The Biology Leadership Conference Community Facebook

Idelisa Ayala - I am

Michael Black: I am an Associate Professor of Biology at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. I earned my PhD at Stanford University Medical Center and completed my postdoc at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. I teach Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (large enrollment majors course), Molecular Biology Lab, Cell Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology (MS), General Microbiology lab, and General Virology. I am the Director of the Undergraduate Biotechnology Lab (UBL) that serves as a core facility for molecular biology. My current research interests lie in three areas: genetic engineering probiotic microbes to improve human health; microbial source tracking to detect sources of contamination in food and water; and science education.

bowling.jpgScott Bowling: I’m the majors intro biology program coordinator at Auburn University in Alabama. I teach two large (200+ enrollment) lecture sections of our intro biology courses for majors each semester as well as running all of the laboratories for those courses, including a class to train the teaching assistants for those labs. I have been doing this at Auburn since 2003 (after working as an instructor and post-doc in the department for two years). My undergrad years were spent climbing the hills at the Univ. of Tennessee, and my Ph.D. is from Duke. My wife is a professor in political science at Auburn; we attended UT together, but for her graduate work she went for a brighter shade of blue at Univ. of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). Our 11-year old son and 6-year old daughter keep us busy with trips to the local Tae Kwon Do academy (which my wife and I joined as well; breaking boards is great for stress release!). My teaching has been greatly influenced by what I’ve learned at past BLCs, and I’m very much looking forward to BLC7!

Ruth Buskirk earned her AB at Earlham College, MA at Harvard University, and PhD at the University of California at Davis. Her research on behavior and physiology includes work on spiders, dragonflies, baboons, and unusual animal behavior before earthquakes. She has taught introductory biology, honors biology, and honors genetics at the University of Texas at Austin for over 20 years. She especially enjoys her family, music, and being outdoors in different places.

David Byres. I am a Biology professor at Florida State College, Jacksonville. I teach introductory biology, fundamentals of biology and botany. I attended the same high school (Shrewsbury) as Charles Darwin, but not quite at the same time.

Michael L. Cain has worked as an educator in a wide range of environments over the past 27 years. After graduating with an AB in Biology and Mathematics from Bowdoin College, he worked as a special education teacher for a year and then taught high school biology for several years. His love of teaching was complemented by a love of biology, leading him to receive an MS from Brown University and a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University. After post-doctoral work in plant ecology at University of Connecticut and molecular genetics at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Cain went on to teach general biology, ecology, and evolution in a diverse range of settings, including Carleton College, New Mexico State University, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Dr. Cain is the author of dozens of scientific papers on topics that include foraging behavior in insects and plants, long-distance seed dispersal, and speciation in crickets. He is also the lead author of several textbooks, including a forthcoming textbook on ecology. Dr. Cain is currently an affiliate professor at Bowdoin College.


Tim Carter: I'm a Professor in the Biological Sciences department at St. John's University in NY. My research has involved various aspects of gene regulation in virus infected cells and cancer cells, and most lately the response of cancer sells to ER stress. We are one of the two laboratories of record for an interesting enzyme called the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK). I closed the lab a couple of years ago and am now exclusively teaching in our undergraduate programs, where I get to teach introductory cell and molecular biology to freshmen students in the Honors College, and try to get a diverse bunch of non-science majors to understand evolution, by using a historical approach. I can't decide which is more fun. I'm also designing a lab to go with the cell and molec. course in which we recapitulate various Nobel prize-winning experiments, including Anfinsen's work on protein folding and of course Avery, MacLeod and McCarty. Extending my experience as the director of the MBRS and IMSD minority research programs at St. John's, I also take groups of high-achieving undergraduates - preferably freshmen - to one or another of the big national meetings (tends to be AACR) to get them motivated to consider careers in science. Reading Reese's bio I couldn't resist a cello pic: at this point one could say that I'm a cellist whose day job is teaching Biology.

Dominic Castegnetti: I am a professor of Biology at Loyola University Chicago where I have taught General Biology and General Microbiology for over 25 years. My research area is in microbiology; my group conducts research in microbial physiology, biochemistry and ecology. I am particularly excited to attend the BLC7 and to communicate with its participants about effective procedures to reach large classes. I look forward to discussing and exchanging ideas with the BLC7 participants in sunny Florida.

