Cara Shillington, Ph.D.

Cara Shillington

Cara Shillington, Ph.D.


Professor, Department of Biology

Years at EMU

16 years

Why You Like Working Here

I enjoy the diversity of the different things I am able to do like teaching both upper division and introductory courses. I have a bunch of little research projects ongoing with a wide range of students. I also get to travel with students. Overall, it’s just been a great experience.

Favorite EMU Moment

I enjoy working with students and seeing them getting excited about research. One time, a student came running up to my office because she wanted to tell me something that she’d observed with her tarantulas. She ran all the way up the stairs and by the time she got to my office, she was completely out of breath. She had to wait five minutes before she could tell me.


One thing I enjoy about being in academia here at EMU is that I feel like I’m constantly learning. Anytime I teach a class, it’s an opportunity for me to learn more. I can keep teaching as long as I’m interested in what I’m doing and constantly wanting to bring something new to it.

Next Goal

We had two colleagues from Mexico start their research sabbatical here last year. We’ve been collaborating and I’d like to expand that, taking some students down to the Yucatan Peninsula where their research institute is found. There are huge numbers of tarantulas down there as well as other spiders and a variety of projects that we can do.

I also teach both invertebrates marine biology courses and since it’s right on the coast, it would be great to be able to take some students down there to scuba dive and snorkel. I really enjoy finding opportunities to travel and expand what I’ve been doing with students on my travel courses.

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