Nicole Danaher-Garcia is an assistant professor in the School of Healthcare Leadership at MGH Institute of Health Professions. She teaches quantitative analysis and predictive analytics courses in the Master of Healthcare Data Analytics program and the Master/PhD of Health Professions Education. She is a biologist with interests in animal behavior, conservation, and quantitative analysis. Nicole completed her doctorate at UMass Dartmouth in collaboration with a nonprofit organization called the Dolphin Communication Project; her dissertation applied quantitative methodology to the study of the social behavior of a wild population of Atlantic spotted dolphins in The Bahamas. The publications that resulted from her dissertation have recently garnered a lot of media attention, including interviews with the New York Times, Science Magazine, and Newsweek.

Nicole has a particular interest in network analysis, having used it in her study of dolphin social behavior. Using social network analysis, she uncovered a more meaningful approach to social relationships using observed physical interaction, rather than simply presence in the same social group. She is currently working on expanding on her previous work in social network analysis. Nicole is also interested in applying Bayesian techniques to the study of social behavior and will begin these new methods in the coming months.

  • BS, Biology, Minor: Environmental Science, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • PhD, Integrative Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA

Nicole has published numerous papers - some titles are highlighted below. You can view a complete listing of Nicole's publications on Google Scholar or in her CV. 

The Partial Merger of Two Dolphin Societies: Violating terrestrial mammal ‘norms’.

Using Social Network Analysis to Confirm the ‘Gambit of the Group’ Hypothesis for a Small Cetacean.

Social Structure of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) off Bimini, The Bahamas (2003-2016): Alternate reasons for preferential association in delphinids.

Pectoral Fin Contact Between Dolphin Dyads at Zoo Duisburg, with Comparison to Other Dolphin Study Populations.


See Google Scholar Profile


In addition, Nicole regularly presents at conferences and industry events. Please see her CV for a complete list of presentations.

Tactile exchanges, while accounting for group composition, between Atlantic spotted dolphins around Bimini, The Bahamas at 24th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals.

The merger of two dolphin societies: violating terrestrial mammal ‘norms.’ at the Animal Behavior Conference.