Nancy Moncrief

Dr. Nancy Moncrief, Curator of Mammalogy

Dr. Nancy Moncrief, Curator of Mammalogy

** Download Dr. Moncrief's latest research article, "Annotated checklist of terrestrial mammals of the Virginia barrier islands and the adjacent Delmarva Peninsula mainland.", here (PDF).

"Growing up, I spent countless hours riding horses and exploring nature. These early explorations inspired in me a fascination with the form and function of different animals, which led to my interest in the process of natural selection. A field course in Mexico as an undergraduate student introduced me to methods of collecting and preparing specimens for research, and I knew I wanted to become a curator."

- Dr. Nancy Moncrief on what inspired her to pursue a career in science


Dr. Nancy Moncrief
Curator of Mammalogy

Professional Titles

  • Curator of Mammalogy, Virginia Museum of Natural History
  • Affiliate Faculty, Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Associated Researcher, University of Virginia, Department of Environmental Sciences, Virginia Coast Reserve Long-Term Ecological Research Program, co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the University of Virginia, and the Nature Conservancy.


  • Ph.D. Zoology, Louisiana State University, 1987
  • M.S. Biology, Fort Hays State University, 1981
  • B.S. Biology, Memphis State University, 1978 (cum laude)

Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biology, University of Virginia
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Research Interests

  • Biogeography, ecology, and population genetics of mammals on the Virginia barrier islands
  • Ecology and evolution of eastern fox squirrels and eastern gray squirrels
  • Systematics of sciurids

Representative Professional Service

  • Councilor, Virginia Natural History Society
  • President, Virginia Natural History Society
  • Chair, Natural History and Biodiversity Section, Virginia Academy of Sciences
  • Secretary, Natural History and Biodiversity Section, Virginia Academy of Sciences
  • Committee of Visitors, Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), National Science Foundation
  • American Society of Mammalogists: Grants-In-Aid Committee
  • American Society of Mammalogists: Systematic Collections Committee

