some remain in a particular habitat while others simply pass through? Is it how or where we were born or where we live that makes the most impact on our microbiome and subsequently our health?

The Maria Mitchell Association will be hosting a new speaker on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 as part of our summer Science Speaker Series which will feature astronomers, authors, environmentalists, biologists, professors, and doctors. The MMA Speaker Series is sponsored by the Bank of America, Cisco Brewers, and Don Allen Ford. For a full schedule and description of each speaker please visit our website at The event is free for MMA Members and $10 for Non-Members.

The Maria Mitchell Association is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a newly opened research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages. This year celebrates Mitchell’s 200th birthday with special lectures, events, classes, and exhibits all year-long, culminating in the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium in October 2018 in Boston.