Emily Holt

Emily Holt

Associate Professor

Biological Sciences
Natural and Health Sciences

Contact Information

Ross Hall 2520
Mailing Address
University of Northern Colorado
Biological Sciences
Campus Box 92
Greeley, CO 80639


Professional/Academic Experience

2016 - present: Associate Professor, University of Northern Colorado

2011 - 2016: Assistant Professor, Utah Valley University

2008 - 2011: Adjunct Assistant Professor/ Lecturer, Utah State University

Research/Areas of Interest

I am a biology education researcher and plant community ecologist. The central theme of my bioeducation research is measuring the learner-centeredness of undergraduate biology classes. I have investigated students’ understanding of plagiarism and how education affects their decisions; classroom alignment and its relative importance in improving students critical thinking through a semester (as compared to the cognitive level of assessments and learning objectives or the learner-centeredness of the classroom); the mechanisms that make a flipped classroom effective or not; and am working to develop a concept inventory for climate change related to biotic impacts and scale.

The core of my ecological research is grounded in disturbance ecology and community response. I use community analyses to uncover gradients in community structure of vascular plants, lichens, and mosses. I have participated in extensive floristic inventories of vascular plants in central Colorado, and lichens and bryophytes of northwestern Alaska and various parts of Utah. I also use secondary compounds exclusive to lichens to help inform community response and develop biochemical protocols.

Publications/Creative Works

Vos*, C., P. McKinney*, C. Pearson*, E. Heiny, G. Gunewardena, E.A. Holt. 2017. In review. The optimal extraction and stability of atranorin from lichens, considering solvent and pH. The Lichenologist.

Victor*, T., G. Garrett*, L.L. St. Clair, M. Schultz, E.A. Holt. 2016. Northward range expansions of several Lichinella Nyl. species (Lichinaceae) in the western United States. Evansia 33:174-182.

Covert*, M., E. Holt, R. Van Buren. 2015. Vegetation patterns associated with abiotic factors and human impacts at the Capitol Reef Field Station. Southwestern Naturalist, 60:193-206.

Holt, E.A., N. Zemp*, M. Van Orman*, J. Perry*, B.T. Williams*, M. Ogden*. 2015. Macrolichen substrate selection: Patterns among aspen, non-aspen hardwood, and conifer-dominated forests in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah. The Bryologist 118:357-366.

Holt, E.A., C. Young*, J. Keetch*, S. Larsen*, B. Mollner*. 2015. The greatest learning return on your pedagogical investment: Alignment, assessment or in-class instruction? PLOS ONE 10(9): e0137446. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137446.

Holt, E.A., R. Bradford*, I. Garcia*. 2015. Do lichens show latitudinal patterns of diversity? Fungal Ecology 15:63-72.

Ebert-May, D., E. Holt. 2014. Seeing the forest and the trees: Research on plant science teaching and learning. CBE-Life Sciences Education 13:361-362.

Holt, E.A., B. Fagerheim, S. Durham. 2014. Online plagiarism training falls short in biology classrooms. CBE-Life Sciences Education 13:83-89.

Holt, E.A. 2012. Education improves plagiarism detection by biology undergraduates. BioScience 62:585-592.

Holt, E.A., S.W. Miller. 2010. Bioindicators: Using organisms to measure environmental impacts. Nature Education Knowledge. 2(1): 6. Available at: http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/bioindicators-concepts-and-applications-16821310.

McCune, B., E. Holt, P. Neitlich, T. Ahti and R. Rosentreter. 2009. Macrolichen diversity in Noatak National Preserve, Alaska. North American Fungi 4: 1-22.

Holt, E.A., B. McCune, P. Neitlich. 2009. Macrolichen communities in relation to soils and vegetation in the Noatak National Preserve, Alaska. Botany 87: 241-252.

Holt, E.A., G. Bench. 2008. 14C/C measurements support Andreev’s internode method to determine lichen growth rates in Cladina stygia. The Lichenologist 40: 559-565.

Holt, E.A., B. McCune, P. Neitlich. 2008. Spatial scale of GIS-derived categorical variables affects their ability to separate sites by community composition. Applied Vegetation Science 11: 421-430.

Holt, E.A., B. McCune, P. Neitlich. 2008. Grazing and fire impacts on macrolichen communities of the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA. The Bryologist 111: 68-83.

Holt, E.A., B. McCune, P. Neitlich. 2007. Succession and community gradients of arctic macrolichens and their relation to substrate, topography and rockiness. Pacific Northwest Fungi 2: 1-21.

Holt, E.A., B. McCune, P. Neitlich. 2006. Defining a successional metric for lichen communities in the arctic tundra. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 38: 373-377.

Holt, E.A., P.M. Severns. 2005. The effects of prescribed burning on wet prairie lichen communities. Natural Areas Journal 25: 130-136.

* Denotes undergraduate collaborator