Chatham University

Falk School of Sustainability

Faculty and Staff


Molly Mehling Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Ecology and Sustainability, Falk School of Sustainability

Hometown : Toronto, OH (60 miles downstream from Pittsburgh)
Joined Chatham : 2011

Academic Areas of Interest

applied ecology, landscape ecology, community ecology, water resources, ecotoxicology, biogeography of macroinvertebrates, science and risk communication, STEAM, systems thinking, sustainability education, environmental psychology, environmental health, child-environment interactions, scholarship of teaching and learning

Personal Website : Visit Website


Dr. Molly Mehling is an ecologist, sustainability scientist, photographer and educator focused on conducting and communicating science in ways that lead to useful knowledge, but also cause learning, create community, and ultimately lead to more resilient and sustainable social, economic and ecological systems. Her work centers on the condition of our aquatic resources with particular concern for issues that have implications for children’s environmental health.  As a scientist, Dr. Mehling examines spatial patterns of bottom-dwelling aquatic invertebrates at the water’s edge to understand the influence of human activities. Other research has addressed the role of stream productivity on methyl mercury bioaccumulation, the effects of atrazine on stream biota, and the assessment of risk perception of environmental contaminants. By understanding how ecosystems work and how pollutants move through them, we can more effectively reduce human exposure to harmful contaminants. As a photojournalist and science communicator, Dr. Mehling is involved with several activities using or promoting the use of photography for nature appreciation, formal and informal science education, community development and environmental problem solving. Her work is heading in a direction that merges the science of aquatic ecotoxicology with informal science education, photojournalism, art, and public engagement. She hopes to work more directly with communities to assess value and risk perception and to facilitate and evaluate information exchange on issues of water resources and environmental health.