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Lis Regula


Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Biology


Email: Lis Regula
Phone: 937-229-2529
SC 033
Website: Visit Site
Curriculum Vitae: Read CV


The most important thing that we can teach our students is that Biology is interesting, relevant, and engaging. A student who is curious and interested in the subject is easy to teach, but unfortunately not all students arrive in the classroom in this state of mind. It is the responsibility of the teacher to present the subject in an interested and engaged manner that shows the elegance and beauty of Biology as well as its applicability to solving concrete and real-world problems and to nurture each student’s latent desire to learn.

It is also important to teach students how to approach the subject. This is especially true for introductory-level courses. Introductory Biology is somewhat unusual in that we expect the students to learn general concepts such as scientific method, cell theory, and the basis of biochemistry (respiration, photosynthesis, etc.), while at the same time requiring that they internalize the terminology and often archaic details of the historiography of science-Mendel, Darwin, Watson and Crick, Van Leeuwenhoek, and others. It is the responsibility of the teacher to balance and differentiate these two tasks, so that the students always understand that the scientific paradigm they are learning is merely the most recent of ways to express and understand the natural world, and that Biology- like all the sciences- is and has been subject to revision based on current knowledge. New findings or different techniques may, and likely will, be discovered that challenge our current understanding as it stands now, but that does not invalidate what we know now or what we may learn, this is simply the way science works as an expanding and self-revising discipline, and is one of the strengths of the scientific method.

In higher-level courses, I believe that the emphasis should be on collaboration, planning and executing research, and more in-depth understanding of the material at hand. Complex scientific projects are rarely the work of an individual; students must learn to organize and work as teams as early as possible. Similarly, research (both primary and literature review) is an essential element of any fully developed science education and liberal arts education, but are difficult skills to master (and are often given little weight in the primary or secondary curriculum). The abilities to conduct research and evaluate research are also crucial in today’s world, to allow individuals to assess claims being made and to understand critiques of various scientific theories. The ability to intelligently and objectively critique the work of others is a necessary precursor to being able to accurately evaluate one’s own work, and just as importantly, to make decisions based on facts and information available that affect the larger environment.

Finally, I firmly believe that it is critical to create spaces in which all students have what they need to succeed, and sometimes this means I provide emotional support for students in crisis. Education should be accessible to all people, and to facilitate that process I try to create an inclusive classroom that meets students where they are. I use examples and history vignettes from a diversity of individuals so that more students might see themselves reflected in the history of biology and science.

Faculty Perspective

My interest in biology goes back to my childhood, and getting a chance to see the giant pandas, ‘Le Le and Nan Nan, to visit from China. I was enthralled by these amazing creatures, and hearing how they had been negatively impacted by human activities broke my heart. After that visit to the Toledo Zoo, I vowed that I would do what I could to leave the world a better place than I found it. I had been lucky enough prior to that learning experience to have grown up in a rural setting, surrounded by woods, fields, ponds, and streams, so my interest in the environment was already piqued, although I had not previously known of the threats that faced so many non-human living organisms.

I retained an interest in living things and the environment throughout my primary and secondary education, but never really considered that this could be a career until I entered my first year at the Ohio State University. I entered as an early childhood education major, but took my honors biology sequence in that first year, where I met Dr. J. Eric Juterbock. This instructor taught biology concepts in a straight forward manner, while always bringing a passion for ecology and justice to the classroom and his everyday life. In the second quarter of the series, Eric took me aside and asked why I was planning to become an elementary teacher. Not satisfied with my answer, he followed up with, “But you like biology better than kids. Have you considered going to grad school and becoming a biology professor?” After some more discussion, research, and thinking, I switched majors to biology and have not regretted that decision since.

Throughout undergraduate and graduate school and my early career, my research has had a few focal points, primarily around invasion ecology, community ecology, and herpetology, while my teaching has been mostly in anatomy and physiology courses, both human and vertebrate. My life outside of the academy has very much centered on human ecology and environmental justice. In the future, I would like to be able to merge these two sides of biology in order to better understand how human impacts on the environment feedback and impact human health and functioning, often very differently based on geography and demographics of a community. I also aim to find better ways to increase engagement with technology and the larger community in biology classrooms so as to facilitate improved pedagogical practices and more experiential learning opportunities for students.

Courses Taught

  • Human Anatomy Lecture
  • Human Anatomy Lab

Professional Activities

  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee, University of Dayton Biology Department
  • Recorder for QDayton, University of Dayton
  • UGCC, University of Dayton Biology Department

Research Interests

  • Community ecology
  • Herpetology
  • Invasion ecology
  • Medical ethics
  • Anatomical pedagogy

Selected Publications

Kroeger, J., and Regula, L. 2017. "Queer Decisions in Early Childhood Teacher Education: Teachers as Advocates for Gender Non-conforming and Sexual Minority Young Children and Families". International Critical Childhood Policy Studies Journal, 6(1), 106-121.

Regula Meyer, L. 2016. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Glenn Research Center. "Herpetological species survey report: NASA Plum Brook Station/Lewis Field". Cleveland, Ohio.

Regula Meyer, L. 2009. "Typha angustifolia and Phragmites australis may differentially affect Rana clamitans and Rana catesbeiana". Proceedings of the International Invasive Plant Symposium: Invasive Plants in the Northeast of Asia and America - Trading Problems, Trading Solutions. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

Regula Meyer, L., J Geiger-Hayes, and P Owen. 2007. "Examination of the intestinal contents of Rana clamitans and Rana catesbeiana tadpoles for symbiotic, cellulose-digesting bacteria". Herpetological Review. 38 (4): 393-395.

Regula Meyer, L. 2005. "Genetic Distance as a Function of Geographic Distance in Ohio Dusky Salamanders." The Ohio State University Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Honors Theses.

Selected Presentations

Regula, L. 2019 Times and Terms: Teaching anatomy that is inclusive and respectful of LGBTQ patients. TransOhio and Ally Conference. Columbus, Ohio.

Regula, L. 2019. Land Use in Portage County. League of Women Voters Kent. Kent, Ohio.

Regula, L. 2019. Times and Terms: Teaching anatomy that is inclusive and respectful of LGBTQ patients. BioEthics and Humanities Conference. NEOMed, Rootstown, Ohio.

Regula, L. and R. Ruchotzke. 2019. Growing Cities discussion. City of Kent Sustainability Commission film and discussion series. Kent, Ohio.

Regula, L. 2019. Building Bodies: 3D Printing in the Anatomy classroom. New Experiences in Teaching Conference, University of Akron. Akron, Ohio.

Kroeger, J and L Regula. 2015. Finding Judy Shepard: The experience and progress of GLBTQ identity/advocacy on behalf of young children and their families. 23rd International RECE Conference: Narratives of Difference: Translations, Transgressions, and Transformations.

Regula Meyer, L, J Preston-Rose, and I Meltzer. 2014 Kent League of Women Voters, Agriculture Position Review.

Young, K, K Ferry, and L Regula Meyer. 2014 Growing Cities and Edible Kent panel discussion on sustainability and food justice.