Jung Choi: I’m an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the School of Biology, Georgia Tech and Director of the Professional Science Masters program inBioinformatics. I’ve taught at GT since 1986. I’ve done research onplant protein kinases with calmodulin-like domains, and some researchwith yeast lipid metabolism that has yet to bear fruit. I have taught awide variety of courses, but I most enjoy teaching large intro bio lecture courses – both challenging and rewarding. I’m married to a plant physiologist who is currently teaching part-time at Georgia Gwinnett College. We have a 17-year old daughter who keeps both us busy, at least until she finally gets her driver’s license. I occasionally blog here.

Linda Davis became President of Pearson Addison-Wesley and Benjamin Cummings in 2005. For the previous eight years, she has been President of Benjamin Cummings, which tripled in size in ten years. She was formerly Editorial Director of the math program for Addison Wesley in Boston. Linda began her publishing career with the Dushkin publishing group, managing the Annual Editions reader series. At Random House and Worth, she developed best-selling first editions in sociology, social problems, psychology, and music. At W.H. Freeman she served as Vice President and Director of Development and also managed the Scientific American Library series. Linda joined Addison Wesley in 1990.

Jean DeSaix I have been a member of the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) since 1971 teaching both a large (450 person) general biology class and small (20 person) biology class (usually an honors intro bio class, but this semester a first year seminar on pneumonia and flu). Until recently, I supervised the general biology laboratory teaching staff where my emphasis was on high quality opportunities to learn for undergraduates as well as guiding graduate students toward becoming the future professoriate. I am also one of the two pre-health advisors at Carolina. In addition to teaching, other professional interests include assessment and evaluation of learning outcomes, curricula, and professional development programs as well as understanding how students learn. I am faculty advisor to several student groups including Habitat for Humanity, Episcopal Campus Ministry, and the pre-vet club.

Peter DeSaix. I have been at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1967; first as a graduate student and then in various positions in the Biology department and the School of Public Health. I have taught various courses including general biology, cell & developmental biology, and human anatomy & physiology. I have served in various technology positions, most recently as the director of instructional and information technology for the school of public health. My current challenge is to "teach" the A&P course in five weeks during summer school. My ongoing challenge is to keep up with and support my wife.

Tod Duncan. I’m a senior instructor at the University of Colorado Denver. Not to be confused with the infamous CU Boulder campus, UC Denver serves a distinct, urban demographic. Our student body is composed of students who are either first generation, have minority status, are commuters to the campus, work full or part time, or are care givers for one or more dependents. This requires the adoption of unique approaches to the education of our students, as well as an appreciation of the demands placed on the students on our campus. By using a variety of active, in-class exercises combined with online tools, students receive a rigorous education that prepares a significant number of students for careers in the health sciences and other graduate professions. I have a personal interest in the development of education and instructional technologies that supplement and complement traditional delivery techniques. I also have an interest in assessment of assessment so that educators can better understand how the ‘what’ they do with and to their students affects student learning.

Mary Durant, biology professor at Lone Star College – North Harris, has been teaching introductory biology to community college students for almost 3 decades. During the past 10 years, she has encountered a steady increase of under-prepared, first-generation college students. In an effort to increase student success in her classes, she has created a number of different instructional materials including a multi-media, interactive CD students use to prepare for lab practicals. She has also co-authored 2 inquiry-based lab manuals (one for majors, the other for nonmajors). During her free time, she enjoys camping, gardening, and doing needlework.

Joshua Frost: I am an acquisitions editor at Pearson Education, working primarily on Neil Campbell's BIOLOGY text for majors. I began my publishing career at Houghton Mifflin in history, but quickly discovered how exciting working in science could be, and came to Pearson ten years ago. I was the marketing manager for biology for four years, and then worked in market development for four years, before becoming the Campbell editor. I feel lucky both to work on a textbook that has such a global reach and impact, and to be the father of four-year-old twins, who manage to challenge me every day, just the way any true learning experience should...

