Conference Information


Schedule of Events

Conference Day Program

Complete Conference Abstracts


Conference Venue

Presenter Information


Conference Registration



Conference Lodging Information

The Nantucket Hotel, host of our conference is providing discounted room rates to conference attendees:

Islander Room: $195 a night

One Bedroom Suite: $245

The suite is definitely shareable! Please contact them early to reserve.


Other possible lodging options in Town:

The Brant Point Inn
The Center Board Inn
The Brass Lantern Inn
The Regatta Inn

* For Conference Presenters Only - limited housing is available on island through UMASS, please email Sarah Oktay to reserve.






6th Biennial Biodiversity Research Conference

A full weekend of conference talks, an exciting keynote speaker, and field trips exploring the biodiversity of Nantucket - come for just the one day conference or stay for all of the events!

November 13th - 15th 2015, with conference talks on November 14th.

Conference Purpose

The goal of the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative (NBI) research program is to increase knowledge of understudied taxonomic groups and of the overall biodiversity of Nantucket, Tuckernuck, Muskeget and surrounding waters. The NBI facilitates collaboration, research and data storage and sharing between on and off-island researchers, conservation interests and the general public.

Our conference is held on Nantucket every other year and provides an opportunity to share the results of research being conducted on Nantucket and surrounding areas with other researchers and the public. This is an excellent opportunity to share your research, network with other researchers and naturalists, and to get an over view of the many different research projects on Nantucket and surrounding areas!

Call for Abstracts Open

We are currently accepting abstracts for both oral and poster presentations for the 6th Biennial Biodiversity Research Conference.

Abstract Deadline Date: September 18th 2015

Abstract submission information and RFP


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Elizabeth Farnsworth

Senior Research Ecologist with the New England Wildflower Society

Friday November 13th

7pm, Nantucket Atheneum Great Hall

State of New England’s Native Plants: Challenges and Opportunities for Conserving Coastal Habitats

New England Wild Flower Society recently released a comprehensive, peer-reviewed report that, for the first time, gathers together the most up-to-date data on the status of plants on the New England landscape. From these data, we can discern increases and declines in both rare and common species across all six states. We will discuss the report findings, with particular emphasis on rare and common plants of coastal sandplains and marshes in the region, and their importance in supporting other organisms and in providing ecosystem services for humans. We identify hotspots of rare plant diversity, and discuss factors that foster this diversity. We document the primary ecological and anthropogenic threats to both rare and common species. We discuss activities and initiatives by New England Wild Flower Society and its partner organizations in the New England Plant Conservation Program to conserve and manage rare plants and habitats throughout the region. We articulate a research agenda to bridge gaps in our knowledge of plant species and ecological communities and develop a framework for protecting the viability of thousands of species that together comprise our diverse and vibrant flora.

Dr. Elizabeth Farnsworth is Senior Research Ecologist with the New England Wild Flower Society, and a biologist, educator, and scientific illustrator. At the Society, she has written a major regional report “State of the Plants of New England,” and she co-led the award-winning National Science Foundation-funded project, Go Botany, to develop an on-line guide to the regional flora for teaching botany. She has illustrated and/or written seven books, including The Nature of New Hampshire, and the Peterson Field Guide to Ferns. She has taught at Smith College, Hampshire College, and the Conway School of Landscape Design. She has conducted scientific research on many ecosystems throughout the world, focusing on restoration, conservation, plant physiology, mangroves, and climate change. She obtained her Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University, M.Sc. from the University of Vermont, and a B.A. with honors in Environmental Studies from Brown University. In her spare time she sings semi-professionally and paddles her hand-built kayak.



Conference Field Trips and Workshops

* Pre-registration is required for all field trips, Limit 25 people per Field Trip *



Map of Conference Locations








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Logo courtesy of Claire Dacey