Mary Ellen A. Newport, Ph.D.
About Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen Newport teaches ecology and advanced biology and is the director of the R.B. Annis Math and Science Division. Teaching at Interlochen Arts Academy has been the best crucible for developing innovative STE[A]M curricula. Her students have developed a body of creative work exploring everything from climate change to protein synthesis. Her primary goals for her students are biophilia and ecoliteracy, and helping students to broaden the way they look at biological phenomena. She loves using the hundreds of acres of woods and miles of stream on the Interlochen Center for the Arts campus.
Newport is an evolutionary biologist interested in conservation. Her scientific work looks at the genetic basis for sexual behaviors in flies and pollinators. She started Captina Conservancy to protect an eastern Ohio stream where hellbender salamanders live.
Newport volunteers with the National Park Service to monitor botulism toxicity in migrating waterfowl at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 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. She is on the board of Foinse Research which seeks to establish cross-border field research on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
A long-time meditator, Newport is curious about the effects of meditation on learning and the brain. She 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.
I want my ecology students to have a relationship with the natural world. I want them to love birds, frogs, and macroinvertebrates. I want them to put their arms around a tree and put their feet in our beautiful streams. You can’t love what you don’t know, and you won’t fight for what you don’t love.
B.S., Biology - Mount Union College
M.A., Zoology - Miami University
Ph.D., Biological Sciences - Bowling Green State University