Emma O’Melia (’15) Undergraduate

EmmaResearch Interests:

I began working in the lab in the Spring of 2013 both to conduct research on stickleback behavior and to update our lab website and Stickleblog. Currently, I am working under Melissa Graham to observe and qualify the behavior of stickleback from different populations in response to females and foraging groups.

I am especially interested in communicating the scientific process to those who have little or no formal scientific training. Often, science can seem too abstract, too boring, and too out of reach to be of interest to the general public. Bridging the gap between those who are and are not biologists can be daunting. Especially through the Stickleblog, I hope to foster the interest of non-scientists in the work in Clark labs. My goal is to portray research through photographs and blog posts using the natural beauty of our field sites and the many components of the work we do in the lab to communicate the scientific process to both the Clark community and the general public.

This summer, I have the opportunity to travel to Alaska and Newfoundland to study stickleback in the field. My research will combine behavior and conservation research with a role as recorder and blogger for our research.  In Alaska, I will monitor behavior in a rapidly changing population to search for evidence that it has evolved in response to human interaction; in Newfoundland, I will be responsible for characterization of the behavior of populations at Bonne Bay. During my travels, I will be posting images and narratives from both locations as well as from the lab over the summer.

Outside the laboratory:

As a musician, I’m a part of an a cappella group on campus called the Clark Bars and have had leading roles in two Clark Musical Theatre productions (Assassins and Spring Awakening). I can be seen leading tours and talking to prospective students, representing Clarkies as a Scarlet Key member in Admissions. I love the Seattle Sounders (just not as much as my brothers), hiking, and pretending to be a film buff.


  • Steinbrecher Research Award 2013
  • LEEP Pioneer Supplemental Award 2013
  • James and Ada Bickman Research Fellow 2013

If you have any questions, please contact Emma at eomelia@clarku.edu