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Personal profile

Area of Expertise

I have two primary areas of research interest: dental development/evolution and medical education. My dental research focuses on early dental development and the impact of developmental factors on the deciduous and adult dentition. I have a background in evolutionary biology with specific training in embryological development of dental tissues across species and experience using an animal model to study dental structures. My research has focused primarily on investigating the outcomes of developmental influences on teeth (i.e., the size and structural properties of adult dentition) through the use of gross measurement and micro-CT technology. My research has opened several questions regarding the influences of genetic, hormonal, and biomechanical factors on dental development. My education-based research focuses on improving the quality of anatomy education. An ongoing research project in my lab currently explores the efficacy of learning anatomy in an online environment and is testing the influence of different active learning techniques on student perceptions and performance in an online setting. This research aims to contribute to knowledge of the effects of online learning as an online presence becomes increasingly important for higher education. My lab’s other major project in anatomy education is focused on whether integrated ultrasound learning improves anatomy learning and retention. This research aims to introduce ultrasound imaging into the anatomy lab and examine the short- and longer-term impacts of supplemental technology in practical anatomy learning.

Education/Academic qualification

BA in Anthropology, Colorado State University

MA in Anthropology, University of Iowa

PhD in Anthropology, University of Iowa