Publications (bolded are members of the Biology Education Research Lab)


In press


Cooper KM, Cala J, Brownell SE.  Cultural capital in undergraduate research: An exploration of how biology students operationalize knowledge to access research experiences at a large, public research-intensive institution.  International Journal of STEM Education.  In press.  

Nadile EM, Alfonso E, Barreiros BM, Bevan-Thomas WD, Brownell SE, Chin MR, Ferreira I, Ford SA, Gin LE, Gomez-Rosado JO, Gooding G, Heiden A, Hutt AE, King ML, Perez SG, Rivera Comacho YI, Salcedo F, Sellas CF, Sinda KA, Stahlhut KN, Stephens MD, Wiesenthal NJ, Williams KD, Zheng Y, Cooper KM. Call on me!  Undergraduates’ perceptions of voluntarily asking and answering questions in front of large-enrollment science classes.  PLOS One. In press.


Ding L, Cooper KM, Stephens M, Brownell SE.  Learning from error episodes in dialog-videos: A comparison between higher- and lower-performing undergraduates in an authentic course study.  Australasian Journal of Educational Technology.  In press. 


Barnes ME, Mass SA, Roberts JA, Brownell SE.  Christianity as a Concealable Stigmatized Identity (CSI) among Biology Graduate Students.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  In press.




Mead C, Supriya K, Zheng Y, Anbar AD, Collins JP, LePore P, Brownell SE.  Online biology degree program broadens access for women, first-generation to college, and low-income students, but grade disparities remain.  PLOS One.  December 2020. link

Barnes ME, Supriya K, Dunlop HM, Hendrix TM, Sinatra GM, Brownell SE.  Relationships between the Religious Backgrounds and Evolution Acceptance of Black and Hispanic Biology Students.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  November 2020.  link


Cooper KM, Knope ML, Munstermann MJ, Brownell SE.  Students who analyze their own data in a course-based research experience (CURE) show gains in scientific identity and emotional ownership of research.  Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education.  November 2020.  link


Gin LE, Guerrero F, Cooper KM, Brownell SE.  Is active learning accessible? Exploring the process of providing accommodations to students with disabilities. CBE Life Sciences Education. October 2020.  link


Cooper KM*, Auerbach AJ, Bader JD, Beadles-Bohling AS, Brashears JA, Cline E, Eddy SL, Elliott DB, Farley E, Fuselier L, Heinz H, Josek T, Lane AK, Lo SM, Maloy J, Nugent M, Offerdahl E, Palacios-Moreno J, Ramos J, Reid JW, Sparks RA, Stephens MD, Waring AL, Wilton M, Gormally C*, Brownell SE*.  Fourteen recommendations to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals in academic biology. CBE Life Sciences Education. July 2020. (* these authors contributed equally) link


Cooper KM, Gin LE, Brownell SE.  Depression as a concealable stigmatized identity: What influences whether students conceal or reveal their depression in undergraduate research experiences? International Journal of STEM Education. June 2020.  link


Barnes ME, Dunlop HM, Sinatra GM, Hendrix T, Zheng Y, Brownell SE.  “Accepting evolution means you can't believe in God": Atheistic perceptions of evolution among college biology students.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  June 2020. link


Downing VD*, Cooper KM*, Cala J, Gin LE, Brownell SE.  Fear of negative evaluation and student anxiety in community college active learning science courses.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  June 2020.  (* these authors contributed equally) link


Cooper KM*, Gin LE*, Barnes ME, Brownell SE. Exploring student depression in undergraduate research experiences.  CBE Life Sciences Education. May 2019. (* these authors contributed equally) link


Branchaw J, Pape-Lindstrom P, Tanner KD, Bissonnette S, Cary T, Couch BA, Crowe AJ, Knight JK, Semsar K, Smith J, Smith MK, Summers MM, Wienhold C, Wright CD, Brownell SE.  Resources for Teaching and Assessing the Vision and Change Biology Core Concepts.  CBE Life Sciences Education. May 2020. link


Cooper KM, Nadile EM, Brownell SE.  Don’t joke about me: Student identities and perceptions of instructor use of humor in science classrooms.  Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education. Iink 


Cooper KMBrownell SE. Student anxiety and fear of negative evaluation in active learning science classrooms. Chapter in book: Active learning in college science, the case for evidence-based practice. Springer Nature. February 2020.  link


Grunspan DZ, Nesse RM, Brownell SE. EvMedEd: A teaching resource for integrating medical examples into evolution education.  American Biology Teacher.  February 2020. link


