Melanie Peffer

Dr. Melanie Peffer has a BS and PhD in molecular biology from the University of Pittsburgh and completed a postdoctoral appointment in learning sciences from Georgia State University. She holds a faculty appointment at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Peffer combines her expertise in molecular biology and the learning sciences to study how people learn, understand, and engage with biology content. In particular, she’s interested in how we can use educational technology like simulations and serious games to assess what people know and believe about the nature of science knowledge. Melanie recently published Biology Everywhere: How the Science of Life Matters to Everyday Life, which focuses on where we see applications of biology as part of our everyday experience.

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Designing Effective Science Communication (Coursera)

Although many would prefer to leave science in the past and no longer engage with it once completing compulsory science classes in school, the reality is that engaging with science is an integral part of our daily lives. Moreover, for the safety and wellness of human society, it is [...]
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The Big Stuff: Evolution and Ecology (Coursera)

In this course, we will explore how evolution works to generate new species, the wide variety of life on earth. We will also touch on the importance of biodiversity for the overall health of our planet, and for our well being as humans. Then we will discuss ecology and [...]
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The Little Stuff: Energy, Cells, and Genetics (Coursera)

In this course, we will explore the smaller side of biology: molecular biology. We’ll cover basic topics including cell biology and how cells can go “rogue” and turn into cancer, how energy from the sun is transferred to fuel our bodies, basics of genetics and inheritance, and genetic technologies. [...]
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Biology Everywhere Foundations (Coursera)

In this course, we will explore the nature of science and biology. We will discuss what the “biology everywhere” philosophy means and the history of the “biology everywhere” project. We will also discuss what science (and biology) are as a discipline of inquiry and how chemistry is foundational to [...]
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Specialty Topics: Biology Across Disciplines (Coursera)

In this course, we will explore the applicability and relationship of biology to the arts, business, and psychology. First, we’ll discuss art as a foundational practice to biology and how biology as a science can explain how we interact with the arts, in particular, our experiences making and listening [...]
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