Deborah Gale is the Director of Development for Biology at Benjamin Cummings, managing the editorial staff responsible for developing general and upper-level biology texts. Before coming to Benjamin Cummings, Deborah was Editorial Director at Aplia, an Internet-based provider of economics educational resources, and prior to that, Vice-President of Health and Safety Products at StayWell, a publisher of medical, wellness, and safety education publications and programs for the health care industry.

Karen Gerhart has been a lecturer at UCDavis for over 10 years, where she teaches Introductory Biology. UCDavis recently revised its introductory series to emphasize the common evolutionary roots of all life on Earth; Karen teaches the first class in the series which focuses on the origins of life, essential traits of cells, and the evolution of multicellularity. Karen has worked to develop activities that help students grasp the larger conceptual framework of biology, through use of problem-solving during lecture (using clickers and small groups), online quizzing, and frequent writing assignments. She and her family have a small farm where they raise several rare breeds of livestock and enjoy providing wildlife habitat and bird-watching.

Carlos Dario Gonzalez: I am a Graduate student at Florida Atlantic University in the Biological Sciences Department. I have been a Teaching Assistant since my second year as an undergraduate teaching both Lifeline Discussion, Biodiversity lab, and most recently Anatomy and Physiology 2 Lab courses. I have also, as a Graduate student, been the coordinator for Lifeline and been involved in the development and implementation of the online components for the Image Project, which is an implementation of Web 2.0 technologies to create a virtual collaborative environment for students.

Paul Hapeman: I am a full-time lecturer in the Department of Biology at the University of Florida. I have been here for the last 3 years. I have a PhD in Biology from the University of Vermont specializing in Wildlife Genetics. I have worked on many projects involving fishers, bobcats, black bear, and most recently alligators. I teach non-majors biology, genetics, and animal physiology. I have recently developed several online biology courses for our department and for the Distance Education program at the university.

Lauren Harp. After establishing a successful sales and marketing track record at the Brooks Cole and Wadsworth Publishing companies, Lauren joined Benjamin Cummings in May 1999 to apply her social science experience to "hard science" titles in anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. Though the sales of her books and media products consistently outperform those of the competition, she is most proud of her work with Strategies for Success, the Benjamin Cummings faculty development workshop and newsletter program. In partnering with her editorial colleagues, Lauren played a key role in establishing footholds for several First Edition texts, including Michael Johnson's Human Biology, Germann/Stanfield's Principles of Human Physiology, and Robert Bauman's Microbiology.

Tina Hartney. Hailing originally from Galesburg Illinois, Kristine (“Tina”) Behrents Hartney left the Midwest in search of an ocean after graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University. Eventually reaching the shores of the Pacific, a good portion of her time was initially spent below the waterline investigating marine fishes while earning a Ph.D. in marine ecology from the University of Southern California. However, future options did not include full-time employment as a mermaid so once the degree was complete, Tina pursued a series of academic positions in higher education at California State University, Fullerton, Occidental College, and most recently, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where she serves as a Biology Educator in the Department of Biological Sciences. For Tina, hitting-on an effective teaching methodology either by design or serendipity is as satisfying as making a new discovery in the research lab or field. Consequently, she has continued to chase elusive "answers" in ecology, as well as science education, as each of these areas present unique opportunities to engage her mind and the minds of her students. Realizing that not everyone shares her passion for the sciences or learns the same way that she does, Tina has dedicated herself in recent years to identifying, developing, and implementing new curricula that are appealing and effective in reaching diverse student audiences.

Jean Heitz is a Faculty Associate in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and has worked with the course Botany/Zoology 151-152 since 1978. Her key roles have been in development of active learning activities for discussion sections and open-ended investigations for laboratory sections. Many of the discussion activities she has used can be found in the Practicing Biology workbook (2/e, Benjamin Cummings, 2005). She has also taught Botany/Zoology 969, a graduate course in “Teaching College Biology” for more than 14 years and has presented workshops at a number of national meetings. One of the key teaching challenges for Jean is to convince students who have been very successful at it that memorization is not an effective way of learning. In other words, what good is your knowledge if you can’t use it? In response to the “What’s unique about me?” question: “Well considering that I started in my current position in 1978 perhaps it’s longevity fueled by a dash of Peter Pan and a dollop of Pollyanna.”

