Emily Palmquist


Emily Palmquist is a plant ecologist with the Southwest Biological Science Center, Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Station. Emily’s research focuses on the ecology, taxonomy, and biogeography of plants throughout the arid Western United States. Her current projects focus on the impact of dams and river regulation on the composition and dominance of riparian vegetation on the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon Dam and causes of floristic change.

Emily received her B.S. in Environmental Science and English at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI and her M.S. in Biology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ in 2010. Her Master’s thesis focused on the population genetics, taxonomic placement, and biogeographic history of a rare, Colorado Plateau endemic plant species, alcove deathcamas (Anticlea elegans subsp. vaginata).

Emily moved to the Southwest in 2006 after a variety of seasonal plant ecology positions in Minnesota, Indiana, and Western Australia. Since then, she has worked in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico assisting with research on rare plants, dryland plant ecology, spring vegetation, and riparian vegetation. Emily has been working in the Grand Canyon region since 2011, which has included conducting upland and riparian long-term vegetation monitoring and grazing assessments.


Palmquist, E.C., Ralston, B.E., Sarr, D.A., and Johnson, T.C., 2018, Monitoring riparian-vegetation composition and cover along the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 2, chap. A14, 65 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm2A14.

Palmquist, E.C., Ralston, B.E., Merritt, D.M., and Shafroth, P.B., 2018, Landscape-scale processes influence riparian plant composition along a regulated river: Journal of Arid Environments, v. 148, p. 54-64, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2017.10.001.

McCoy-Sulentic, M.E., Kolb, T.E., Merritt, D.M., Palmquist, E.C., Ralston, B.E., and Sarr, D.A., 2017, Variation in species-level plant functional traits over wetland indicator status categories: Ecology and Evolution, v. 7, no. 11, p. 3732--3744, https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2975.

McCoy-Sulentic, M.E., Kolb, T.E., Merritt, D.M., Palmquist, E., Ralston, B.E., Sarr, D.A., and Shafroth, P.B., 2017, Changes in Community-Level Riparian Plant Traits over Inundation Gradients, Colorado River, Grand Canyon: Wetlands, v. 37, no. 4, p. 635--646, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-017-0895-3. 

Palmquist, E.C., Ralston, B.R., Sarr, D., Merritt D.M., Shafroth, P.B., and Scott, J.A., 2017, Functional traits and ecological affinities of riparian plants along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon: Western North American Naturalist, v. 77, no. 1, p. 22--30, http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol77/iss1/3.

Duniway, M.C., Palmquist, E., and Miller, M.E., 2015, Evaluating rehabilitation efforts following the Milford Flat Fire: successes, failures, and controlling factors: Ecosphere, v. 6, no. 5, p.1—33, doi: 10.1890/ES14-00318.1

Palmquist, E., Ayers, T., and Allan, G., 2015, Genetic and morphometric assessment of the origin, population structure, and taxonomic status of Anticlea vaginata (Melanthiaceae): Systematic Botany, v. 40, no. 1, p. 56--68, doi:10.1600/036364415X686332