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As an educator and ecologist, I am intrigued by the natural world,  perplexed by the impact humans are having on it, and hopeful that we can change course. My primary education interests focus on student achievement and ways to close achievement gaps in science and my primary ecological interests revolve around species interactions and the impacts we can expect from anthropogenic global changes.


My postdoctoral research focuses on various related aspects of science education: 1) meta-analyzing student performance vis-a-vis racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps in university classrooms that employ active learning; 2) diving deeper into successful instances where the achievement gap narrowed in college classes; and 3) quantifying achievement gaps across the university chemistry curriculum using 15 years of retrospective registrar data.


My dissertation research focused on plant-pollinator dynamics across a large elevational gradient at Mount Rainier National Park (Washington), including 1) the potential for pollinators to limit one species' elevational distribution and 2) the temporal composition of floral communities in changing climates. Additionally, I investigated whether teaching undergraduates with local or global examples of the biological impacts of climate change leads to higher learning gains and stronger attitudes about climate change impacts.






Contact Information:
Elli Jenkins Theobald
University of Washington
Department of Biology
Box 351800
Seattle, WA 98195-1800

email: ellij AT u.washington.edu