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TMU names Molly Williams new — and first full-time — manager of Ohio River Biology Field Station

Thomas More University and the Ohio River Biology Field Station welcome Molly Williams as the first-ever, full-time Field Station manager. Williams will oversee laboratory research and STEM outreach programs.

“The Biology Field Station provides crucial research on the Ohio River, giving our students valuable, applied opportunities, protecting the ecosystem, and ensuring public safety for our region,” says Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D. “We are happy to support the important work being done at the Station and thrilled to welcome Molly to the Thomas More community. Her impressive background and familiarity with the facility will be a great asset to operations at the Field Station.”

The Field Station is the only one of its kind operating on the banks of the entire 981-mile stretch of the Ohio River. The Department of Biological Sciences received the 25 acres, which included a former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock & Dam facility, along the Ohio River in Campbell County, Kentucky, from the federal government via grant in 1967. Research studies began in 1971 with the support of Duke Energy (then CG&E) and continue to this day. The Station plays an integral part in STEM outreach programs and hosts more than 1,000 visitors each year from throughout the region.

Molly Williams, new TMU Biology Field Station Manager. (Photo provided)

In 2021, Williams was a summer intern on the River Crew at the Thomas More Biology Field Station, conducting fish assessments on the Ohio River and comparing nearby floodplain lakes to those further upland.

Chris Lorentz, Ph.D., director of the Biology Field Station, said, “As one of our undergraduate interns, Molly approached every task with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Throughout my experiences with her, she was always conscientious, reliable, and dedicated to our research. Given her past work at the Station, her outstanding academic career at Hillsdale (College), and her experience with STEM outreach, Molly is the ideal person to fill our new position. We are pleased to welcome her back to the Station and to the University community. We are looking forward to enhancing the research and outreach programs under Molly’s leadership, and we are grateful for President Chillo’s investment and support of the Station.”

Williams is a recent graduate of Hillsdale College, earning summa cum laude honors and the top biology student award her junior and senior years. As an undergraduate, she conducted a thesis on the impacts of land use on streams in northern Michigan, using macroinvertebrate communities as indicators of ecological health. She also served as the laboratory technician for the Biology Field Station and campus laboratories at Hillsdale. While conducting her research, Williams was the sustainability coordinator for the University of Michigan’s Camp Michigania and developed programs for the public.

“I am excited to fill the role of station manager,” says Williams. “My previous work at the Station allowed me to become a stronger and more creative scientist. I particularly appreciate the environment of education and collaboration that Dr. Lorentz fosters and his emphasis on the holistic development of students. I look forward to working with the Department of Biological Sciences, the University, and surrounding community,”

For more information about Thomas More University, visit thomasmore.edu. To learn more about the Biology Field Station, visit thomasmore.edu/biologyfieldstation.

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