Mark Hens. After graduation from college with degrees in biology and German, my interests took me to Charleston, SC, to study parasitology. When my PhD advisor accepted a job at UVa, I followed him to Charlottesville where I spent the next seven years completing my doctoral work in cell and molecular biology and a postdoc in vertebrate development. Since coming to UNC Greensboro in 1996, I have continued my research in cell adhesion and migration in addition to taking on many different administrative ‘hobbies’ in special programs on our campus. But by far, the most rewarding activity as a faculty member has been my time spent with students in the classroom and laboratory. I teach in our introductory biology courses for biology majors and for non-science majors, our core cell biology course, a course in developmental biology, and various senior- and graduate-level seminar courses. During the past few years, I have become increasingly active in curriculum development in our introductory biology program and in the university’s general education curriculum.

Robin Heyden. I am a freelance science writer and editor based in Boston, MA. I work with universities, national organizations, software developers, and publishers to develop online educational materials and experiences. I am also a co-author, along with Neil Campbell and Brad Williamson, on Biology: Exploring Life, a high school biology program.

Robert B. Jackson is a professor of biology and environmental sciences at Duke University and Director of Duke’s Program in Ecology. As an ecologist, he is especially interested in studying the interactions of people with the environment. He also uses what he learned as a chemical engineer and a statistician to help guide his biological research. Dr. Jackson has received numerous awards, including being honored at the White House with a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Jackson enjoys learning from students and communicating the value of science outside the classroom. In addition to his contribution to this book, he has published a trade book about the environment, The Earth Remains Forever, and a book of children’s poetry about biology and animals, called Animal Mischief.

Michael Kemp is a professor of biology and associate dean of science at Texas A&M University. He holds the B.S.E in biology and chemistry from Abilene Christian College and the Ph.D in biology from Tulane University. His field of research is parasitology and he has done extensive research in Brazil and the Middle East in the specific area of the immunology of schistosomiasis. He has served Texas A&M as acting head of the biology department, interm dean of the college of science, executive director for research, vice president and CEO of TAMU's marine/maritime branch campus in Galveston and dean and CEO of TAMU's newest branch campus in the State of Qatar. He was awarded the Henry Baldwin Ward Medal by the American Society of Parasitologists and has received teaching awards from both Abilene Christian College and Texas A&M University. He served as chairperson of ad hoc NIH study sections in tropical medicine and parasitology for over 10 years. His best known publication was in the Journal of Irreproducible Results. He currently teaches the first semester of the introductory biology course in both the fall and spring.

Christy Lawrence became the Director of Marketing for Science at Pearson Education in 2006. For the previous six years she was the Marketing Manager for Physics & Astronomy and was responsible for marketing the first Mastering platform, MasteringPhysics, in 2002. She has been with Pearson for over sixteen years including seven years in the field. She loves her job because she gets to work with professors and colleagues committed to providing the best materials for science education.

Brenda Leady is the Instructional Laboratory Coordinator for the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio. She supervises all of the undergraduate instructional labs but spends most of her time with majors intro bio labs. She also teaches courses for nomajors and majors biology.

Martha Lundell is an Associate Professor in Biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio who has taught the majors introductory biology course for 12 years. As Assistant Chairman of the Biology Department she has taken on responsibility of curriculum design and course alignment. She has been coordinator of Introductory Biology for the past three years. Her research is in the molecular mechanisms that specify unique cell fates during neurogenesis of the Drosophila CNS.

Geri Mayer is the lab and discussion coordinator for majors and non-majors biology at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. About ten years ago, she started a program at FAU using undergraduate peer leaders as teaching assistants in the introductory majors courses to supplement the lecture. This program, known as Lifeline, has been a huge success and is now fully funded by the institution. The activities in Lifeline are interactive and collaborative, and this year, as a result of the catalytic grant from last year's BLC, the students have been involved in the Image Project, a Web 2.0 based project using collaborative virtual communication tools such as Moodle, VUE, VoiceThread, and other platforms to integrate, connect, and better understand the concepts in the introductory courses. The next generation of this project may include working with the Univsersity of Miami, James Madison University, and Ohio University's intro students on a collaborative project, where virtual groups consist of students from each institution.

