Amanda L. (Glaze) Townley, Ph.D.
Research Agenda & Summary of Interests
Publications and project updates may be viewed and downloaded via ResearchGate at
Following a productive previous academic year, the academic cycles of 2020 and 2021 will be filled with ongoing research into evolution teaching and learning as well as the intersections of science and society that come into play with acceptance and rejection in the United States.
During this academic year, data that has been gathered from the field over the past few years is being aggregated for analysis and reporting on the national pulse of evolution education and acceptance in undergraduate students. This study is a national measure of evolution understanding and acceptance among undergraduate students in biology courses and related field courses including bio-anthropology and biogeography that is entering its second phase of data collection. The purpose of this study is to ascertain the national "pulse" of evolution understanding and acceptance in students of biological studies. This undertaking will finally allow us to compare regions of the United States, as well as institutions, in regards to factors that impact understanding and acceptance of evolution. It is anticipated that data from this study will allow us to find strong program areas and apply them elsewhere to impact teaching and learning of evolution in science students, pre-service teachers, and eventually K-12 settings. The study includes data representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico and 111 universities.
In addition to the national evolution education study, further exploration of dynamics in teaching and learning are underway to get a national view of the demographics, teaching experiences, and perceptions of in-service teachers as they relate to evolution. The goal of this project is to inform professional development approaches based on regional needs of teachers as well as providing a basis for a multi-dimensional approach to the creation of an evolution education network for teachers.
I am thrilled to collaborate with multiple, amazing teams this year on large and small scale projects including Briana Pobiner, Connie Bertka (LUDA & ETUDES); Lee Meadows, and Paul Beardsley (LUDA Project); Mike Smith, Randy Devereaux, and Scott Snyder (GAENE Project); and Emily Kane (Guppy Kits).
In addition to existing projects, a DRK12 is being submitted in November 2024 to further support the teaching and learning of evolution in the Southeastern United States, stay tuned for more information!