Mary Heskel

PhD, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University (2013)
MA, Secondary Science Education, City College of New York (2008)
BA, Biology and History of Art, University of Pennsylvania (2006)

Dept. of Biology
​Macalester College
1600 Grand Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105

mheskel [at] macalester [dot] edu
Twitter: @MaryHeskel
Google Scholar

Hi! I’m a professor in the Biology Department at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I research how plants cycle and store carbon in ecosystems under climate change, including warming, higher levels of soil nitrogen, and increased drought, among others. As an undergraduate Biology major (and art history minor) , I enjoyed learning about biology at the cellular level, and became increasingly interested in plants and ecosystems. After college, I taught high school biology for two years in the Lower East Side in New York City at a public school and earned a MA in Science Education at City College of New York. As a graduate student at Columbia University, my research took place beyond the Arctic Circle on the North Slope of Alaska. There, I collected data on plant respiration and photosynthesis under different experimental conditions that represented a ‘future tundra’. I’ve held postdoctoral positions at the Australian National University, the University of Minnesota, and the Ecosystems Center of Marine Biological Laboratory. Through these positions, I’ve been able to further explore how plants respond to warming in the short- and long-term. At Macalester, my lab asks questions about plant responses to the environment under past, current, and future conditions, in the Arctic as well as the urban landscapes of the Twin Cities.

Some non-academic info: I was born and raised in Florida (warm-developed, but more recently cold-acclimated), I’m a parent to two kids and two cats, I enjoy music, art, movies, novels, and exploring cities and forests.