Louise Mead is the Education Director for the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Integrative Biology. As an evolutionary biologist, Louise continues to do research on salamanders, currently at part of the Salamander Population Research Coordination Network (SPARCNet). Louise teaches a comprehensive introductory biology course, designed to meet the needs of non-life science STEM majors. The course uses a case-based approach, with the goal of introducing students to all levels of biological organization within a single system – from DNA to populations. Louise is also involved in three NSF funded education-related research projects, all of which aim to integrate elements of current biology education reform in the development of new teaching and learning materials – Collaborative Research: Scientific Data in Schools: Measuring the efficacy of an innovative approach to integrating quantitative reasoning in secondary science; Collaborative Research: Connected Biology: Three-dimensional learning from molecules to populations; and Active LENS: Learning Evolution and the Nature of Science Using Evolution in Action.
Louise has published her scientific work in Evolution journals such as Evolution and Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and her education research in CBE Life Sciences and Evolution: Education and Outreach. She has also served as a science content and education consultant.