Presenter Bios

Deborah Allen is an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Delaware (UD). After a 3-year leave of absence serving as a program director for the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education, she recently returned to UD to direct the campus-wide Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning. In the mid-1990s, Allen joined a multidisciplinary team of scientists and science education researchers to design and assess problem-based learning (PBL) curricula for introductory science courses, including interdisciplinary science courses for pre-service K-8 teachers. Her most recent project entails a longitudinal research study of the development of these aspiring teachers’ beliefs and practices about teaching and learning science as they progress through a reform-based science curriculum. Allen is a co-founding member of the editorial board of CBE-Life Sciences Education and has authored or co-authored regularly-featured columns on teaching strategies and recent research in biology education for that journal. She is co-author or co-editor of several books that describe PBL and other active, inquiry-based and team-based instructional strategies, curriculum design, and assessment. A winner of her university’s excellence in teaching award, Allen co-founded a professional development institute that attracts visitors from around the world who are interested in learning more about PBL.


Karen Klyczek is a professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she teaches General Biology, Immunology, and Virology. She has been involved with undergraduate research and integrating research into courses, and is one of the faculty coordinating the HHMI Science Education Alliance PHAGES program for first year biology students at UWRF.  She has been co-PI with Mark Bergland on several NSF grants to develop educational software (Case It) and is on the steering committee for the Science Case Network, funded by an NSF RCN-UBE grant. In 2012 she was named a PULSE Vision and Change Leadership Fellow and is working on strategies for facilitating biology education reform at the department level. Dr. Klyczek received her B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Augustana College, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Pat Marsteller directs the Emory College Center for Science Education , is Director of the Emory HHMI initiative and is a Professor of Practice in the department of Biology. She studied evolution of animal behavior for her MS degree at University of South Carolina and quantitative genetics and evolution of life history patterns for her PhD at the University of Florida. The Center for Science Education (CSE) promotes access, interest and participation in science careers. CSE programs bolster science literacy and provide hands-on research and curriculum development experiences for students and teachers at the precollege, college and postgraduate levels. Through student and curriculum development activities, CSE integrates research and education and help students explore the vast array of careers open to individuals with a solid background in science. CSE particularly focuses on attracting and retaining underrepresented students, women and minorities in careers in science. Our work in these areas includes special programs for undergraduates, outreach efforts with metro Atlanta Public School teachers and students.

Dr. Marsteller has used cases and PBL since she began teaching and  has run workshops for faculty at all kinds of colleges and universities from community colleges to research universities and from all science and math departments to public health and nursing. Her workshops focus on sources of problems and cases, adapting existing cases and writing new one.  She also works with pre-college faculty on developing case based curriculum materials and on using active learning strategies in the teaching of science and mathematics.


Aditi Pai is an evolutionary biologist who has been a faculty member at Spelman College since 2006. Prior to coming to Atlanta, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at State University of New York at Buffalo. At Spelman she teaches the Introductory Biology class on ecology, evolution and biodiversity, advanced electives on Evolutionary biology and Research methods as well the capstone course in Biology. Her lab studies sexual selection using the red flour beetle as a model system. She has been the vice chair of the Biology department since 2010 and on the editorial board of The Scientific World Journal since 2011.

Dr. Pai earned her Bachelor’s from St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Science in Bangalore, India; her Master’s degree from Pondicherry University in Pondicherry, India; and her PhD from State University of New York at Buffalo.


Eric Ribbens is a plant ecologist who is a professor at Western Illinois University, where he studies the ecology of a small midwestern prickly pear. He has used cases in his classes since 1999, and this spring is teaching a nonmajors biology class with 143 students in which he uses a case every week. He has participated in two NSF-funded investigations studying the use of clickers to teach cases in large lecture sections. He has published 13 cases, including several specifically designed for large classes, and has helped edit many more. He has led several workshops about the use of cases in biology courses, his “Chemical Eric” case is the second-most popular case in the NSF Case Collection, and he is a firm believer in the value of cases for teaching biology.

Dr. Ribbens received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, a master’s degree in Botany from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Connecticut. He has taught at Western Illinois University for 13 years, and also taught at the University of Evansville and at St. John’s University in central Minnesota. Last year he was a Fullbright Senior Specialist in India.


Ethel Stanley is actively committed to transformative education in which learners pose problems, develop and use multidisciplinary approaches to solve problems, and engage in peer review of their products. She has worked as director of BioQUEST, past president of ACUBE, past editor of the Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, past chair of the BSA Teaching Section, and a consultant on numerous undergraduate NSF and HHMI projects. She has focused her efforts on undergraduate science curricula, faculty development, and national community college outreach to include modeling and simulation (The BioQUEST Library), bioinformatics (BEDROCK), quantitative biology (NUMBERS COUNT), cyberlearning for community college faculty (C3 Cyberlearning), and extensive development of investigative case based learning (ICBL) with co-developer Margaret Waterman both here and abroad (LifeLines, ScienceCaseNet,  IUBS BioED, and Singapore’s NIE) through both funded projects and publications.  Dr. Stanley received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Illinois State University.


Margaret Waterman is a Professor of Biology at Southeast Missouri State University where she teaches biology and courses for pre-service teachers as well as graduate courses in science education. She also co-developed and led the university’s Scholarship in Teaching and Learning Fellows program. Her microbiology interest is in plant diseases, and she earned the M.S. in Plant Pathology at Cornell University, and then a Ph.D. in Science Education.  Her work on Investigative Case Based Learning over the last 15 years with collaborator Ethel Stanley, has led to the publication of Biological Inquiry: A Workbook of Investigative Cases, as well as numerous journal articles, speaking engagements and opportunities to consult with instructors around the world.   She is a co-PI on the NSF-funded RCN-UBE “Science Case Network” which brings together case learning projects and faculty interested in using and researching cases and PBL.


Michelle A. Young received her Master of Natural Science degree from Southeast Missouri State University in 1998 and has been an instructor in Biological Sciences for 13 years at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, MO. She has been teaching online Biology classes for the past 9 years.  She has been active in reviewing for several textbooks for McGraw-Hill and other publishing companies.  Michelle is an experienced case study author and user and is a member of The Science Case Network Steering Committee.

Skip to toolbar