Elena Bray Speth, Ph.D.
BIOL 104 - Principles of Biology I, BIOL 280 - Biology for Education Majors
Ph.D., Michigan State University
The Bray Speth group includes graduate and undergraduate biology students who conduct research on college-level biology teaching and learning.
They investigate how active-learning pedagogical strategies promote understanding of complex biological systems and processes in large-enrollment introductory biology courses.
Ongoing projects focus on:
- Assessment of systems thinking skills through student-generated models and explanations of complex biological processes;
- Student understanding and representation of the gene-to-phenotype relationship and of the origin of genetic variation;
- Infusing evolutionary reasoning into introductory molecular, cellular and organismal biology.
Publications and Media Placements
Momsen J, Bray Speth E, Wyse S, and TM Long (2022). Using Systems and Systems Thinking to Unify Biology Education. CBE—Life Sciences Education 21:2.
Wilson KJ, Long TM, Momsen JL, and E Bray Speth (2020). Modeling in the Classroom: Making Relationships and Systems Visible. CBE—Life Sciences Education 19(1): fe1.
Wilson KJ, Long TM, Momsen JL, and E Bray Speth (2020). Evidence Based Teaching Guide: Modeling in Classroom. CBE-Life Sciences Education.
Sebesta A and E Bray Speth (2017). How should I study for the exam? Self-Regulated Learning Strategies and Achievement in Introductory Biology. CBE – Life Sciences Education 16: ar30.
- This study was featured in a Wall Street Journal column (“Before you Study, Ask for Help”, by Sue Shellenbarger, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-smarter-ways-to-study-1502810531?tesla=y ), and in a blog post on the “Faculty Focus” website (“How Should I Study for the Exam?”, by Maryellen Weimer, https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/how-should-i-study-for-the-exam/ )
Bray Speth E, Shaw N, Momsen JL, Reinagel A, Le P, Taqieddin R, and TM Long (2014). Introductory biology students’ conceptual models and explanations of the origin of variation. CBE – Life Sciences Education 13: 529-539. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.14-02-0020
Long TM, Dauer JT, Kostelnik KM, Momsen JL, Wyse SA, Bray Speth E and D Ebert-May (2014). Fostering ecoliteracy through model-based instruction. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 138-139. https://doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295-12.2.138
Dauer JT, Momsen JL, Bray Speth E, Makohon-Moore SC and TM Long (2013). Analyzing change in students’ gene-to-evolution models in college-level introductory biology. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 50: 639–659. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21094
Bray Speth E, Momsen JL, Moyerbrailean GA, Ebert-May D, Long T, Wyse S, Linton D (2010). 1, 2, 3, 4: Infusing quantitative literacy into introductory biology. CBE - Life Sciences Education 9: 323-332.
Ebert-May D, Bray Speth E, Momsen JL (2010). Assessing Scientific Reasoning in a Liberal Learning Curriculum. In: Science and the Educated American: A Core Component of Liberal Education, Meinwald J and Hildebrand JG, eds., American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge (MA)Bray Speth E, Long TM, Pennock RT, Ebert-May D (2009). Using Avida-ED for teaching and learning about evolution in undergraduate introductory biology courses. Evolution Education and Outreach 2: 415-428.
Bray Speth E, Hauck P, Imboden L, He SY (2009). Subcellular localization and functional analysis
of the Arabidopsis GTPase RabE. Plant Physiology 149: 1824-1837.
Bray Speth E, Lee YN, He SY (2007). Pathogen virulence factors as molecular probes of basic plant cellular functions. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 10: 580-586.
Caretto S, Bray Speth E, Fachechi C, Gala R, Zacheo G, Giovinazzo G (2004). Enhancement of vitamin E production in sunflower cell cultures. Plant Cell Reports 23: 174-179.