Support Options

  • Knowledge Base

    Find information on common questions and issues.

  • Support Messages

    Check on the status of your correspondences with members of the QUBES team.

Contact Us

About you
About the problem
  • Discoverability Visible
  • Join Policy Restricted
  • Created 06 Jan 2021

Institute Partners


BioQUEST is a transformative, collaborative community empowering educators to drive innovation in Life Science education and has been offering professional development on the cutting edge of educational reform for over 30 years. BioQUEST supports an interdisciplinary community of science and math educators who work to develop and share effective pedagogical approaches to support all students.  The “3 Ps” philosophy of problem posing, problem solving and peer persuasion, has guided the BioQUEST community’s efforts to provide relevant, inclusive educational experiences.  Over the years, BioQUEST has offered many projects designed to explore the frontiers of biology education, supporting faculty in an ever-changing landscape of content knowledge, tools, and resources. BioQUEST is a 501c3 organization.


bioquest logo


QUBES arises from the BioQUEST tradition and provides a virtual center for an interdisciplinary community of educators to continue to work to improve student outcomes in quantitative biology education.  An NSF funded project (NSF DBI 1346584, DUE 1446269, DUE 1446258, and DUE 1446284), QUBES brings together networks of practitioners, researchers, and developers to contribute to efforts around improving biology education.  The QUBESHub provides a central location for resources and communication, as well as the capacity to run various software tools.  QUBES collaborates with quantitative biology projects to disseminate their work and provide professional development around the use of effective pedagogies and vetted resources.  QUBES also promotes consideration and development of inclusive and equitable practices, such as Universal Design for Learning in the classroom and diversifying participation in science.

qubeshub logo


Both BioQUEST and QUBES espouse Open Education approaches as part of our commitment to equity and inclusion. BioQUEST makes past project resources available at and uses OER in workshops around the world. QUBES supports Open Educational Resources (OER) through a publication system designed to support sharing of adaptations and new resources. Both BioQUEST and QUBES promote scholarly engagement with Open Education Practices (OEP) by promoting sharing of resources by community members through professional development experiences such as this workshop. During the BIOME Institute, we will be engaging in OER and promoting OEP in the Institute and as a way for faculty to promote success for all students.

Meet the BioQUEST Staff and Volunteers

Nicole Chodkowski

Nicole Chodkowski

Radford University

Contact infomation: nc526 "at" cornell "dot" edu


Dr. Nicole Chodkowski has been a QUBES postdoc since January 2018. Her primary mentor is Jeremy Wojdak at Radford University. Nicole’s background is in aquatic ecology. She received her Ph.D. from Ball State University for her work on host-parasite interactions and parasite effects on host nutrient recycling and metabolism in ecosystems. At QUBES, Nicole’s work is focused on planning and facilitating the faculty mentoring networks centered around adapting and sharing open educational resources for teaching quantitative skills.

Sam S Donovan

Sam S Donovan

University of Pittsburgh

I am a Science Educator in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. I teach introductory biology courses and help future faculty develop their teaching skills. I'm on the leadership team of the QUBES project and I spend a lot of my time thinking about how to bring new teaching and learning resources into classrooms.


I am the Executive Director of TIDES at UT Austin.  I earned my Bachelors at the University of California San Diego, in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. A high point of my undergraduate career was studying abroad at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia for a year. I earned my PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona, where I worked on RNA metabolism. After a short stint in industry at a start up biotech company, I moved into education. I have been fortunate to have a variety of experiences including teaching high school, as well as at a small college, an R1 and a community college. I ran a McNair Program at Concord College in West Virginia, and worked for BCSC before taking a position at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). From NESCent, I moved to a position in future faculty development at the University of Wisconsin.  In  2015I became the Executive Director of BioQUEST where I led the transition to a non-profit organization and played a key role in the development of QUBES.  

My goal in science education is promoting success for all students and I use the Universal Design for Learning framework to support this outcome.  I am particularly interested in teaching evolution, nature of science and quantitative reasoning skills.  Projects I have been involved in to achieve these goals include Quantitative Biology at Community Colleges (, which brings together a community of mathematics and biology faculty at two year institutions to develop Open Education Resources for teaching quantitative skills in a biology context, the BioQUEST UDL Initiative, which  is focusing on bringing Universal Design for Learning practices to higher education, and EVOKE, an EU coalition focused on improving evolution education for everyone. 

