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Lab Members

Beth Schussler


A botanist by training, Beth crossed over into the world of Biology Education while studying for her PhD at LSU. Before assuming the mantle of a tenure-track researcher, she worked as an Instructor, a Curriculum Designer and Administrator at a Science Center, and a Swamp Field Trip Leader! Her main research interests are student learning in introductory courses, student perception of the learning environment, and instructor practices. She can often be found petting her cats or getting in a quick yoga practice, when she is not drinking a glass of wine and thinking about new recipes (that her spouse can cook). She has an aspirational dream, as yet unrealized, to play the banjo one day.

Schussler CV August 2020

Maryrose Weatherton

Ph.D. Student

Maryrose received her B.S. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, where she studied the ecology of lianas in Panamá with Dr. Stefan Schnitzer. After graduating, she taught outdoor science education at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, WI. Maryrose joined the Schussler lab in 2019 with an interest in understanding graduate student perceptions of success and resource use. When she’s not trekking through the jungle or interviewing her fellow Ph.D. students, Maryrose enjoys road-tripping, running with her dog, and caring for her many aquariums!

Hope Ferguson

Ph.D. Student

Hope graduated from Lincoln Memorial University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and education. After graduating, she taught biology and chemistry classes for a high school in Illinois. Hope joined the Schussler Lab in 2020 where she is currently interested in investigating graduate student experiences and their career trajectories. When not reading papers or studying, she enjoys playing board games, hiking, and eating pasta.

Bailey Von der Mehden

Ph.D. Student

Bailey received her B.S. and M.S. from Sacramento State in California, where she explored undergraduate perceptions of authentic science in CURE courses. After graduating, she taught multiple courses ranging from ecology to cell and molecular biology at Sacramento State. Bailey joined the Schussler lab in 2022 with an interest in examining undergraduate perceptions of failure and improving student persistence in biology. In her downtime, Bailey enjoys hiking, and hanging with her dog, Chase.


Caroline Wienhold

Honorary Lab Member; Assistant Director of Biology Teaching and Learning, Division of Biology

Caroline graduated with a PhD in Genetics from the University of Connecticut and then worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. At UT, she teaches Cellular and Molecular Biology, coordinates the Biological Literacy discussions, and helps to manage the core curriculum. Perpetually interested in teaching and learning, she hangs with the Schussler Lab and asks the important questions.

Lab Emeriti

Dr. Miranda Chen Musgrove

Postdoctoral Scholar, REACH lab, University of Colorado

Ph.D. Graduate (2016-2020)

Miranda graduated from her M.Sc. at York University in Toronto, Ontario before heading down south the join the Schussler lab in January 2016. Miranda examined teaching anxiety and coping strategies with Biology graduate students and assessed how that may change over the span of their programs. Miranda has a background in ecological modeling, particularly with freshwater fish communities under projected climate change. Outside the lab, you can find Miranda volunteering with her church community, trying out new international recipes, or hanging with her spouse and son.

Miranda’s LinkedIn: 

CV: Miranda Chen – CV 2017 updated 30.08.17

picture of BenDr. Ben England

Assistant Professor at St. Louis University

Postdoctoral Associate (2015-2019)

Ben is a graduate of Ball State University, where he earned both a M.S. in Biology and an EdD in Biology Education. His dissertation focused on measuring attitude and engagement shifts in non-majors in response to technology in the classroom. At UT, Ben helped the lab continue with data collection and analysis of instructor practices and student anxiety in the introductory Biology sequence for majors. His other projects include an examination of the impact of physical learning spaces on students as well as the development of an instrument to measure non-majors’ attitudes towards scientific literacy. When not at work, he enjoys watching and critiquing film and TV or playing needlessly complex board games.

Ben’s LinkedIn:


Dr. Anna Jo Auerbach

Assistant Professor at Salisbury State University

Ph.D. Graduate (2013-2016)

Anna Jo became interested in Biology Education while pursuing her MS in Educational Psychology. Her research involved investigating changes over time during curriculum reform, specifically related to instructional strategies, learning retention, and learning gains. Anna Jo moved on to a post-doctoral associate position in the Andrews lab at the University of Georgia before moving to Maryland for her current position. When she is not conducting interviews and observations, she can be found jamming on the flat track.

kendallDr. K. Denise Kendall

Lecturer at University of Alabama, Huntsville

Ph.D. Graduate (2010-2013)

Denise is a science education researcher with a strong background in the biological sciences as well as education. She takes a scientific approach to her research in order to attain a better understanding of instruction in the biological sciences. Specifically, Denise is interested in instructor professional development and student learning.

Visit Denise’s web site for more about her research!

dalrympleDr. Sarah Dalrymple

Faculty Associate and Clinical Assistant Professor at Boise State

Postdoctoral Associate – Biology Teaching and Learning (2012-2015)

Sarah developed a passion for teaching and an interest in biology education while getting her Ph.D. in Population Biology at UC Davis. Her dissertation research was on ant ecology, but as a teaching post-doc at UT she shifted gears to focus on biology education research. Specifically, she designed professional development activities to prepare TAs to teach inquiry-based introductory biology labs and measured their effectiveness. During the spring she also taught Biology 130, Biodiversity for biology majors. She is currently an instructor in the Biology department at Boise State University. When she’s not teaching or thinking about teaching, Sarah is busy being a new parent while also trying to make time for her favorite hobby, rock climbing.