Erin Hotchkiss

Dr. Erin R. Hotchkiss is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and a Faculty Affiliate of the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech. Erin is interested in how environmental change, land-water interactions, & ecosystem processes shape the transport, transformation, and fate of carbon and nutrients in freshwaters. Her research quantifies ecosystem processes using novel experimental and modeling approaches. Read more about ongoing research here:

Erin received her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Wyoming in 2013, where she was advised by Dr. Robert O. Hall, Jr. Erin also earned a M.Sc. from Wyoming and a B.Sc. from Emory University. Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 2016, she completed postdoctoral fellowships at Umeå University, Sweden with Dr. Jan Karlsson and Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada with Dr. Paul del Giorgio. In 2016, the Society for Freshwater Science awarded Erin the Hynes Award for New Investigators. She also received the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography’s Raymond L. Lindeman Award that year – you can see her award speech here (Admin: consider nominating your awesome women colleagues for these types of career awards! Women have been historically underrepresented in awards, and ESWN members are working to change that)

Erin joined ESWN as a graduate student and credits the amazing scientists she’s met through networking and education events over the years for many of the accomplishments she is proudest of as a scientist, mentor, and educator. She has been involved with efforts to communicate and diversify science through the Society of Freshwater Science (SFS) since 2010. Erin is currently a member of SFS’s Long-Range Planning Committee, which prioritizes and funds programs that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the freshwater sciences. Broader outreach, education, and community building activities include: diversifying the Ecology curriculum at Virginia Tech; working with K-12 educators to build, deploy, and analyze data from environmental sensors; collaborating with education scholars to improve undergraduate data science education in Ecology; and, most recently, establishing a virtual collaboration space for scientists and educators across all career stages, geographic locations, and ecosystem types who are interested in Sensor-Enabled Discoveries in Ecosystem Science (

When not at work – Erin loves hiking, photography, collecting too many records, and reading (ideally outside in a hammock). She and her partner spend many of their days off floating on the New River near Blacksburg and working in their garden. Much to the amusement of her traveling and recreation companions, Erin cannot resist looking for signs of life until rocks and leafpacks whenever she’s near water.