My research interests include wetland plant ecology, wetland biogeochemistry, rhizosphere ecology, metals and metal nanoparticles, and phytoremediation.

I am also interested in science education research - including teaching and learning quantitative biology, use of reusable learning objects (RLOs) and impacts on learning, and learning behaviors in online environments. 

My journey in science from Guyana to the Midwestern United States

I really developed a passion for science during high school in Guyana.  I have vivid memories of my high school chemistry and biology classes and of after-school chemistry lessons with Miss Jordan.  Although we did not have all the necessary resources, I remember our teachers doing what they could to make the labs engaging and hands on. After completing high school, I enrolled at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota where I completed my bachelor's in Environmental Studies and International Relations. After completing internships at Pioneer Hi-Bred and Clean Water Action, I became more interested in scientific research and decided to pursue graduate school. I attended North Dakota State University where I completed my PhD in Environmental and Conservation Sciences. My dissertation research focused on the biogeochemistry of wet ecosystems.

During graduate school I had opportunities to serve as a teaching assistant but I wanted to learn more about teaching and learning. After graduate school, I worked as a postdoc teaching environmental science online for non-majors while conducting research with aquatic plants and metal nanoparticles.  I later secured another postdoc position in biology education which brought me even more challenges and rewards in research and teaching.

I joined the Biology faculty at Missouri State University in August 2016. I have established a research program which involves a group of enthusiastic undergraduate and graduate students. Together we are exploring plants and pollutants in wet ecosystems in Missouri. I teach a variety of courses, both at the introductory and graduate level. This journey has not been free of challenges as I learn to balance teaching, research, and life!

Contact Information

La Toya Kissoon-Charles, Ph.D.
LKissoon(at)MissouriState.edu

Department of Biology
Missouri State University
901 S National Ave
Springfield, MO 65897


Learning about Lemna minor

Lemna minor