Abby Grace Drake

Senior Lecturer


Researching and employing innovative pedagogical ideas to help students and teachers succeed is a primary focus of my work. As a first-generation, low-income college student who was also the first in my family to earn a PhD, I have a deep passion to investigate methods for creating supportive classrooms that increase success for underrepresented and traditionally marginalized students and teachers. I am the active learning instructor for a large gateway biology course (BioEE 1780). Over the last 5 years I have reimagined our pedagogical approach and implemented many tools that increase student engagement as well as the collective feeling of community in the classroom.

In 2018, Kelly Zamudio (a former faculty member in EEB) and I, were awarded an Innovative Teaching & Learning Grant which we used to design and develop an online course that utilizes active learning. We successfully launched this course (BioEE 1781) in summer 2019 and have offered it every summer session and every fall and spring semester. It was a great help to have this in place when we transitioned BioEE 1780 online in Spring 2020! In this video Kelly and I discuss our vision for this online interactive biology class.

I also serve as a consultant, working with faculty across disciplines to implement active learning pedagogical techniques. If you are interested in observing my active learning classroom or would like to talk about pedagogy please do get in touch with me.

Research Focus

Additionally, I conduct discipline-based education research (DBER) on biology education to find the best practices that we can apply to create STEM equity. I am a member of the National Science Foundation funded Research Collaborative Network: EDU-STEM: Equity and Diversity in Undergraduate STEM

Our recent publications:

As an evolutionary biologist, I use 3D shape analysis to study the evolution of the mammalian skull. Most of my research has been on how dogs evolved from wolves. I also work on felids and humans.

Here are a few publications:


In the news

BIOEE Courses - Spring 2024

BIOEE Courses - Summer 2024

BIOEE Courses - Fall 2024