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Katie Burnette

Introductory Biology and Science Process Skills

Editor Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Western Washington University.

About Teaching and CourseSource

Katie Burnette is an Academic Coordinator in the Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology Department at the University of California, Riverside. She earned a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where her thesis work focused on the functions of gene family of signal transduction proteins and how mutagenesis influences chromosomal instability in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. As a postdoc, she transitioned to investigating aging and mitochondrial genome mutations in the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Katie currently designs lab curricula and trains graduate teaching assistants for majors and non-majors courses in organismal biology, cellular & molecular biology, and ecology. She also teaches a graduate level course on how to teach biology labs for new graduate teaching assistants.

Katie began exploring her interest in teaching in graduate school. She was an active participant in the Delta Program for Scientific Teaching and a Biocore Education Fellow. She developed and taught a non-majors molecular biology short course as an HHMI Teaching Fellow as was named a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences. As a postdoc, Katie was selected as one of 100 National Science Foundation Teaching Postdocs in the FIRST-IV postdoctoral training program where she developed and taught genetics materials. She was also named an HHMI Summer Institute Scientific Teaching Fellow and has served as a facilitator at several Summer Institutes. Katie has been an invited participant at several scientific teaching conferences including SABER-West, Gordon Research Conferences, and the science education sessions of the Plants and Animal Genomes conference.

Katie enjoys getting students interested in science, especially students who are new to biology. She has taught classes that ranged from a six-student upper level seminar to 24-student lab courses to large-enrollment (300+) lectures. She has been a co-instructor for several “Sequencing Success” DNA barcoding workshops for potential community college transfer students and is a regular online mentor for high school students through PlantingScience.org. She is excited to join the CourseSource editorial team and to support their mission of scientific teaching.