Barnes ME, Werner R, Brownell SE.  Differential impacts of a culturally competent genetics curriculum on student perceptions of conflict between religion and evolution at an evangelical university. American Biology Teacher.  February 2020.  link


Barnes ME, Truong J, Grunspan DZ, Brownell SE. Are scientists biased against Christians?  Exploring real and perceived Christian bias in academic biology.  PLOS ONE.  January 2020.  link




Cooper KM, Blattman JN, Hendrix T, Brownell SE.  The impact of broadly relevant novel discoveries on student project ownership in a traditional lab course turned CURE.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  November 2019.  link 


Cooper KM, Brownell SE, Gormally C.  Coming Out to the Class: Identifying Factors that Influence College Biology Instructor Decisions About Whether to Reveal Their LGBTQIA Identity in Class.  Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering.  October 2019.  link


Smith MK, Brownell SE, Crowe AJ, Holmes NG, Knight JK, Semsar K, Summers MM, Walsh C, Wright CD, Couch BA.  Tools for Change: Measuring Student Conceptual Understanding Across Undergraduate Biology Programs Using Bio-MAPS Assessments.  Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education.  September 2019.  link


Cooper KM*, Gin L*, Akeeh B, Clark CE, Hunter JS, Roderick TB, Elliott DB, Gutierrez LA, Mello RM, Pfeiffer LD, Scott RA, Arellano D, Ramirez D, Valdez EM, Vargas C, Velarde K, Zheng Y, Brownell SE.  Factors that predict biological sciences student persistence in undergraduate research experiences.  PLOS ONE.  August 2019.  link


Diaz-Martinez LA, Fisher GR, Esparza D, Bhatt JM, D’Arcy CE, Apodaca J, Brownell SE, Corwin L, Davis WB, Floyd KW, Killion PJ, Madden J, Marsteller P, Mayfield-Meyer T, McDonald KK, Rosenberg M, Yarborough MA, Olimpo, JT.  Recommendations for Effective Integration of Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research (E/RCR) Education into Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences: A Meeting Report.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  May 2019.  link


Cooper KM*, Gin L*, Brownell SE.  Diagnosing differences in what undergraduates in a fully online and an in-person biology degree program know and do regarding medical school admission.  Advances in Physiology Education.  May 2019.  (*these authors contributed equally).  link


Grunspan DZ, Moeller KT, Nesse RM, Brownell SE.  The state of evolutionary medicine in undergraduate education.  Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health (EMPH).  May 2019. link


Dunk R, Barnes ME, Reiss M, Alters B, Asghar A, Carter C, Cotner S, Glaze A, Hawley P, Jensen J, Mead L, Nadelson L, Nelson C, Pobiner B, Scott E, Shtulman A, Sinatra G, Southerland S, Walter E, Brownell S, and Wiles J.  Evolution education involves a complex landscape of interrelated factors.  Nature Ecology and Evolution.  February 2019.  link


Barnes ME, Dunlop H, Holt E, Zheng Y, Brownell SE. Different evolution acceptance instruments lead to different research findings.  Evolution Education and Outreach.  January 2019.  link


Couch BA, Wright CD, Freeman S, Knight JK, Semsar K, Smith MK, Summers MM, Zheng Y, Crowe AJ, Brownell SE.  GenBio-MAPS: A programmatic assessment to measure student understanding of Vision and Change core concepts across general biology programs.  CBE Life Sciences Education. January 2019.  link  




Semsar K, Brownell SE, Couch BA, Crowe AJ, Smith MK, Summers MM, Wright CD, Knight JK.  Phys-MAPS: A programmatic physiology assessment for introductory and advanced undergraduates.  Advances in Physiology Education. December 2018. link


Cala J, Cooper KM, Brownell SE.  Using a Sequential Interpretation of Data in Envelopes (SIDE) approach to identify a mystery TRP channel.  CourseSource.  September 2018. link


Cooper KM, Brownell SE.  Developing CUREs in discipline-based education research: Lessons learned and recommendations. Journal for Microbiology and Biology Education.  August 2018. link


Cooper KM, Hendrix T, Stephens M, Cala JM, Mahrer K,Agloro A, Badini G, Barnes ME, Eledge B, Jones R, Krieg A, Lemon E, Mossimo N, Martin A, Ruberto T, Simonson K, Webb E, Weaver J, Brownell SE.   To be or not to be funny? Student perceptions of instructor humor in college science courses. PLOS One. August 2018. link


