Biology Department

Dr. Mollie McIntosh

Associate Professor, Biology

Dr. McIntosh's research interests are centered in aquatic ecology and entomology, with particular interest in stream and wetland ecosystems, and emphasize (1) the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms, in particular insects and other macroinvertebrates; (2) the response of aquatic organisms to changes in the environment, including both natural and human-induced stressors and (3) the development of new tools for ecological assessment, using multiple biota, techniques and resources.  Her research studies have focused on the effect of water diversions on aquatic communities in tropical Hawaiian streams, the potential use of macroinvertebrates as biological indicators of water quality in inland Michigan wetlands, a comparison of macroinvertebrate communities within natural and created vernal pools in Ohio and a large scale assessment of aquatic environments in Ghana, Africa, in an effort to better understand the ecology of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer disease.  Most recently Dr. McIntosh has been involved in assessing macroinvertebrate communities within multiple streams of the urbanized Mill Creek Watershed, located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Additional research activities in forensic entomology have also been an interest of Dr. McIntosh, specifically in understanding the effect of various chemicals on the oviposition, behavior, development and succession of carrion insects.

During her years at Xavier, Dr. McIntosh has mentored over 50 undergraduate students, ranging from freshman to seniors.  These students get “hands on” experience conducting science in both the field and laboratory learning basic skills in experimental design, field collections, data management, analysis and interpretation.  Dr. McIntosh encourages and supports her students to present their research findings, not only at the Celebration of Research here a Xavier, but also local, regional and national scientific meetings, including the Entomological Society of America, the North American Benthological Society, the Society of Freshwater Science, the National Council of Undergraduate Research, the Ohio Valley Entomological Association and the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference.  In 2016, Dr. McIntosh received the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award at Xavier University.

Dr. McIntosh has taught courses at Xavier in general biology, anatomy and physiology, environmental science, ecology, aquatic ecology of invertebrates, climate change and senior research capstone.  She was the recipient of the Joan B. McDonald Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Sciences in 2016.  She is the current director of the Environmental Science  Major and Environmental Studies Minor Programs.

Dr. McIntosh received her B.A. in biology from the University of Dayton in 1999. She earned a M.S. in environmental science with a concentration in applied ecology from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in 2001. Dr. McIntosh continued on to obtain her Ph.D. in entomology at Michigan State University in 2007. She most recently worked as a Visiting Research Associate for the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University from 2007-2010.


Aquatic Ecology and Entomology

First Year at Xavier

Fall 2010