John Merrill teaches intro Cells and Molecules at Michigan State University. He also directs the Biological Sciences Program, responsible for coordinating and administering the lower division core curriculum for the College of Natural Science. His research is in the area of Teaching and Learning, currently focused on diagnostic assessments ("Diagnostic Question Clusters") and computer automated analysis of students' written responses ("Automated Analysis of Constructed Response Assessments"). John's previous biological research centered on economically important marine macroalgae, including nori and wakame, and high value extracted algal pigments such as phycoerythrin and peridinin-chlorophyll a protein. Outside of work, John enjoys woodworking and bicycling on a tandem with his wife, Donna.

Peter Minorsky teaches introductory biology, botany, evolution and ecology at Mercy College, an undergraduate institution of higher learning that serves mainly minority and immigrant students in the NYC metropolitan area. He is also the science writer for the journal Plant Physiology. His research interests are disparate but Peter currently has funding to do research with his undergraduate students concerning plant electrophysiology and the responses of plants to variations in the geomagnetic field. His pedagogical interests lie in three areas: 1.) jumpstarting underprepared students for the rigors of higher biological education; 2.) making botany and ecology relevant to urban students, and 3.) teaching evolution to non-majors, many of whom come from highly religious backgrounds.

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Jon Monroe is a plant biologist and professor in the Biology Department at James Madison University in Virginia. Early on, I had little interest in subcellular biology, preferring to learn about ecology and systematics of plants, especially of the Great Lakes region. Now I spend most of my time working with undergraduates trying to sort out the functions of a few Arabidopsis genes, especially those involved in starch degradation. As a teacher I try to create situations in which students can generate lasting memories such as semester-long lab experiences in which students generate the questions and I don't know the answer.


Jennifer (Jen) Nauen. This is my third year teaching Biology I and II at the University of Delaware. I also develop labs for Biology I (cell and molecular) and coordinate the 8 other faculty and 30-odd lab teaching assistants that also teach the Bio I. The nature of the courses makes the job very collaborative, which is fun.

Leonore (Lee) Neary. I teach General Biology I and II at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois. JJC is a community college serving a very diverse population of students. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a BS in zoology and received my masters from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. My graduate research was in the area of aquatic ecology and I have recently been working on a macro invertebrate survey of the Jackson Creek in Illinois. I enjoy advising the JJC Natural Sciences Club and acting as an academic advisor for biology majors. I am also involved in a number of projects on campus including restoration of an oak savannah and a prairie fen. I am originally from the east coast (Maine), but have lived in the midwest since college.

Kimberlyn Nelson. I am a senior lecturer and course coordinator in the Biology Department at Pennsylvania State University. I lecture in two of our four core freshman/sophomore biology courses as well as teach a non-majors introductory biology course. My role as a course coordinator is to maintain continuity among faculty teaching within the core and to supervise graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants who staff the laboratory portions of these courses. I am particularly interested in discussing the challenges of providing excellent education to very large classes and ways to engage large numbers of students in active-learning. I'm the mom to two teens and I'm currently "seeing" colleges from the prospective student view.

Valerie Oke. I am a lecturer and Co-Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. One of my jobs is to work with the nine instructors in our introductory biology courses on curriculum development. I also run our TA program, as well as our program that allows graduate students to earn a minor in teaching. My teaching responsibilities are genetics, microbiology, and a part of a 1st year graduate course in genetics.

Tom Owens is a professor of plant biology and biophysics at Cornell University. About ten years ago he made the unpopular decision to switch from mainline research to teaching and curriculum development. At Cornell, he pioneered the use of interactive technologies in large classroom environments and the use of concept-based online homework assignments in introductory biology. He is currently developing a comparative physiology course that will be one of four new courses that replaces the previous two-semester introductory biology sequence. His research interests remain in the physiology and molecular biophysics of photosynthetic light harvesting processes, particularly in those associated with protection against the consequences of excess light absorption.

