SABER Executive Committee

Jenny Knight, President

University of Colorado - Boulder, Email:

Dr. Jenny Knight is an Associate Professor in the Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU).  She has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan, where she studied eye development, and postdoctoral training at CU, where she worked on the genetic control of early cell movements in development.  She has been teaching undergraduates at all levels for twenty years. She began at CU in a teaching-only (non tenure-track) faculty position and began transitioning into education research in 2003, motivated by a desire to learn more effective teaching practices and understand student thinking. It took a long time to get her department to understand DBER and its value!  In her work, she wants to connect research to practice; thus she worked on developing concept assessments, an attitudes assessment, and a survey for measuring Scientific Teaching before turning to studying the benefits of peer discussion, and now understanding how students engage in complex problem solving and scientific reasoning, particularly in genetics.  She has also been involved in the Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology since its inception, and was part of the founding of SABER itself.  She is excited to help lead this next phase of SABER’s development!  She’d like to hear from all of you about your needs and dreams for SABER’s future before doing too much, but some of her thoughts are to help foster connections with other disciplines and disciplinary societies, ensure avenues for collaborative relationships and a voice for all our members, and to increase the impact and reach of our work.   

Jenni Momsen, President-Elect

North Dakota State University, Email:

Trading the plants and pollen of local wetlands for the students and faculty of biology classrooms, Dr. Jenni Momsen joined the biology education research community just as SABER took seed. Her research on modeling and systems thinking, assessment, and more recently equity and inclusivity impacts her vision for SABER and the role of the executive committee. As our society continues to grow, we must work to expand the accessibility of our meetings, develop tools to support our members as they enter diverse career pathways, and expand the impact of our research beyond the biology classroom.

Mary Pat Wenderoth, Past President

University of Washington - Seattle, Email:

Dr. Mary Pat Wenderoth is a Principal Lecturer in the Biology Department at the University of Washington, Seattle (UW) where she teaches animal physiology courses and conducts biology education research on how students learn biology. Her main research interests focus on assessing implementation of cognitive science principles in the classroom, use of first principles in constructing conceptual frameworks in physiology, and student metacognition. She also does research on academic achievement gaps in STEM and effectiveness of professional development efforts to close those gaps. She received the UW Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001and has served as the co-director of the UW Teaching Academy. She was recognized by the National Association of Biology Teachers as the Biology Education Researcher of 2017.  She received the Claude Bernard Distinguished Lectureship of the American Physiology Society Teaching of Physiology Section in 2019. She is co-founder of the UW Biology Education Research Group (UW BERG) and the national Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER). She served as a facilitator at the HHMI Summer Institute for Undergraduate Biology Education from 2007 -2011. 

Joe Dauer, Secretary

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Email:

Dr. Joe Dauer's research has long bridged the theoretical and applied realms, first in plant ecology and now in student learning. He conducts research on how students gain and re-organize knowledge during learning and how different pedagogical approaches impact knowledge organization. Specifically, he focuses on leveraging quantitative reasoning and simulations to increase undergraduate student learning of system dynamics. As secretary, he will advocate for improving access for attendees that have family considerations. He will also push for increased visibility of interdisciplinary research at our annual meeting to broaden our methodologies and theory-building approaches.

Kristine Callis-Duehl, Treasurer

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Email:

Dr. Kristine L. Callis-Duehl received her PhD in Biology from the University of Florida in 2013, where she participated in Biology Education Research (BER) research on group discussions and in-service teacher professional development. During her joint postdocs at UC-Irvine and UC-Davis, part of her research involved online learning and learning games for K-5. As an assistant professor at East Carolina University (2015-2019), her research has focused on: online learning, scientific argumentation, and recruitment/retention of underserved populations of students. Kris became the Director of Education Research and Outreach at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO in the summer of 2019. As treasurer, she is looking forward to helping SABER and the community continue to emphasize, pursue and communicate cutting edge biology education research and possibly expand SABER’s scope into regional conferences beyond SABER-West.

SABER is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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