Director, R.B. Annis Department of Math & Science, Interlochen Arts Academy; Instructor of Biology, Interlochen Arts Academy
Board Member, Foinse Research Station; Volunteer, Bot. Squad Monitoring Program, National Park Service
Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University; M.A., Zoology, Miami University; B.S., Biology, Mount Union College
Mary Ellen Newport has taught science at the high school and collegiate level for fifteen years, and has ten years of collegiate and independent school administrative experience. She is an evolutionary biologist with an interest in conservation biology. She has done doctoral and postdoctoral work in the areas of population and quantitative genetics. Her doctoral work showed that genetic variability for remating speed is greater in females than males of Drosophila melanogaster, and that some manifestations of 'sperm competition' in that species is an artifact of experimental design. In her postdoctoral work, Mary Ellen demonstrated that pollinators are an agent of natural selection on flower size in the alpine skypilot.
Previously, she started a land trust in eastern Ohio to protect the last breeding population of hellbender salamanders in the state. Most recently, Mary Ellen has volunteered with the National Park Service to monitor botulism toxicity in migrating waterfowl. As a member of the "Bot Squad," she also has a chance to educate the public about the long chain of events triggered by the introduction of invasive species. Mary Ellen is on the board of Foinse Research Station which seeks to establish cross-border field research on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. A long-time meditator, she is curious about the effects of meditation on learning and the brain. Mary Ellen weaves math, science, art and technology into an inviting sphere for students to experience success and joy in the sciences. She tries sometimes in vain to keep her passion for birdwatching from becoming an obsession.