Dr. Emily Imhoff, Ph.D.
Office Location: Field Station
Emily Imhoff grew up in the Hocking Hills region of southeast Ohio. She attended Oberlin College in northern Ohio and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. During this time, she completed an honors research project on native and invasive crayfish, which included a mark-recapture study and behavior experiments. She spent her summers working as an intern for the Ohio EPA and Midwest Biodiversity Institute. Her work with these groups included water quality monitoring, electrofishing, and crayfish research. Following graduation from Oberlin, Emily worked as a research technician at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation. These positions included work on many different projects involving crayfish, mussels, and other macroinvertebrates. After a year in Missouri, Emily applied to and was accepted into a Ph.D. position at the University of Leeds in England, funded by a Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Commission. In this position she investigated native and invasive crayfish, and their parasites, in the British Isles. First, she delineated and monitored an ongoing invasion by the North American signal crayfish in an upland river. She developed a non-lethal molecular screening procedure to test endangered European white-clawed crayfish for intracellular microsporidian parasites, then studied parasite prevalence among native and invading crayfish populations. She also demonstrated the first evidence for the transmission mechanism of the microsporidian parasite, and experimental evidence for transmission of the parasite from a native European crayfish species to the invasive North American crayfish species. Following completion of the field and laboratory portion of the project, Emily returned to Missouri to work for the Missouri Department of Conservation. There she completed her thesis and worked on the organizing committee of the conference of the International Association of Astacology while leading the MDC crayfish research field crew full time. She continued in her position as field crew leader for three seasons. Two main projects completed during this time included a distribution study of a rare crayfish species and an analysis of sampling methods. Crayfish invasions are a growing problem throughout much of North America, and Missouri has its share. Emily mentored an undergraduate as they investigated one such invasion, and published the results in a scientific journal. Emily is excited to move to Kentucky and begin working at the Station, where she can work with undergraduates, care for fish, and make sure everything is organized and running smoothly in the lab. In her spare time, Emily enjoys hiking, dog training, drawing and crafting, and sticking her hand down crayfish burrows to see if anyone is home.