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Emily Carrington's research program, in its broadest sense, investigates the physiological ecology of marine organisms. She is particularly interested in the functional design of organisms that inhabit physically demanding environments, such as wave-swept rocky shores, where thermal, osmotic, and hydrodynamic conditions can be extreme. Her research involves both plants and animals and spans many levels of biological organization, from the mechanics of biological materials, to the persistence of populations, to the characterization of the physical environment and how it influences biological processes. A recent focus in her laboratory has been the effects of ocean warming and acidification on mussels, snails and seaweeds.
Emily studied Biological Sciences at Cornell University (BA 1985) and Stanford University (PhD 1992). She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia before joining the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Rhode Island in 1995. She has been on the faculty of the UW Department of Biology since 2005, splitting her time between the Seattle campus and Friday Harbor Laboratories. From 2016-2019, she served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation in Alexandria, VA in the Directorate for Biological Sciences. She was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2021 for her research contributions in biomechanics and ecophysiology, as well as efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in science.