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Claire Meaders


Student experiences in introductory STEM courses can impact their motivation, learning, and retention within STEM majors. My biology education research broadly aims to understand faculty teaching practices and how they impact student experiences and learning.

A current project includes characterizing how faculty approach teaching the first day of class and impacts of the first day of class on student attitudes. We use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods (surveys and observations) to address these questions. Other interests include the impacts of course-specific instruction of self-regulated learning on student study habits and learning outcomes. I am collaborating with Dr. Lisa McDonnell on a project exploring how faculty direct students to study, and what students perceive as best practices for studying in various biology courses.

I am also interested in K-12 biology education research and am part of a team conducting a study evaluating the impacts of an intervention using comics and trading cards that showcase diverse scientists to teach environmental conservation on middle school students’ knowledge and attitudes towards the topic, as well as their science identity.

Select Publications

  • Meaders, C. L., Senn, L. G., Couch, B. A., Lane, A. K., Stains, M., Stetzer, M. R., Vinson, E., & Smith, M. K. (2021). Am I getting through? Surveying students on what messages they recall from the first day of STEM classes. International Journal of STEM Education, 8(49).
  • Fankhauser, S. C., Reid, G., Mirzoyan, G., Meaders, C., & Ho-Shing, O. (2021). Participating in the scientific publication process: exploring how pre-college students perceive publication within the scientific enterprise. Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Science Education Research, 3(1), 4.
  • Meaders, C. L., Smith, M. K., Boester, T., Bracy, A., Couch, B. A., Drake, A. G., Farooq, S., Khoda, B., Kinsland, C., Lane, A. K., Lindahl, S. E., Livingston, W. H., Bundy, A. M., McCormick, A., Morozov, A. I., Newell-Caito, J. L., Ruskin, K. J., Sarvary, M. A., Stains, M., … Stetzer, M. R. (2021). What Questions Are on the Minds of STEM Undergraduate Students and How Can They Be Addressed? Frontiers in Education, 6(February), 1–8.
  • Lane, A. K.*, Meaders, C* ., Shuman, J., Stetzer, M., Vinson, E., Couch, B., Smith, M. K., & Stains, M. (2021). Making a first impression: Exploring what instructors do and say on the first day of introductory STEM courses. CBE Life Sciences Education, 1–11. *co-first authors
  • Meaders CL*, Lane AK*, Morozov AI, Shuman JK, Toth ES, Stains M, Stetzer MR, Vinson E, Couch BA, Smith MK. Undergraduate Student Concerns in Introductory STEM Courses: What They Are, How They Change, and What Influences Them. Journal for STEM Educ Res 3, 195–216 (2020). *co-first authors
  • Meaders C, Min Y, Freedberg KJ, Kramer E. Developmental and molecular characterization of novel staminodes in Aquilegia. Ann Bot. 2020 Jul 24;126(2):231-243. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcaa029. PMID: 32068783; PMCID: PMC7380458.
  • Meaders CL, Toth ES, Lane AK, Shuman JK, Couch BA, Stains M, Stetzer MR, Vinson E, Smith MK. "What Will I Experience in My College STEM Courses?" An Investigation of Student Predictions about Instructional Practices in Introductory Courses. CBE Life Sci Educ. 2019 Dec;18(4):ar60. doi: 10.1187/cbe.19-05-0084. PMID: 31730385.
  • Sharma B, Meaders C, Wolfe D, Holappa L, Walcher-Chevillet C, Kramer EM. Homologs of LEAFY and UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS Promote the Transition From Inflorescence to Floral Meristem Identity in the Cymose Aquilegia coerulea. Front Plant Sci. 2019 Oct 4;10:1218. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01218. PMID: 31681357; PMCID: PMC6805967.
  • Yant L, Collani S, Puzey J, Levy C, Kramer EM. Molecular basis for three-dimensional elaboration of the Aquilegia petal spur. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Mar 22;282(1803):20142778. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2778. PMID: 25673682; PMCID: PMC4345449.
  • Okano J, Levy C, Lichti U, Sun HW, Yuspa SH, Sakai Y, Morasso MI. Cutaneous retinoic acid levels determine hair follicle development and downgrowth. J Biol Chem. 2012 Nov 16;287(47):39304-15. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.397273. Epub 2012 Sep 24. PMID: 23007396; PMCID: PMC3501026.
  • Qin Y, Wysocki RJ, Somogyi A, Feinstein Y, Franco JY, Tsukamoto T, Dunatunga D, Levy C, Smith S, Simpson R, Gang D, Johnson MA, Palanivelu R. Sulfinylated azadecalins act as functional mimics of a pollen germination stimulant in Arabidopsis pistils. Plant J. 2011 Dec;68(5):800-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04729.x. Epub 2011 Sep 14. PMID: 21801250; PMCID: PMC3225508.
  • Hartman E, Levy C, Kern DM, Johnson MA, Basu A. A rapid, inexpensive, and semi-quantitative method for determining pollen tube extension using fluorescence. Plant Methods. 2014 Jan 23;10(1):3. doi: 10.1186/1746-4811-10-3. PMID: 24456640; PMCID: PMC3906753.


Clara (Claire) Meaders received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology where she studied morphology and genetics of staminode development in the flowering plant Aquilegia. She then switched to biology education research for her postdoctoral work at Cornell University. She joined UC San Diego as an Assistant Teaching Professor in 2020.

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