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!
All participants, please register by Monday Oct 28st
to reserve your field trip space and guarantee a conference
We have many conference activities planned from field trips
around the island to a keynote lecture on the Ants of New
England to a poster session cocktail hour to a casual morning
run on Sunday!
Schedule of Events
Dr. Aaron Ellison
"Ants at Sea:
Island Biogeography of the Ants of New England"
Friday November 1st
7pm, Nantucket Atheneum Great Hall
Hors d'ouevres and book signing to follow (A Field Guide to the Ants of New England)
Aaron M. Ellison is the Senior Research Fellow in Ecology
at the Harvard Forest, and an Adjunct Research Professor in
the departments of Biology and Environmental Conservation
at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He received
his B.A. in East Asian Philosophy from Yale University in
1982 and his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Ecology from Brown University
in 1986. After post-doctoral positions at Cornell and with
the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica, Aaron
taught for a year at Swarthmore College before moving to Mount
Holyoke College in 1990, where as an Assistant, Associate,
and Full Professor, and then as Associate Dean for Science,
he taught biology, environmental studies, and statistics until
2001. In 1992, Aaron received the National Science Foundation's
Presidential Faculty Fellow award for "demonstrated excellence
and continued promise both in scientific and engineering research
and in teaching future generations of students to extend and
apply human knowledge." Following a sabbatical year at
Harvard in 2001-2002, Aaron assumed his current position at
the Harvard Forest, Harvard' s 1500-hectare outdoor classroom
and laboratory for ecological research. There, he studies
food web dynamics and community ecology of wetlands and forests,
evolutionary ecology of carnivorous plants, the response of
plants and ants to global climate change, and the application
of Bayesian statistical inference to ecological research and
environmental decision-making. He has authored or co-authored
nearly 150 scientific papers, dozens of book reviews and software
reviews, and the books A Primer of Ecological Statistics
(2004; 2nd edition 2012) and A Field Guide to the Ants
of New England (2012). Aaron is the Editor-in-Chief of
Ecological Monograph, and in 2012 he was elected
a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.
Conference Field Trips and Workshops
* Pre-registration is required for all field trips, Limit 25 people per Field Trip *
(All Friday Field Trips are Full) Friday November
1st: 3:00pm, meet at the Nantucket Hotel
(Registration for this field trip CLOSED!) Squam
Swamp: Forests at Sea - Join Kelly Omand, Field Supervisor
at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, for a walk through
Squam Swamp on the northeastern edge of Nantucket. The walk
will visit a number of exemplary large trees with unusual
growth forms off the main trail. Kelly will discuss the limitations
on tree diversity in this unusual island forest where wooded
swamps and upland forests intersperse and trees face special
challenges of wetland hydrology, strong winds, and salt spray.
(Registration CLOSED!) Falcons and Fall Birds
- Head out to 'Sconset, the southeaster portion of Nantucket
to hopefully enjoy perfect late afternoon light, a chance
to see numerous Lesser Black-backed Gulls, migrating waterfowl,
spectacular falcons and fall migrats all while enjoying splendid
scenery. Join Vern Laux, Resident Naturalist at the Linda
Loring Nature Foundation, while walking along the picturesque
bluff on the eastern edge of Nantucket. This is one of the
best times for birding all year, so pack your binoculars!
Sunday November 3rd: 9:00am, meet at the
The Miners Among Us - Join Charley Eiseman,
Northern Naturalists and co-author of Tracks and Sign
of Insects, on a walk to learn about leaf-miners, gall
forming insects, and other fascinating but miniscule creatures.
We will be heading out to Pout Ponds in the Middle Moors.
These are kettle ponds that are relatively close to town but
in a seemingly very remote location.
Folgers Marsh and Barrier Beach Exploration - Come muck about with Field Station Director Dr. Sarah Oktay as we learn about the functions, plants, and animals that live in a salt marsh and barrier beach environment. Warm waterproof waders provided for the first 20 people.