Randy Phillis has taught in the major introductory biology course at UMass, Amherst for ten years and is the course coordinator, working to make the sections taught by various instructors and the labs as coherent as possible. The introductory biology course at UMass underwent a significant redesign in 1999 with help from the Pew Center for Academic Transformation when they converted to an active learning format using classroom communication systems (clickers). Since that time, they have engaged in an NSF funded project on the design of assessment tools for use in class and on exams that develop and evaluate student scientific reasoning skills around the topics in introductory biology. On a personal note, though Randy has 93 comments in, he has zero hot peppers…”so you won’t see me with my shirt off around the pool”.

Esther Podany is Director, Meetings and Conventions. Based in Upper Saddle River, NJ she oversees a group of meeting planners who organize meetings and events for the Pearson Higher Education Group. She has been with the company for over 20 years.

Therese Poole is a Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Director in Biology at Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. She currently teaches courses in Molecular and Cell Biology and is in the process of implementing a "Critical Thinking through Writing" initiative. Therese is involved with several STEM projects, including student internships to work with elementary school students and bridging the gap at the chemistry/biology interface. She is also a co-PI for an HHMI undergraduate education project involving the Biotechnology Scholars Program and new BioBus (mobile laboratory that visits schools) modules.

Kim Quillin. Since completing my PhD in Integrative Biology from the University of California at Berkeley (specializing in biomechanics) I have focused on teaching biology visually, such as through the illustration program and active learning exercises of Biological Science by Scott Freeman. I also teach introductory biology at Salisbury University (part of the University of Maryland System) where one of our main course challenges is to make the new hybrid format work for students.

Jane Reece is a molecular geneticist and now the lead author of the Campbell textbooks for college students. When she's not at home in Berkeley, California, she can often be found in the Southern Hemisphere with her Chilean-American-Australian husband. In recent years, she has learned that FedEx can find you (almost) anywhere! For fun, she plays the cello in several string quartets.

Amanda Rosenzweig-I am a biology assistant professor at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana. I teach A&P 1, biology, nutritoin and whatever else they need me to teach. I love New Orleans and the Saints as well as animals. I have 5 dogs but one is a foster. I am known as the dog lady.

David Schwartz: I am a professor of biology at Houston Community College, Southwest. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from the City College of New York in 1971 and my PhD in Microbiology from Syracuse University in 1979. I'm looking forward to talking about old (and new!) times with Dr. Samms and Dr. Wiles at BLC! I've lived most of my professional life as a microbiologist and a medical technologist in Houston, Texas. After 7 years in charge of the microbiological quality and safety of the drinking water supply for the 4th largest city in the United States, I left my position in order to earn an additional Bachelors degree in Medical Technology from the University of Texas. I spent the next ten years performing the molecular diagnostics of leukemias and lymphomas at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and serving as the clinical instructor of molecular diagnostics for their medical technology program. In 1999, I left that position to join the full time faculty at Houston Community College, where I've been teaching General Biology I and II and Microbiology for the past 11 years. I currently serve as the chairman of the General Biology subcommittee for the HCC system, and in my copious spare time, I also mentor the occasional biology honors student, adjunct faculty member, and new department chairman.
Personal interests? Well, I did do plainclothes and night tactical law enforcement once for about a year and a half after grad school, but I decided to get back into biology after I and my partner had to disarm an individual at gunpoint who was carrying an illegal and very loaded 9mm Luger pistol on his person at the Watkins Glen, NY auto races. Law enforcement is a tough business, and my hat is off to those who serve to protect us. My interests now are nowhere near as dangerous - currently I collect briar pipes, and avidly read about evolution. I wake up each morning and thank my lucky stars that I am a biology professor. After a very long journey over the years, I'm finally home. See you all at BLC!

Marcia Shofner: I am Assistant Director of Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland in College Park plus a lecturer in the biology program. I teach the introductory biology course for majors focusing on ecology and evolution plus I sometimes teach the non-majors intro biology, as well as an ecology and a conservation biology course. I also teach a course for transfer students within our major and an undergraduate teaching assistant training course. I am an ecologist and interested in interactions in freshwater systems, specifically with the role of meiofauna in streams. Since entering into my administrative role, for the past three years, I have focused more on teaching and learning within our majors' introductory courses. I usually have about 300 students in my freshman biology class. I have been teaching at UMCP for the past 7 years and love it!