Pat Marsteller

Pat Marsteller

Emory University

Pat Marsteller directed the Emory College Center for Science Education and is a faculty member in the department of Biology at Emory. She studied evolution of animal behavior for her MS degree at University of South Carolina and evolution and quantitative genetics for her PhD at the University of Florida.  She worked with alligators for her MS thesis, investigating whether they could use the sun, the moon and the stars to navigate. Her dissertation research focused on a quantitative genetic analysis, using with fruit flies as a model system, to investigate genetic and environmental influence on life history patterns and traits such as longevity and quantity and timing of reproduction. She has taught courses evolution, Darwin and the idea of evolution and many other courses over her 30 years of college teaching.  She also works with college and pre-college faculty on developing curriculum materials and on using active learning strategies in the teaching of science and mathematics. She is the PI of the ScienceCasenetwork and NeuroCaseNet and a helper on HITS and Molecular CaseNet.

 Pat’s grand project is to prepare Faculty of the Future to teach well, to be creative, to be excellent mentors. She believes that we all have a responsibility to educate the public about science. Her other grand project relates to increasing diversity in science...She is in charge of special programs to increase success for underrepresented groups, women and first genration students at undergraduate, graduate, postdoc and faculty levels. support for these initiatives comes from NSF, HHMI, and NIH.  She is co-PI of the Emory Initiative for Maximizing Student Development project, among many projects that support student research.

Draft Undergraduate STEM Education 2040: An Optimists Perspective

The intersecting crises of 2020 (covid, antiracist protests and climate change) finally led faculty groups and funders to a social justice agenda for STEM education. Thousands of faculty read Ibram Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist and began to realize that open education resources (OER) and open pedagogy (OP) were needed to address the racial and ethnic disparities in health, impacts of climate change, and institutional practices.  A revolution began!

Graduate and postdoctoral programs added Social Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to professional development programs.  NSF reinstated the GK12 program and created a new Graduate-Undergraduate curriculum development program.  Institutions moved from general statements about social justice and serving all students to investing in reward systems and data tools to assess progress toward a just system that serves society. All types of institutions, community colleges, liberal arts institutions and research focused institution have over these years established networks and partnerships and formal transfer agreements. Faculty tenure and promotion guidelines were revised to include public scholarship and reflection on open pedagogies and professional development in applying social justice principles.  Discipline based education faculty were hired (on tenure track) in nearly every department. Since that watershed year our faculties have become more diverse and our curricula have changed.

The movement to integrate research into STEM courses developed into a movement to include students as co-creators of curricular materials.  Faculty worked together across departmental boundaries to assess content, curricular frameworks, and applications of each course and program to society.  Science literacy, data literacy, and application to social issues took priority.

Revised materials called for all people to be represented in texts and OER materials. and current research.

As a result, now in 2040 students not only feel welcomed as learners but enabled to be content creators and researchers from the first course. From the first course, students now learn to critique and evaluate knowledge claims. Our STEM courses are better coordinated and they incorporate visualization, research design and models, but they also examine the ethics of scientific practices and the social justice implications of historical and future science and application. Our faculties are more diverse and representative and thus constantly bring new perspectives to our teaching and research missions.

Our classrooms are now more open spaces that support the evidence based active learning practices and enable collaborative teams to create new knowledge. Our institutions intersect closely with local communities and our students investigate and solve problem with local community groups. 

From the very first course, we teach students to think like scientists, to evaluate and weigh evidence, to communicate clearly and to place scientific data in context.  Instead of focusing on science as a body of knowledge, we allow students to inquire, investigate and communicate. Inquiry-based approaches such as problem-based learning (PBL) and investigative case-based learning (ICBL) have documented success in enhancing conceptual understanding and increasing skills in problem solving, critical thinking, communication and self-assessment. By using complex, authentic problems to trigger investigation in lab and library, our students develop critical thinking, problem solving, and collaborative skills. These methods allow students to experience science integrated with other disciplines such as mathematics (graphs, statistics), history (social, economic and political context of the issue), and language arts (conveying research results) and enhance their capacity for creative and responsible real-world problem solving. Inquiry science courses integrate ethical dimensions of science. Debates on cloning, DNA testing, limits of prediction, and potential perils as well as benefits of science deepen understanding for all students.  Combining such approaches with practice in communicating science to different audiences creates engaged scholars and a scientifically literate public.

We have made great strides in moving from incremental interventions to systemic, structural and lasting change. Our majors now provide a more diverse STEM workforce and generate new ideas that are improving health, quality f life and discovery for all peoples and parts of the globe.  Our non-majors leave still loving and exploring science and they learn to critique and evaluate knowledge claims about health, vaccines and evolution.  Our STEM courses are better coordinated and they incorporate visualization, research design and models, but they also examine the ethics of scientific practices and the social justice implications of past

We have not yet solved all the inequities in K-12 or undergraduate education or in health disparities in local communities, but we have come a long way.  The experiments in education are now bolder, the future looks more just, more equitable and more creative.

OK...How's that???