      Commentary: ASU Now link


      Commentary: Inside Higher Ed link


      Commentary: ASU TeachTech Blog link


     Commentary: ASU State Press link


Wright CW, Huang AL, Cooper KM, Brownell SE.  Exploring differences in decisions about exams among instructors of the same introductory biology course.  International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  July 2018.  (*these authors contributed equally). link


Grunspan D, Kline M, Brownell SE.  The Lecture Machine: A Cultural Evolutionary Model of Pedagogy in Higher Education.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  June 2018.  link


Cooper KM*, Downing V*, Brownell SE.  The influence of active learning practices on student anxiety in large-enrollment college science classrooms.  International Journal of STEM Education.  June 2018. (*these authors contributed equally). link


        Highlighted in Science Magazine as an Editor's choice


        Commentary: ASU Center for Biology and Society website link


Cooper KM, Ding L, Stephens MD, Chi MTH, Brownell SE. A course-embedded comparison of instructor-generated videos of either an instructor alone or an instructor and a student.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  May 2018.  link


Summers M, Couch B, Knight J, Brownell SE, Crowe A, Semsar K, Wright C, Smith M.  EcoEvo-MAPS: An ecology and evolution assessment for introductory through advanced undergraduates. CBE Life Sciences Education.  May 2018.  link 


Cooper KMKrieg A, Brownell SE.  Who perceives they're smarter? Exploring the influence of student characteristics on student academic self-concept in physiology.  Advances in Physiology Education.  April 2018.  link  pdf 


       Generated international attention, including The New York Times, Slate's The Gist, NBC news, ABC news, The Telgraph, BBC, Fortune, Daily        Mail, Mother Jones, Jezebel,, Science Daily, AZ central, and dozens of international radio shows, blogs, and news postings  


Cooper KM, Ashley M, Brownell SE. Breaking down barriers: A bridge program helps first year biology students become comfortable and make connections with faculty. Journal of College Science Teaching.   March 2018. pdf


Truong J*Barnes ME*, Brownell SE. Can six minutes of culturally competent evolution education reduce students' level of perceived conflict between evolution and religion?  American Biology Teacher.  February 2018. (*these authors contributed equally). link   pdf


Grunspan D, Nesse R, Barnes ME, Brownell SE.  Core Principles of Evolutionary Medicine: A Delphi Study.  Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.  January 2018.  full text 


       Commentary: EMPH Editorial link




Barnes ME and Brownell SE.  A call to use cultural competence when teaching evolution to religious college students: Introducing Religious Cultural Competence in Evolution Education (ReCCEE).  CBE Life Sciences Education.  December 2017.  full text


Ashley M*, Cooper KM*, Cala JM, Brownell SE.  Building better bridges into STEM: A synthesis of 25 years of literature on STEM summer bridge programs.  CBE Life Sciences Education. December 2017.  (*these authors contributed equally).  full text


Barnes ME and Brownell SE. Experiences and practices of evolution instructors at Christian universities that can inform culturally competent evolution education. Science Education. November 2017. full text


Barnes ME, Evans M, Hazel A, Brownell SE, Nesse R.  Teleological reasoning, not acceptance of evolution, impacts students' ability to learn natural selection.  Evolution: Education and Outreach.  October 2017.  full text


Jordt H, Eddy SL, Brazil R, Lau I, Mann C, Brownell SE, King K, Freeman S. Values Affirmation Intervention Reduces Achievement Gap between Underrepresented Minority and White Students in Introductory Biology Classes. CBE Life Sciences Education.  September 2017. full text


Cooper KM, Ashley M, Brownell SE.  Using expectancy value theory as a framework to reduce student resistance to active learning: a proof of concept.  Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education.  May 2017.  full text 


Shortlidge EE, Bangera G, Brownell SE.  Each to Their Own CURE: Faculty Who Teach Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences Report Why You Too Should Teach a CURE. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education. May 2017.  full text 


Cooper KM, Soneral P, Brownell SE.  Design your goals before you develop your CURE.  A call to use backward design in planning course-based undergraduate research experiences. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education. May 2017.  full text 


Ballen CJ, Blum JE, Brownell SE, Hebert S, Hewlett J, Klein JR, McDonald EA, Monti DL, Nold SC, Slemmons K, Soneral P, Cotner S.  A call to develop course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) for nonmajor courses. CBE Life Sciences Education.  June 2017. full text


