Kelsey Metzger, D.A.
Doctor of Arts, Biology and Biology Education, Idaho State University, 2009
M.S., Biology, University of North Dakota, 2005
B.S., Biology, University of North Dakota, 2003
“It is my goal as an educator not only to yield learners with an appreciation of the biological sciences and the diversity of life, but also to produce individuals with improved abilities to formulate, think critically about, and communicate scientific ideas.”
Kelsey Metzger is a broadly trained molecular and evolutionary biologist with a strong interest in undergraduate education, advising, and education research.
At UMR, I am helping to develop and deliver courses in the life sciences such as Integrative Biology and Introduction to Health Sciences I, as well as working collaboratively with other faculty, staff, and post-docs on courses across the curriculum.
Prior to my arrival at UMR, I taught a variety of classes including Introductory Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology Lab, Molecular Biology Techniques, Colloquium on Genetics and Society, and a seminar course on Levels of Selection in Evolution. In addition, I served as an NSF GK-12 Fellow for the 2008-2009 academic year co-teaching sophomores, juniors and seniors in a dual-enrollment Anatomy and Physiology course at Century High School in Pocatello, ID.
It is my goal as an educator not only to yield learners with an appreciation of the biological sciences and the diversity of life, but also to produce individuals with improved abilities to formulate, think critically about, and communicate scientific ideas. To this end, my classes regularly require students to express themselves in pairs or small groups, work collaboratively on problem sets or case studies, write short answer and essay responses to scientific questions, read and discuss primary literature, interpret data, and write a scientific paper. My own experiences in research at the lab bench and computer allow me to design and deliver authentic learning experiences that do not focus so much on the memorization of minutia, but rather emphasize overarching biological concepts and the ability to place ideas in a broader context. This framework of emulating the practice of science for teaching science helps place students in the kind of learning role that I envision for them, not as passive vessels into which I can deposit my wisdom, but rather as active participants in a community of learners. I firmly believe that science educators have a responsibility to guide future scientists, practitioners, and citizens by facilitating students’ learning and mastery of concepts and practices in the sciences.
Research in Biological Sciences
The common thread that weaves through all of my biological research is molecular genetics, but each project has been carried out in different model systems and emphasized different focal questions, which has contributed significantly to the breadth of my knowledge in biology. In my biological research, I have utilized various molecular biology wet-lab techniques in addition to computational bioinformatics techniques to pursue a range of research questions. Most recently, my research has focused on characterizing selective pressures, nucleotide substitution rates, and phylogenetic relationships of chemokine receptor genes, which mediate immune responses in humans.
Research on Teaching and Learning
I am also interested in pursuing research projects on the scholarship of teaching and learning, specifically addressing effective teaching methods and curriculum design, assessing student learning, and the effects of an integrated learning environment on student learning.
(2013) Starting right: Using “Biophilia,” Organism Cards, and key themes in biology to introduce student-centered active learning strategies at the beginning of a course. American Biology Teacher. 75(4):285-289. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/abt.2013.75.4.11
(2011). Helping students conceptualize species divergence events using the online tool “TimeTree: The Timescale of Life.” American Biology Teacher 73(2):106-108. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/abt.2011.73.2.9
Metzger and M. Thomas. (2010). Evidence of positive selection at codon sites localized in extracellular domains of mammalian CC motif chemokine receptor proteins. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10(1):139. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/10/139
Rhen T., Metzger K., Schroeder A., Woodward R. 2007. Expression of Putative Sex-Determining Genes during the Thermosensitive Period of Gonad Development in the Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina. Sexual Development 1 (4):255-270.
Metzger, K.J. and Thomas, M.A. 2010. Evidence of positive selection at codon sites localized in extracellular domains of mammalian CC motif chemokine receptor proteins. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 10:139.