Michelle Gilley, Ph.D.
Dean, Division of Natural, Mathematical, and Health Sciences
Program Coordinator of Allied Health Sciences
Associate Professor of Biology
Department: Allied Health Sciences, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Ecology & Conservation Biology, Zoology
Office:  Wall 320
P.O. Box:  6671
Phone:  (828) 689-1404
  • Michelle Gilley with her dog, AddiePh.D. in Biology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • M.S. in Biology, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
  • B.S. in Wildlife Science, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Dr. Gilley has 30+ years of experience working as a wildlife biologist and 20+ years teaching experience at the college-level. Dr. Gilley earned her Doctor of Philosophy in biology from Auburn University, where her dissertation was on the discovery and description of ultrasonic vocalizations in southern and endangered northern flying squirrels. After serving in various biology instructor positions at University of Tennessee – Martin, Auburn University, and the University of North Carolina – Wilmington, Dr. Gilley joined the faculty at Mars Hill University in 2015 as an Assistant Professor of Biology.

At MHU, she teaches a wide array of courses in human anatomy and physiology, comparative vertebrate anatomy, mammalogy, vertebrate taxonomy, and animal behavior. Her research interests include animal communication, behavior, and conservation of endangered species (primarily bats). In addition to her work at MHU, she co-owns an environmental consulting company (Borealis Biological) that works with various government and private agencies during the summer months to implement best management practices for endangered species of bats and flying squirrels in the eastern US.

Dr. Gilley is very passionate about facilitating and mentoring undergraduate research. Students interested in animal behavior or conservation strategies of endangered species, are encouraged to contact Dr. Gilley for more information on how to get involved in research or internship opportunities.

Selected Publications:

  • Gilley, L. M., C. A. Diggins, S. M. Pearson, and T. L. Best. 2019. Vocal repertoire of captive northern and southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus and G. volans). Journal of Mammalogy, 100:518-530.
  • Diggins, C., L. M. Gilley, C. A. Kelly, W. M. Ford. 2016. Comparison of survey techniques on detection of northern flying squirrels. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 4:654-662.
    W. M. Ford, C. A. Kelly, J. L. Rodrigue, R. H. Odom, D. Newcomb, L. M. Gilley, C. A. Diggins. 2014. Late winter and early spring home range and habitat use of the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel in western North Carolina. Endangered Species Research, 23:73-82.
  • Gilley, L. M. 2013. Discovery and characterization of high frequency calls in North American flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus and G. volans): Implications for ecology, behavior, and conservation. Ph.D dissertation, Auburn University, Alabama, USA.
  • Gilley, L. M., and M. L. Kennedy. 2010. A test of mist-net configurations in capturing bats over stream corridors. Acta Chiropterologica, 12:363-369.
  • Hopkins, H. L., C. Sánchez-Hernández, M. L. Romero-Almarez, L. M. Gilley, G. D. Schnell, M. L. Kennedy. 2003. Flight speeds of four neotropical bats.
    Southwestern Association of Naturalists, 48:711-714.