Nicole Danaher-Garcia, PhD

Profile photo of Nicole from the shoulders up, she has straight brown hair and bangs.
Term Lecturer
Health Professions Education

Nicole Danaher-Garcia is a term lecturer in the Health Professions Education program at MGH Institute of Health Professions. She is a biologist with interests in animal behavior, conservation, and quantitative analysis. Nicole recently completed her doctorate at UMass Dartmouth in collaboration with a nonprofit organization called the Dolphin Communication Project. Her dissertation focused on the social behavior of a wild population of Atlantic spotted dolphins in The Bahamas.

Nicole has a particular interest in network analysis, having applied it to the 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 publishing her dissertation chapters and looks forward to 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.

Finally, Nicole is participating in a new project focused on creating quantitative methods to analyze the quality of social relationships. Using principal component analysis, this project aims to identify social behaviors that are indicative of the value and security of relationships between dolphins, as well as the compatibility of two individuals.

Outside of academia, Nicole enjoys reading, dog training, and spending time with her partner, Matt, and their two cats.



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


Curriculum Vitae