Hilary Neckles, Ph.D.

Hilary is a Research Ecologist with a background in wetland and marine ecology. Her research aims to explain and predict responses of seagrass and marsh ecosystems to human impacts, natural forces, and management interventions. Projects are developed and implemented in partnership with natural resource managers to inform decision making in coastal environments.   



  • Ph.D. in Marine Science from Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, 1990
  • M.S. in Wildlife Biology from University of Minnesota, 1984
  • B.S. in Wildlife Biology from University of Massachusetts, 1980 

Professional Experience

  • 1998 – Present      Research Ecologist, US Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, August,  ME
  •  1995 – 1998        National Science Coordinator, US Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Reston, VA
  •  1990 – 1995        Research Ecologist, National Biological Service/US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, LA
  •  1984 – 1990        Research Assistant, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, VA
  •  1984                    Research Associate, Delta Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Station, Manitoba, Canada

Associations and External Awards

  • Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, President 2017-2019, Past President 2019-2021
  • New England Estuarine Research Society (Program Chair 2004 – 2014)
  • Society of Wetland Scientists (Vice President/President South Central Chapter, 1993-1994)
  • American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
  • Ecological Society of America
  • NPS Northeast Region Director's Award for Professional Excellence in Natural Resource Research, 2004, 2012

Professional Service Examples

  • Scientific Advisory Committee, USEPA Exploratory Environmental Research Center, University of Maryland (1997-2001)
  • Adjunct Faculty, University of Maine, Department of Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences (2001 – 2006)
  • Associate Editor of the journal Estuaries and Coasts (2001 – 2009)
  • Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, Habitat Monitoring Subcommittee, Co-chair (2003 – 2010);  Ecosystem Indicators Partnership, Aquatic Habitats workgroup, Chair (2003 – 2010)
  • Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve - Research Advisory Committee (2008-2010)
  • Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Indicators Workgroup (2004-2006), Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (2012-present)
  • NPS Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network, Vital Signs Monitoring Program, Scientific Advisory Committee (2000-present)
  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Expert Panel on designation of eelgrass, Zostera marina, as an Ecologically Significant Species (2009)