Research

My research interests focus in two areas:  biology education and Iowa’s lichen diversity and distribution.  My interests in biology education research include serving as the major advisor for a graduate student (Mr. Justin Rice) who is studying evolution education, doing in-class research on student engagement in large format classes (Using the Web to Encourage Student-generated Questions in Large-Format Introductory Biology Classes), and participating in a project designed to help students increase their understanding of the nature of science ( The Story Behind the Science).

My research interests in lichens revolve around participating in surveys of bryophyte and lichen diversity in three of Iowa’s State Preserves;  Mossy Glen, Fallen Rock, and Bluffton Fir Stand, as well as Bixby State Park.  I am curating the lichen collection in the Ada Hayden Herbarium with the goal of developing a database of all lichens known to occur in Iowa, including additions to the state's lichen diversity, and beginning to identify lichens that may be rare in Iowa or extirpated from the state.