this blog & its author

While a molecular/cellular and practical devcolorado-oct-2016-smallelopmental biologist, my other academic interest has been the general topic of how scientific ideas are understood, misunderstood, and presented to students.

Academic background: A professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at UC Boulder (lab site link).  I earned a bachelors degree in biophysics, working with Alex Keith and Wally Snipes at Penn State and my Ph.D. (working with Bob Stroud) at CalTech and UCSF – where the neurobiology group (Zach Hall et al) rescued me.  After post-doctoral work with Martin Raff (University College London) and Lee Rubin (Rockefeller University ), I moved to Boulder in 1983.  I  have studied a range of  topics, from bacterial virus assembly, neurotransmitter receptor structure, cytoskeletal organization, signaling systems, and ciliary function – much of the later work in the context of the clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

With NSF support, Kathy Garvin-Doxas and I developed the Biological Concepts Instrument (BCI) [link] to monitor conceptual confusions in students.  Around the same time, I transformed the introductory molecular biology course into a interactive web site and then an OER book (biofundamentals –  LibreText), with a suite of virtuallaboratory activities developed by Tom Lundy.  These projects led to a long term collaboration with Melanie Cooper (Michigan State) and the NSF-supported, research validated reformed curricula in general  (CLUE: Chemistry, Life, the Universe & Everything) and organic chemistry (OCLUE) (described here).  I have been co-director (now advisor) to CU Teach as well as a founding fellow of the Center for STEM Learning (CSL) and the Study of Origins (CSO).

I have been a Pew Biomedical Scholar. I  am a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), was named the 2012-2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher by the Society for College Science Teaching, and have received a Boulder Faculty Assembly Teaching Excellence award.

I have served as a PLOS ONE Academic Editor since 2010. My orcid ID is:

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