I am a senior research associate/senior scientist at Michigan State University. Currently, I have two positions.
The first (2017- ) is with the MSU CREATE for STEM institute and the EleVate energy project. Here, I work with teachers in local Michigan middle schools to help students learn about energy in a physical science context. We are particularly interested in comparisons between established curriculum (e.g. IQWST — which presents energy in its various forms and then considers transformation) and novel curriculum that presents energy transfer both within and between systems.
In the second, (2014-present) I work in the Teacher Education Department, College of Education, for Carbon TIME (Transformations in Matter and Energy), a K-12 science education curriculum based on learning progression research. We research how teachers teach and students learn about carbon-transforming processes – chemical changes that are responsible for the structure and functions of all living systems and support our lifestyles. I’m a jack-of-all-trades for the project, from developing curriculum modules; managing teacher networks and professional development; running workshops; collecting data in the classroom; and creating classroom media. For more information on this exciting project, see our website here and a 2015 video presentation by PI Dr. Andy Anderson, here.
On the side, I’m an NIH BEST (Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training) Fellow.
Formerly (2012-2015) I was the project manager for the MSU W.K. Kellogg Biological Station’s NSF GK-12 program (BEST – BioEnergy SusTainability), providing science communication and professional development for STEM graduate students; science education and professional development for K-12 teachers; long-term scientists-in-the-classroom, project-wide citizen science , inquiry, and data-driven projects for K-12 students. I taught 6 semesters of graduate seminars for some truly amazing Fellows and ran workshops for K-12 partner teachers in the KBS K-12 partnership.
My broad research interests are in mating system evolution, behavioral ecology, and conservation. I received my doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2012 from the University of Kansas. There, I used an annual western North American wildflower, Mimulus guttatus, the common monkeyflower, to investigate questions concerning plant adaptive responses to pollinator loss, trait evolution due to pollinator preferences, and cryptic patterns in flowers (specifically patterns visible only in ultraviolet [UV] light). Please see my research page for more information on current and past projects.
Aside from academia, I am an avid birder, equestrian, runner, photographer, and traveler. I can be contacted at bodbyl AT msu DOT edu.