Karen Pelletreau, PhD

Karen is the Director of Faculty Educational Development at the University of Maine’s Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. She received her PhD from the University of Delaware in Marine Biosciences. At the University of Delaware, Karen started pursuing a parallel interest in teaching and learning as an Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education Fellow. While a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut she started working with classroom undergraduate research experiences as a part of the Small World Initiative. She further developed her knowledge of teaching and learning at the University of Maine where she taught biology courses and in tandem researched how and why biology faculty adopt new teaching practices. This work led her to recognize the importance of supporting and encouraging faculty to embark on new adventures in their classrooms.

Karen has taught courses in Introductory Biology for majors and non-majors and in both big and small classrooms, Microbiology, a research-driven Antibiotic Discovery course, Scientific Communication, A History of Science through Literature, Phycology (no that is not a typo) and several courses on Symbiosis – after all she also spent years studying how marine invertebrates kidnap photosynthetic organelles.

Education Publications

Hakkola, L., Chien, M. T., and Pelletreau, K.N. 2020. Exploring socialization and teaching self-efficacy through a community of practice for international teaching assistants. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 20(3). https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v20i3.28718.

Pelletreau, K.N., Knight, J.K., Lemons, P.P., McCourt, J.S., Merrill, J.E., Nehm, L.B., Prevost, L.B., Urban-Lurain, M. and Smith, M.K. 2018. A faculty professional development model that improves student learning, encourages active-learning instructional practices, and works for faculty at multiple institutions. CBE Life Sci Education 17:es5, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.17-12-0260

Smith, M.K., Toth, E.S., Borges, K., Dastoor, F., Johnston, J., Jones, E.H., Nelson, P.R., Page, J., Pelletreau, K.N., Prentiss, N., Roe, J.L., Staples, J., Summers, M., Trenckmann, E., and Vinson, E. 2018. Using place-based economically relevant organisms to improve student understanding of the roles of carbon dioxide, sunlight, and nutrients in photosynthetic organisms. CourseSource. https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2018.1

McCourt, J.S., Andrews, T.C., Knight, J.K., Merrill, J.E., Nehm, R.H., Pelletreau, K.N., et. al., 2017. What motivates biology instructors to engage and persist in teaching professional development? CBE Life Sci Education. 16:ar54; https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.16-08-0241

Trenckmann, E., Smith, M.K., Pelletreau, K.N., and Summers, M.M. 2017. An active-learning lesson that targets student understanding of population growth in ecology. CourseSource. https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2017.11

Pelletreau, K.N., Andrews, T., Armstrong, N., Bedell, M.A., Dastoor, F., Dean, N., et. al., 2016. A clicker-based study that untangles student thinking about the processes in the central dogma. CourseSource. https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2016.15

Learn more about this UMaine collaboration here:

Faculty’s active-learning lesson improves student understanding of biology concept