NFS Research

A major asset of the NFS for scientific research is the Island's distinctive conditions and natural resources.

  • One major area of research based from the Field Station is the study of emerging diseases of significance to U.S. public health. Nantucket is a national hot spot for Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have been examining the relationship of these three diseases with tick, mouse and deer populations on the Island since 1978.
  • Derek Lovely (UMass Amherst Environmental Biotechnology Center) Geobactor Project is uniquely served by the close location of freshwater and saltwater sediments here at the Nantucket Field Station. This award-winning, well-funded and exciting research illustrates the cutting edge research conducted at the NFS
  • UMass Boston BIO - Rick Kesseli and Students
  • Breeding system, hybridization, and polyploidy of the invasive plant Fallopia japonica (Japanese Knotweed) and Giant Knotweed Fallopia sachalinensis (Hybrid:Fallopia X bohemica
  • Dioecy in groundsel-tree (Baccharis halimifolia)
  • Development And Characterization Of Comparative Anchor Tagged Sequences (CATS) For Comparative Genome Analysis In The Asteraceae
  • From 2007 to 2010, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Researchers placed tracking devices on Long-tailed ducks: read more here. 
  • Long-tailed duck tracking See the results

Another example of research based on Nantucket's uncommon resources is the gray seal population biology study by the College of the Atlantic ongoing since 1964. UMass Boston and other investigators use the Field Station for ornithology research, remote sensing of water quality parameters, population ecology, and sampling of coastal sediments. Many of Nantucket's coastal sediments serve as relatively pristine environments, when compared to other coastal sediments.

Student research has been a part of the Field Station for the past 30 years. A very successful student research-oriented course in Maritime Ecology Research is offered each summer. Students work on independent research projects, some with the help of local scientists from numerous local community and governmental groups.

Nantucket Field Station

180 Polpis Road
Nantucket, MA 02554 USA