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Meet Our Instructors

Section 1

Content Section 1

Course content for the program is provided by University of Illinois - School of Integrative Biology instructors and by instructors from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction who have advanced degrees in biology or education. The program instructors are directly involved in discussion components of the courses and have several years experience in online instruction. They have designed the courses specifically for the online environment in conjunction with instructional designers from the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

OMST Instructors

  • Joanne Manaster

    • IB 531 Emerging Infectious Diseases
    • IB 533 Human Genome and Bioinformatics
    • IB 534 Evolution and Medicine

    Joanne is an instructor for the School of Integrative Biology whose passion is cell and molecular biology. She has over 25 years experience teaching upper level laboratory courses for the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois. More than 10 years ago, she took the plunge into online teaching at the School of Integrative Biology and has never looked back. She is an enthusiastic fan of general science outreach and literacy via her website, is active on social media, and even maintained a blog at Scientific American for several years. Joanne loves reading popular science books and is always up on the latest from great science writers. Her classes are guaranteed to be full of the most recent findings from the scientists working in the field and materials that are accessible to students and the general public.

  • Allison O'Dwyer

    Allison is a research scientist turned educator. Her research was based off the Oregon coast and evaluated and monitored toxin levels in Harmful Algal Blooms due to increased nutrient uptake. She then taught in K-12 classrooms, helping students to find pathways towards careers in science, and now serves in various roles for the School of Integrative Biology. Allison is a native gardening enthusiast and enjoys digging in the dirt with her two daughters.

  • Barbara Hug

    • CI 544 Education Reforms & Inquiry
    • CI 548 Capstone Project I & II

    Barbara is a clinical associate professor in science education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education. Her research interests are focused on understanding the design of learning environments linking basic science research with K-12 curriculum. She teaches in the elementary and secondary teacher education program at the University of Illinois. She is currently the PI on a NIH SEPA grant.

  • TBA

    • CI 541 Learning in Science
  • Nick Anderson

    • IB 532 Sustainability and Global Change
    • IB 536 Evolution
    • IB 535 Biology and Tech Innovation

    Nick is a lecturer for the School of Integrative Biology. He was a graduate student and postdoctoral research associate within the Department of Entomology at UIUC, where he studied how human actions such as pesticide use, habitat loss and fragmentation, and changes in food webs impact native bees. As a graduate student, he discovered a passion for science education and was afforded the unusual opportunity to lead two undergraduate courses. Nick enjoys being outdoors with his daughter (especially watching insects and spiders) and playing the guitar poorly.


School of Integrative Biology Research Faculty who inspired our courses

  • Brian Allan

    IB 531, Emerging Infectious Diseases, is inspired by his course, IB 361 Ecology and Human Health. He is broadly interested in the ecology of infectious diseases, particularly diseases transmitted to humans from wildlife via the bite of an infected arthropod (e.g., ticks, mosquitoes). Much of his research focuses on the consequences of human-mediated global change, such as climate change and human land-use, on the risk of exposure to parasites and pathogens carried by wildlife.
  • Marianne Alleyne

    IB 535, Biology and Tech, is inspired by both her online Bioinspiration course (IB 411) and her face-to-face course Bioinspired Design (IB 496). She is broadly interested in how nature, and insects in particular, can inspire new technological innovations. Marianne’s research focuses on designing multifunctional engineered materials inspired by surfaces as varied as those found on cicada and fly wings, the tough forewings of burying beetles, and click mechanism of click beetles.
  • Hugh Robertson

    IB 533, Human Genome and Bioinformatics is loosely based on some ideas he had for a human genomics course based on the book "Genome" by Matt Ridley. Some details of the course come from his course IB 504, Genomic Analysis of Insects.

  • Andrew Leakey, Andrew Suarez, Lisa Ainsworth

    These faculty members provided assistance with IB 532, Sustainability and Global Change based on the campus based courses IB 440, Plants and Global Change and IB107, Global Warming, Biofuels and Food.

    Andrew Leakey's research program is focused on improving mechanistic understanding of plant responses in natural and agricultural ecosystems to global environmental change, adaptation of food and fuel crops to global environmental change and sustainability of biofuel feedstocks.

    Andrew Suarez's research capitalizes on the developmental and ecological flexibility of ants to address fundamental questions in ecology, evolution and behavior. Their research themes include looking at the causes and consequences of biological invasions using the Argentine ant as well as looking at polymorphism and specializations that may contribute to their ecological success.

    Lisa Ainsworth's research focus includes understanding the dynamics of leaf growth and development, investigation of antioxidant metabolism in response to global change, and unraveling the physiological and molecular basis for intraspecific variation in plant responses to climate change. Her research aims to identify key mechanisms by which plants respond to specific elements of climate change, and use those to maximize crop production in the future.