Schinske J, Balke VL, Bangera G, Bonney KM, Brownell SE, Carter RS, Curran-Everett D, Dolan EL, Elliott SL, Fletcher L, Gonzalez B, Gorga JJ, Hewlett JA, Kiser SL, McFarland JL, Misra A, Nenortas A, Ngeve SM, Pape-Lindstrom PA, Seidel SB, Tuthill MC, Yin Y, Corwin LA.  Broadening Participation in Biology Education Research (BER): Engaging Community College Students & Faculty.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  June 2017. pdf


Barnes ME, Truong J, Brownell SE.  Experiences of Judeo-Christian Students in Undergraduate Biology.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  March 2017.  full text


Cooper KM, Ashley M, Brownell SE.  A bridge to active learning: A summer bridge program helps students to maximize their active learning experiences and the active learning experiences of others.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  March 2017.  full text   


Cooper KM, Haney B, Krieg A, Brownell SE.  What's in a name? The importance of students perceiving an instructor knows their names in a high enrollment biology classroom.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  March 2017. full text


Barnes ME, Elser J, Brownell SE.  The impact of a short evolution module on students' perceived conflict between religion and evolution.  American Biology Teacher.  February 2017. full text


    Commentary: ASU Now link


    Commentary: ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine link


    Generated national media attention, including in Scientific American




Shortlidge EE, Brownell SE.  How to assess your CURE: A practical guide for instructors of course-based undergraduate research experiences. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education.  December 2016. full text


    Featured in 2017 JMBE Spotlight Issue


Hekmat-Scafe D, Brownell S, Chandler PS, Malladi S, Imam J, Singla V, Bradon N, Cyert M, Stearns T.  Using yeast to determine the functional consequences of mutations in the human p53 tumor suppressor gene: An introductory course-based undergraduate research experience in molecular and cell biology.  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.  November 2016.  full text


Cooper KM, Brownell SE.  Coming out in class: Challenges and benefits of active learning in a biology classroom for LGBTQIA students.  CBE Life Sciences Education as part of a special issue on Broadening Participation.  September 2016.  full text


     Commentary: ASU Now link


Eddy SL* and Brownell SE*. Beneath the numbers: A review of gender disparities in undergraduate education across science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines.  Physics Review: Special Topics Physics Education Research: Gender in Physics.  August 2016.  (*these authors contributed equally). abstract  full text


Hsu J, Wrona A, Brownell SE, Khalfan W.  Exploration enhances education: single session research-focused classes benefit undergraduates as well as graduate student and postdoctoral instructors. Journal of College Science Teaching.  July/August 2016.  pdf  


Wright CW, Eddy SL, Wenderoth MP, Abshire E, Blankenbiller M, Brownell SE.  Cognitive difficulty and format of exams predicts gender and socio-economic gaps in exam performance of students in introductory biology courses.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  June 2016.  full text  pdf


      Commentary: ASU Now link


Barnes ME, Brownell SE.  Practices and Perspectives of College Instructors on Addressing Religious Beliefs When Teaching Evolution.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  June 2016.  full text    pdf


       Commentary: ASU Now link


       Commentary: Scientific American pdf


Grunspan D, Eddy SL, Brownell SE, Wiggins B, Crowe AJ, Goodreau S.  Males under-estimate academic performance of their female peers in undergraduate biology classrooms.  PLoS One.  February 2016. full text   pdf


      Highlighted in Science Magazine as an Editor's Choice for Education


      Commentary: University of Washington UW Today news link


      Commentary: The Washington Post link


      Commentary: The Atlantic link


      Commentary: US News link link


Shortlidge EE, Bangera G, Brownell SE.  Faculty Perspectives on Developing and Teaching Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences.  BioScience.  January 2016.  abstract  full text  pdf


      Commentary: Portland State news link


      Commentary: ASU School of Life Sciences News link




Eddy SL*, Brownell SE*, Thummaphan P, Lan MC, Wenderoth MP.  Caution, student experience may vary: Social identities impact a student's experience in peer discussions.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  December 2015.  (*these authors contributed equally).   full text   pdf


Brownell SE, Hekmat-Scafe D, Singla V, Seawell P, Conklin-Imam J, Eddy SL, Stearns T, and Cyert M.  A high enrollment course-based undergraduate research experience improves student conceptions of scientific thinking and ability to interpret data.  CBE Life Sciences Education.  June 2015. full text  pdf