Sue Skambis - I am a Biology Professor at Valencia Community College, having begun my teaching career here more than 30 years ago. I have taught Fundamentals of Biology 1 for Biology majors (lecture and lab) and Human Biology for non-majors (lecture) on VCC's newest campus in Osceola County (south of Orlando) for the past 12 years. Although I trained as a research Plant Geneticist in the early days of Arabidopsis tissue culture and plant cloning (B.S. Florida Southern College, M.S. Ohio State University), I have found my passion in teaching the basics of Cell Biology and Biochemistry to college freshmen. I am committed to integrating active learning opportunities into every class period and use a wide variety of tools from modeling clay to create the electron transport chain in mitochondria to student role playing for simulation of the formation of chemical bonds, protein synthesis and the light reactions of photosynthesis! My current focus is the building of critical thinking skills through the use of Venn diagrams as tools for comparison and contrast of various Biology concepts. I am always looking for new ideas and am excited to attend my first BLC where I expect to LEARN A LOT!!

Kevin Stone, Senior Vice President, Director of Sales and Technology. As Senior Vice President, Director of Sales and Technology, Kevin has overall responsibility for all sales and specialist programs. The Pearson Arts & Sciences sales team is dedicated to industry-leading performance and world-class customer satisfaction.

Marty Taylor taught introductory biology for both majors and nonmajors at Cornell University for many years, where she also worked with graduate TAs as assistant director for the Office of Instructional Support. She now spends her time working on the newest editions of a nonmajors biology textbook and the study guide for her favorite biology textbook. When not at her computer, she is gardening, traveling, and playing with numerous grandkids.

Lisa Urry developed a love for the many forms of life during childhood tide pool walks with her mother (a zoologist), and a love for the beauty of science from her father (a chemist). After graduating from Tufts University with a B.S., she worked for a few years in the Research Dept. at the New England Aquarium in Boston, then completed her PhD at MIT in ‘90. Following short postdoctoral appointments at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University, and a longer one at UC Berkeley, she began teaching at Mills College in Oakland, California. She currently holds the Letts-Villard Professorship at Mills College and is Chair of the Biology Department. Dr. Urry has published research articles on various topics, all of them involving gene expression during embryonic development. Her current research interest is in sea urchin development, particularly in the larval period leading up to metamorphosis. Dr. Urry has a strong interest in increasing the number of women and minorities in biology. She has participated in various aspects of Campbell and Reece Biology since the 6th edition.

Steve Wasserman currently lectures on animal and plant physiology in the introductory course series at UC San Diego. Besides a class size of 300 students, the biggest challenge he faces is the absence of a laboratory for our first-year biology students. He is eager to explore new teaching strategies and is trying clickers for the first time this year. In his own research, Steve studies molecular encoding of information in the context of development and innate immunity in Drosophila. Steve and his team’s approach entails a wide range of experimental techniques including molecular genetics, biochemistry, and bioinformatics. Periodically Steve leads freshman seminars on topics reflecting his personal interests. His two recent offerings covered wagering on thoroughbred horse racing and the biology and history of poisons and toxins.

Sue Simon Westendorf has been teaching introductory molecular and cellular biology for ten years at Ohio University. She is also the introductory series coordinator for biology majors’ courses and has been teaching one or more of the three labs connected with that series for 17 years. She now trains graduate teaching assistants to teach introductory labs. She also developed learning communities for first quarter biology majors and trains upper-level undergraduate students to mentor them. Sue is a reproductive biologist who has retired from studying reproductive endocrinology and microanatomy in turtles. Happily, she has not abandoned her love of sexual reproduction. Her human sex and reproduction course for non-majors is one of the most popular classes on OU’s campus. Developing novel strategies for helping students learn is a major focus of Sue’s efforts. This led to her collaborative work on The Image Project, the project funded by last year’s BLC catalytic grant.

Mary Pat Wenderoth I am a Principal Lecturer in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. I teach 200-400 level animal physiology courses. I am a member of the UW Biology Education Research Group (UW-BERG) which is a group of 10-15 faculty developing and testing pedagogy for undergraduate life science courses. I have also created a national (soon to be international) wiki site, Biology Education Research, in an effort to help the faculty who are apart of this new sub-discipline of BIology to be recognized and to foster a network of researchers who can collaborate with each other and move the field forward.

