Wonderful Women Wednesday: Dr. Louise H. Emmons

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Dr. Louise H. Emmons has been a researcher with the Division of Mammals at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 1980. She specializes in tropical rainforest mammals, especially rodents, and savanna mammals. 

Emmons has published more than 80 articles and is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide (1990) and Tupai: A field study of Bornean Treeshrews (2000).

Emmons was a founding member of Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program, a conservation initiative to gather and disseminate biological information about the world’s abundant and threatened tropical ecosystems. As part of this program, she participated in 12 expeditions and taught two field courses.

In 2000, Emmons won the Field Museum’s Park/Gentry Award for her work studying the behavior of tropical forest mammals and discovering new species. Throughout her career, Emmons has also secured fellowships and awards through the National Geographic Society, World Wildlife Fund, National Science Foundation, and beyond.

Emmons earned her Ph.D. in neurobiology from Cornell University in 1975 and a bachelor’s degree in English from Sarah Lawrence College in 1965. 

Emmons sits in front of a brightly-colored display.

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