      Highlighted on the CUREnet website link


      Featured in 2015 CBE LSE Highlights issue link


Brownell SE* and Kloser MJ*.  Toward a conceptual framework for measuring the effectiveness of course-based undergraduate research experiences in undergraduate biology.  Studies in Higher Education. March 2015. (*these authors contributed equally)  full text  pdf




Bangera G* and Brownell SE*.  Course-based undergraduate research experiences can make scientific research more inclusive.  CBE Life Sciences Education (CBE LSE).  December 2014. (*these authors contributed equally)  full text      pdf


      Highlighted in the March 1st, 2015 issue of Genetics link


      Commentary: Jenna Richter (2015) Course-based undergraduate research experiences can make scientific research more inclusive.  link


Eddy SL*, Brownell SE*, Wenderoth MP.  Gender gaps in achievement and participation in multiple introductory biology classrooms.  CBE Life Sciences Education (CBE LSE).  September 2014.  (*these authors contributed equally) full text     pdf


      Highlighted in Science Magazine as an Editor's Choice for Education


      Commentary: S. Leander (2014) Study shows gender gaps remain in introductory science classrooms.  ASU news. full text


      Commentary:  S. Adkins (2014) Gender Gaps Do Exist In Science Classrooms As Well, Study.  University Herald. full text


      Commentary: C. Weller (2014) Gender Gap In Science Continues, Despite Most Biology Majors Being Female.  Medical Daily. full text


      Commentary: Science 2.0 News Staff (2014) How To Get Women To Participate More In Biology Classes.  Science 2.0.  full text


Brownell SE, Freeman S, Wenderoth MP, and Crowe AJ.  BioCore Guide: A tool for interpreting the core concepts of Vision and Change.  CBE Life Sciences Education (CBE LSE).  June 2014. full text     pdf


       Commentary: S. Leander (2014) ASU researcher leads national effort to transform undergraduate biology education.  ASU news.  link


Brownell SE, Wenderoth MP, Theobald R, Okoroafor N, Koval M, Freeman S, Walcher-Chevillet CL, and Crowe AJ.  How students think about experimental design: novel conceptions revealed by in-class activities. BioScience. February 2014. full text     pdf


2013 and earlier


Brownell SE, Kloser MJ, Fukami T, and Shavelson R. Context matters: volunteer bias, small sample size, and the value of comparison groups in the assessment of research-based undergraduate introductory lab courses. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education. December 2013. full text     pdf


Brownell SE, Price JV, and Steinman L. Science communication to the general public: Why we need to teach undergraduate and graduate students this skill as part of their formal scientific training.  Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education. October 2013.  full text     pdf


Brownell SE, Price JV, and Steinman L.  A writing–intensive course improves biology undergraduates’ perception and confidence of their abilities to read scientific literature and communicate science.  Advances in Physiology Education.  March 2013.   full text     pdf


Kloser MJ*, Brownell SE*, Shavelson R, Fukami T.  Effects of a research-based ecology lab course: A study of nonvolunteer achievement, self-confidence, and perception of lab course purpose. Journal of College Science Teaching.  January/February 2013. (*these authors contributed equally)   pdf


Brownell SE, Khalfan W, Bergmann D, Simoni R. Explorations: A research-based program that provides unique teaching opportunities for graduate students while introducing undergraduates to diverse research topics in biology. Journal of College Science Teaching. January/February 2013.   pdf


Brownell SE, Tanner KD.  Barriers to Faculty Pedagogical Change: Lack of Training, Time, Incentives, and … Tensions with Professional Identity? Cell Biology Education- Life Sciences Education (CBE-LSE).  December 2012. full text     pdf


    Featured in National Research Council report "Reaching Students"    


    Featured in the 2013 Highlights issue of CBE-LSE


    Finalist for Maryellen Weimer Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning Award, 2014


Brownell SE*, Kloser MJ*, Fukami T, Shavelson RJ. Undergraduate biology lab courses: Comparing the impact of traditionally-based ‘cookbook’ and authentic research- based courses on student lab experiences.  Journal of College Science Teaching.  March/April 2012. (*these authors contributed equally)   pdf


    Commentary: McClure M (2011) Ditch the cookbook: Stanford's biology pilot project shows benefits from nontraditional lab class.  Stanford             Report.  link


    Commentary: Passarelli J (2013) Out of the cookbook and into the field.  Stanford Teaching Commons.  link


Kloser MJ*, Brownell SE*, Chiariello NR, Fukami T.  Integrating teaching and research in undergraduate biology laboratory education.  PLoS Biology. November 2011. (*these authors contributed equally)   full text     pdf