Selected Publications

  • Moncrief, N.D., J.H. Porter, and R.D. Dueser. 2021. Annotated checklist of terrestrial mammals of the Virginia barrier islands and the adjacent Delmarva Peninsula mainland. Northeastern Naturalist 28:462-483.
  • Kang, L., P. Michalak, E. Hallerman, and N.D. Moncrief. 2021. A draft genome assembly for the eastern fox squirrel, Sciurus niger. G3 Genes | Genomes | Genetics.
  • Moncrief, N. D., M. L. Fies, and S.D. Thompson. 2021. Recent records and range expansion of Dasypus novemcinctus (Nine-banded Armadillo) in Virginia. Southeastern Naturalist 20:N73-N78.
  • Moncrief, N. D., and M. L. Fies. 2020. Recent records and range expansion of Erethizon dorsatum (North American porcupine) in Virginia. Northeastern Naturalist 27:N21-N27.
  • Hightower, L., N.D. Moncrief, and K. Ivanov. 2019. First records of the Neotropical deer ked Lipoptena mazamae Róndani (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) from Virginia. Banisteria 53:78-83.
  • McRobie, H.R., N.D. Moncrief, and N.I. Mundy. 2019. Multiple origins of melanism in two species of North American tree squirrels (Sciurus). BMC Evolutionary biology, 19(1), 140.
  • Dueser, R.D., J. D. Martin, and N.D. Moncrief. 2018. Pen trial of estrogen-induced conditioned food aversion to eggs in raccoons (Procyon lotor). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 201: 93-101.
  • Moncrief, N.D., J.H. Roberts, E.M. Hallerman, R.A. Van Den Bussche, J.H. Porter, and R.D. Dueser. 2017. Landscape genetics of a raccoon (Procyon lotor) metapopulation in an undeveloped coastal island system. Journal of Mammalogy 98:1137-1155.
  • Scheibe, J.S. and N.D. Moncrief. 2016. Morphometric divergence and functional similarity in Sciurus vulgaris and Sciurus carolinensis. Pp. 79-95, in: The Grey Squirrel: Ecology & Management of an Invasive Species in Europe (C. Shuttleworth, P. Lurz, and J. Gurnell, eds.). European Squirrel Initiative. 532 pp.
  • Moncrief, N. D., and M. L. Fies. 2015. Report of first specimens of Pekania pennanti (fisher) from Virginia. Northeastern Naturalist, 22: N31-N34.
  • Porter, J. H., R. D. Dueser, and N. D. Moncrief. 2015. Cost-distance analysis of mesopredators as a tool for avian habitat restoration on a naturally fragmented landscape. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 79:220-234.
  • Pagels, J.F. and N.D. Moncrief. 2015.Virginia’s land mammals: past and present, with some thoughts about their possible future. Virginia Journal of Science 66:171-222.
  • McRobie, H.R., L. M. King, C. Fanutti, P. J. Coussons, N. D. Moncrief, and A. P.M. Thomas. 2014. Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene sequence variation and melanism in the gray (Sciurus carolinensis), fox (Sciurus niger), and red (Sciurus vulgaris) squirrel. Journal of Heredity, 105:423-428.
  • Dueser, R.D., N.D. Moncrief, O. Keišs, J.D. Martin, J.H. Porter, and B.R. Truitt.  2013. Overwater movement of raccoons (Procyon lotor) in a naturally fragmented coastal landscape. Northeastern Naturalist, 20:511-528.
  • Moncrief, N.D. and A.C. Dooley, Jr. 2013. Using fluorescence of bones and teeth to detect remains of the eastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) in archaeological deposits. Southeastern Archaeology, 32:46-53.
  • Moncrief, N.D., J.B. Lack, J.E. Maldonado, K.L. Bryant, C.W. Edwards, and R.A. Van Den Bussche. 2012. General lack of phylogeographic structure in two sympatric, forest obligate squirrels (Sciurus niger and S. carolinensis). Journal of Mammalogy, 93:1247-1264.
  • Dooley, A. C., Jr., and N.D. Moncrief. 2012. Fluorescence provides evidence of congenital erythropoietic porphyria in 7000-year-old specimens of the eastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) from the Devil’s Den. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32:495-497.
  • Webster, Wm.D., N.D. Moncrief, J.R. Choate, and H.H. Genoways. 2011. Systematic revision of the northern short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda (Say). Virginia Museum of Natural History Memoir 10: 1-77 + vi.
  • Martin, J.D., R.D. Dueser, and N.D. Moncrief. 2010. Method for casting large numbers of clay eggs for use in studies of artificial nests. Southwestern Naturalist, 55:591-596.
    Moncrief, N.D., J. B. Lack, and R. A. Van Den Bussche. 2010. Eastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) lacks phylogeographic structure: recent range expansion and phenotypic differentiation. Journal of Mammalogy, 91:1112-1123.
  • Webster, W.D., N.D. Moncrief, B.E. Gurshaw, J.L. Loxterman, R.K. Rose, J.F. Pagels, and S.Y. Erdle. 2009. Morphometric and allozymic variation in the southeastern shrew (Sorex longirostris). Jeffersoniana, 21:1-13.
  • Moncrief, N.D., R.A. Van Den Bussche, R.D. Dueser, D.Loftis, N.E. Cockett, and M. Culver. 2008. Diagnostic genetic marker that differentiates eastern fox squirrels from eastern gray squirrels. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 72:320-323.
  • Moncrief, N.D. and R.D. Dueser. 2001. Allozymic variation in the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus): Genetics of a translocated population. American Midland Naturalist, 146:37-42.
  • Loxterman, J.L., N.D. Moncrief, R.D. Dueser, C.R. Carlson, and J.H. Pagels. 1998. Dispersal abilities and genetic population structure of insular and mainland Oryzomys palustris and Peromyscus leucopus. Journal of Mammalogy, 79:66-77.
  • Moncrief, N.D., N.C. Cockett, A.D. Neff, W. Thomas, and R.D. Dueser. 1997. Polymorphic microsatellites in the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus,: conservation of loci across species of rodents. Molecular Ecology, 6:299-301.
  • Moncrief, N.D. 1993. Geographic variation in fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) and gray squirrels (S. carolinensis) of the lower Mississippi River valley. Journal of Mammalogy, 74:547-576.
  • Loeb, S., and N.D. Moncrief. 1993. The biology of fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) in the southeast: A review. Pp. 1-19, in Proceedings of the second symposium on southeastern fox squirrels, Sciurus niger (N. D. Moncrief, J. W. Edwards, and P. A. Tappe, eds.). Virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publication Number 1, Martinsville. 84 pp.
  • Moncrief, N.D., R.H. Kretsinger, and M. Goodman. 1990. Evolution of EF-hand calcium-modulated proteins. I. Relationships based on amino acid sequences. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 30:522-562.
  • Persechini, A., N.D. Moncrief, and R.H. Kretsinger. 1989. The EF-hand family of calcium-modulated proteins. Trends in Neurosciences, 12:462-467.
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