Home » Scholar of the Week

Susan Riechert

December 10, 2010
Susan Riechert

Susan Riechert

Susan Riechert, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, received the Tennessee Science Teachers Association Higher Education Science Educator of the Year Award at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Nashville on December 2. The prestigious award, given by the state’s major science education organization, recognizes outstanding science teachers across the state. Riechert was recognized for her “Biology in a Box” program.

Biology in a Box consists of boxes that house scientific materials such as preserved specimens, instruments, and audio and visual clips, with corresponding exercises that integrate science and mathematics at all grade levels. The program is currently employed in 80 school systems across the state and has been successful in stimulating student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

This year, Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed Riechert to his STEM Advisory Council, to help guide the state’s efforts to improve STEM education. The council’s goal is to help promote the state’s aggressive and comprehensive public education reform plan, which is part of the federal “Race to the Top” initiative.

Riechert is also co-director of VolsTeach, a program that converts UT’s current teacher training program in mathematics and science from a five-year to a four-year program and integrates field experiences into all four years. The program, which is designed to address the state’s science and math teacher shortage, is in its first year and has 60 students enrolled.

Selected Publications

Riechert, S. E. and Post, B.K. 2010. From skeletons to bridges and other STEM enrichment exercises for high school biology. American Biology Teacher 72: 20-22.

Duncan, S.E., Riechert, S.E., Fitzpatrick, B.M. and Fordyce, J.A. 2010. Relatedness and genetic structure in a socially polymorphic population of the spider Anelosimus studiosus. Molecular Ecology 4: 810–818.

Jones, T.C., Pruitt, J.N., and Riechert S.E. 2010. Reproductive success in a socially polymorphic spider: social individuals experience depressed reproductive success in isolation. Ecological Entomology 35: 684-690.

Pruitt, J.N., Riechert, S.E., Iturralde, G., Vega, M., Fitzpatrick, B.M. and Aviles, L. 2010. Population differences in behaviour are explained by shared within‐population trait correlations. Journal Evolutionary Biology 23: 748-756.

Pruitt, J.N. and Riechert, S.E. 2009. Male preference for female social tendency is explained by differential risk in courtship. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63: 1573-1580.

Post, B. K. and Riechert, S.E. 2009. Bridging the gap: Biology and engineering in the high school curriculum. Proc. ASEE SE Conference.

Pruitt, J. N. and Riechert, S.E. 2009. Sex matters: sexually dimorphic fitness consequences of a behavioral syndrome. Animal Behaviour 78: 175-181.

Pruitt, J. N. and Riechert, S.E. 2009. Frequency dependent success of cheaters during foraging bouts might limit their spread within colonies of a socially polymorphic spider. Evolution 63: 2966-2973.

Visit the Quest Gallery at Trace, UT’s digital archive, to access publications of other Quest Scholars of the Week.