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Elena Bray Speth, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Courses Taught

BIOL 104 - Principles of Biology I, BIOL 280 - Biology for Education Majors


Ph.D., Michigan State University

Research Interests

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

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.