Prior to arriving at Emory in 1990, Pat taught at large state universities and tiny liberal arts colleges.  This experience gave her the opportunity to teach nearly every course in Biology.  She loves teaching because transmitting the joys (and trials) of the process of science to students gives them the tools for lifelong learning and discovery.  Science is not merely a body of accumulated facts and theories, but an exhilarating process of discovery.  Good teachers are constant learners, inventing, creating and discovering new ways to facilitate learning.  As her friend John Jungck says, “teachers must move from the position of sage on the stage to guide on the side.”  Learning is an active process- students are not vessels into which we pour our accumulated wisdom; they are participants is generating, constructing and linking knowledge by placing new content in the context of what they know and by developing critical analysis skills so that they can generate reasonable hypotheses, test them, analyze carefully and draw reasonable conclusions.  Good teachers and good students should “Question Authority” as the bumper sticker on her door suggests.  Don’t just believe!  Delve into it, connect, apply, and make it your own!

Pat is a member of the Biology faculty and the NBB faculty and directs the Hughes Undergraduate Science Initiative and our Emory College Center for Science Education. She is  the oldest of 11 kids.  She is married to Fred Marsteller, who is a consultant in Biostatistics and Research Design.  Her son Sean was the founding Director of LearnLink.  He and his wife now live in Canada.

Hayley Orndorf

Hayley Orndorf

QUBES; BioQUEST; University of Pittsburgh

I work on both the QUBES and BioQUEST projects out of Pittsburgh, PA. I am the Project Coordinator at QUBES and the Universal Design for Learning Project Manager at BioQUEST. In both roles I work to support initiatives around Open Educational Resources and the design and implementation of professional development that focuses on Universal Design for Learning.

Email: hco1 "at" pitt "dot" edu

Sarah Prescott

Sarah Prescott

University of New Hampshire

I am the Executive Director of BioQUEST and an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of New Hampshire. I teach courses in biochemistry, genomics, and general, green and organic chemistry. I have been involved with the BioQUEST community for many years, and have a variety of interests including OER, case studies, digital pedagogy and tools, project and problem-based learning, and genomics education.

On a personal note, I am an avid gardener and mini-farmer. I have 18 chickens, 2 rabbits, 5 dogs, 6 ducks and 2 geese. We recently built a pond for the ducks and geese (affectionately called the #ddg (duck duck gooses). Follow me on twitter @drsarahgrace for academic posts, with a good smattering of #ddg videos. 


Justin Pruneski

Justin Pruneski

Heidelberg University

I am coming from Heidelberg University, a small liberal arts college in Tiffin (northwest), Ohio where I teach Intro Bio for majors and non-majors and Microbiology.  My research background is in molecular biology and genetics, studying regulation of gene expression in budding yeast.  My current areas of interest in curriculum development and science education research include developing case studies, the effective use of animations, and Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs).     

Deborah Rook

Deborah Rook


Professional Development Manager

Dr. Deborah Rook is an evolutionary biologist and paleontologist. She has a bachelor's degree in Biology and Evolutionary biology from Case Western Reserve University and a masters in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology from Ohio State University, having studied evolutionary and ecological dynamics of Cenozoic mammals. For her PhD, she moved into Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on dynamic interactions of the rock and fossil records. Biology education has always been a focus for her, having taught and studied pedagogical techniques throughout her graduate studies and beyond. She joined the QUBES team in September 2017 as the FMN Project Manager, where she is working with the Faculty Mentoring Networks to enhance student experiences with quantitative biology, and as our opportunities have expanded, moved to the Professional Development Manager to include all.

Jim Smith

Jim Smith

Michigan State University

I am a Professor of Biology in the Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University, where I teach primarily Introductory Biology, guide undergraduate research projects and lead seminar courses on genetic, evolutionary and environmental issues. I am jointly appointed in the MSU Department of Entomology and the Department of Integrative Biology, and am affiliated with MSU's interdepartmental graduate program in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior. I am also a member of the NSF-funded BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. My students and I conduct research on the evolutionary relationships of Rhagoletis fruit flies and the parasitoid wasps associated with their eggs, larvae, and pupae. While we are interested in all aspects of the biology of Rhagoletis species, we are particularly interested in deciphering the evolutionary relationships of the naturally occurring Rhagoletis species and populations that are distributed across the temperate zones of the Old and New World. We are also involved in a number of biology education initiatives and research projects, which are aimed towards helping students understand the relationships of genotypes, phenotypes, Mendelian genetics and biological evolution. One major project involves the design, implementation and assessment of a set of cases for evolution education that integrate principles from across biology's sub-disciplines. Another involves having students experiment with digital organisms, using the computer program Avida-ED, to explore how evolutionary processes play out. And, of course, we are always trying to figure out ways to teach our courses so that our students maximize their learning and enjoyment of biology!!