While a molecular/cellular and practical developmental 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: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5816-9771