In Memoriam - Dr. Emmanuelle Tognoli

e tognoliSadly, Dr. Emmanuelle Tognoli passed away in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 23rd 2022 following a valiant struggle to overcome a rare and aggressive cancer, which ultimately took her life. Dr. Tognoli was a Research Professor in the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences and Research Affiliate Professor in the Department of Physics. Her passing is a great loss for both programs. Dr. Tognoli was a very talented scientist, a respected colleague, and a beloved mentor and role model for her many students. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

Emmanuelle joined the Center in 2003 as a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Scott Kelso, but quickly established her independence as a researcher rising through the ranks to Research Professor in 2019.  She completed her PhD (summa cum laude) in 2003 at the University of Nancy (France). At FAU her research focused on neurological dynamics, collective behavior in social and sensorimotor networks, and coordination dynamics. She was the author or co-author of numerous papers, many of which are frequently cited, as well as a patent awarded in 2013. Among her many valuable contributions with Scott Kelso and others, was research that resulted in the discovery of the Phi complex as a neuromarker of human social interaction. Emmanuelle greatly believed in interdisciplinary research as exemplified in her work on sensorimotor systems with Dr. Erik Engeberg in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at FAU. Emmanuelle’s research was funded by many federal agencies, reflecting the high standing in which she was held by her peers. Most recently, her innovative research to design experiences, or mathematical models, that give older adults a chance to form meaningful social interactions while aiding for age-related impairments, with her husband, Dr. Christopher Beetle (Physics) and Dr. Nancy Williams (Nursing), was funded for$675,000 by a grant from NIH-NIA.  Emmanuelle was not only passionate about Complexity Science, but also about recognizing the role of Women in Science. She was a very active member of FAU’s chapter of the Association of Women in Science, where she held the position of secretary for the last four years.

Dr. Emmanuelle Tognoli will indeed be missed. Her legacy will live on in her published research with students and colleagues. Our heartfelt condolences and thoughts are with her family, particularly her husband Chis and daughter Elyse, and her many friends, in the US and abroad.