Beth Wilbur is the Editor-in-Chief for Biology at Benjamin Cummings in San Francisco. There. she works with colleagues on many titles both established and not yet published. She was the editor of Biology by Neil Campbell and Jane Reece from 200-2008, and is especially enjoying her current focus on the many changes and challenges to both content and pedagogy in the biology market. Prior to joining Benjamin Cummings, Beth worked as an assistant editor in calculus and organic chemistry and then as an acquisitions editor at Brooks Cole. In a former life, before marrying a Californian and heading west, she managed the Public Programs division of the Department of Education at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and was the Director of Special Projects at MIT. Apart from biology books, her current passions include many cooking projects with two small granddaughters, Haley and Hannah, who demonstrate to her all the time why what she and her team do is so essential.

Kathy Williams’ research interests involve insect ecology and conservation biology. Her other passion is science education and conducting research on how we can improve undergraduate biology learning and teaching. She directs the curriculum for about 1300 Biology majors at San Diego State, and is involved with developing and implementing faculty enrichment programs at her own campus and in collaboration with colleagues around the country, mostly supported by NSF. One intriguing fact about her: Kathy just spent part of her sabbatical exploring Costa Rica, on an "extreme birdwatching" tour and investigating ways for her students to pursue educational opportunities there.

Mary Pat Wenderoth. I am a Principal Lecturer in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. I teach 200-400 level animal physiology courses. I am a member of the UW Biology Education Research Group (UW-BERG) which is a group of 10-15 faculty developing and testing pedagogy for undergraduate life science courses. I have also created a national (soon to be international) wiki site, Biology Education Research, in an effort to help the faculty who are apart of this new sub-discipline of BIology to be recognized and to foster a network of researchers who can collaborate with each other and move the field forward.

Jason R. Wiles. Jason R. Wiles is a professor in the Biology Department at Syracuse University where he enjoys a secondary appointment in the Department of Science Teaching. He teaches introductory biology with classes ranging up to 800 students and a number of other courses related to evolutionary biology and science teaching. His research focuses on the teaching and learning of evolution, and he serves as Associate Director of the Evolution Education Research Centre based at McGill University.

Bill Wischusen, an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University, has been the Coordinator of the Introductory Biology Program at LSU for over 12 years. He is currently also the interim Director of the Gordon A. Cain Center for Scientific, Technological, Engineering, and Mathematical Literacy. Prior to coming to LSU, he was a Lecturer at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has degrees from Clark University (BA), The University of Alabama (MS), and Cornell University (PhD).

Michelle Withers received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Arizona at Tucson, in 1995. She then joined the laboratory of Eve Marder at Brandeis University as an NRSA-funded post-doctoral fellow studying the neural basis of simple behaviors, until 2000. From 2000-2007, she was an instructor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University. During her tenure at LSU, she became involved with the National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Biology Education. As a result of this association, Michelle began to transform her classrooms from traditional lectures to active learning environments and to help fellow faculty do the same. In 2007, she joined the faculty at West Virginia University as an assistant professor of biology and is researching ways to improve science education.

Grace Wyngaard has been teaching an introductory organismal diversity course for freshman majors at James Madison University for 20 years. In the last 5 years, the course morphed from covering just animals, to covering microbes, plants, animals and fungi in a single semester. The challenges of covering the diversity of life are now compounded. Additionally, an effort to teach the concepts of evolution through teaching how to construct and read phylogenetic trees was added to the course. She and her colleagues are now struggling with whether to focus on the nodes or tips of the tree, when discussing the evolution of new traits or taxa. Other courses Grace teaches are Marine and Freshwater Invertebrates, Biometry, and a capstone course for non-science majors on Biology in the News.

Denise Woodward. I am a lecturer in the Biology department at Penn State. I teach our large introductory biology course for majors (with a lecture of about 700 students), a human genetics course for non-majors, an upper level course in Ecotoxicology for majors, and a course in teaching methods in Biology. This year I am working on developing an online version of our introductory biology course for distance education as well as continuing to develop materials for our online tutorials for our introductory biology course (resident instruction).