Emily Monosson (she/her/hers)Emily Monosson

Adjunct Faculty


Primary Interests

I was trained, and worked as a toxicologist for the first part of my career. Now I write books about problems in the natural world and when there are some, hopeful solutions. When I am not at my computer I am often somewhere on Mount Toby, or trying to control chaos in the garden.

Current Projects

I am working on a book about deadly fungal infections across species. While the vast majority of fungal species are beneficial or at least not harmful, a relative handful can cause catastrophic declines in populations of trees and wildlife, destroy crops from wheat to bananas and increasingly impact humans.  Many in the field worry that fungi are an underestimated threat and that our actions are causing an increase in invasive and deadly fungal epidemics. My goal is to raise awareness of 1) what is at stake, 2) why this is happening now 3) when possible, what we can do to prevent future outbreaks.


Union College, Schenectady, NY: B.S. 1983; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY: PhD, 1988.


Natural Defense: Enlisting bugs and germs to protect our food and health (Island Press, June 2017)

Unnatural Selection: how we are changing life gene by gene (Island Press, October 2014)

Evolution in a Toxic World: how life responds to chemical threats (Island Press, 2012)

Motherhood the Elephant in the Laboratory (Cornell Press, 2008)

Interconnections Between Human and Ecosystem Health (Monosson and DiGuilio, Chapman-Hall, 1996)

Selected Articles

Berry Blues, Science, Aug 2019, Book review, 365:64716

Toxicology has advanced. The EPA needs to advance with it. Undark, 2018, Opinion

Exercising Communication, SETAC Globe, 2014, Volume 15, in press.

Sleep Tight, The Scientist, October 2014.

Robot Evolution, AEON Magazine, June 2013.

Evolution of the Toxic Response: how might ecotoxicology benefit by considering evolution? Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, April 2012, 8:379-380.

Unnatural Selection, AEON Magazine, October 2012.

Chemical Innocence, Book Review, American Scientist, Sept-Oct 2012.

Chemical Mixtures: considering the evolution of toxicology and chemical assessment. Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2005, 113:383-390.