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Biology 13  Tues / Thurs  2:00 - 3:30

B.A.  Kalamazoo College

M.S.  Kansas State University

Ph.D.  University of California, Berkeley

Linda McPheron has taught at community colleges in the Bay Area for a number of years. She received a Master’s degree from Kansas State University and a Ph. D. from UC Berkeley in entomology (insects). Her dissertation was on the behavior and ecology of paper wasps.  Recently she has begun to do research on student learning.  Her latest research is on the role of terminology in learning biology for non-major biology students.  Dr. McPheron has taught a variety of courses including: Human Biology, Ecology, The Ecology of California, Limnology, and Scientific Literature.  In addition to her work, she stays active coaching soccer and playing both pickleball and volleyball!

Professional Areas of Interest

Ph.D. thesis:  The role of visual and olfactory cues in the foraging of the paper wasp, Mischocytarus flavitarsis

Discipline based education research:  Does terminology interfere with learning biology concepts?

Presentations and Publications


Owens, MT*, Seidel, SB*, Wong, M*, Bejines, TE, Lietz, S, Perez, JR, Sit, S, Subedar, ZS, Acker, GN, Akana, SF, Balukjian, B, Benton, HP, Blair, JR, Boaz, SM, Boyer, KE, Bram, JB, Burrus, LW, Byrd, DT, Caporale, N, Carpenter, EJ, Chan, YHM, Chen, L, Chovnick, A, Chu, DS, Clarkson, BK, Cooper, SE, Creech, C, Crow, KD, de la Torre, JR, Denetclaw, WF, Duncan, KE, Edwards, AS, Erickson, KL, Fuse, M, Gorga, JJ, Govindan, B, Green, LJ, Hankamp, PZ, Harris, HE, He, ZH, Ingalls, S, Ingmire, PD, Jacobs, JR, Kamakea, M, Rhea R. Kimpo, Knight, JS, Krause, SK, Krueger, LE, Light, TL, Lund, L, Márquez-Magaña, LM, McCarthy, BK, McPheron, LJ, Miller-Sims, VC, Moffatt, CA, Muick, PC, Nagami, PH, Nusse, GL, Okimura, KM, Pasion, SG, Patterson, R, Pennings, PS, Riggs, BE, Romeo, J, Roy, SW, Russo-Tait, T, Schultheis, LM, Sengupta, L, Small, R, Spicer, GS, Stillman, JH, Swei, A, Wade, JM, Waters, SB, Weinstein, SL, Willsie, JK, Wright, DW, Harrison, CD, Kelley, LA, Trujillo, G, Domingo, CD, Schinske, JN, Tanner, KD.  2017.   Classroom Sound Can Be Used To Classify Teaching Practices in College Science Courses,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114 (12):  3085–3090; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1618693114.

McPheron, L. J. and Mills, N. J. 2007.  Discrimination learning of color-odor compounds in a paper wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Pompilinae: Mischocyttarus flavitarsis).  Entomol. Gener.,29 (2/4):  125-134.


“Using Health Claims on Food Packages to Teach Critical Thinking,” American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators, Tysons, VA, Aug. 1-4, 2019.

“Does Excessive Scientific Terminology Interfere with Student’s Ability to Learn Biology Concepts?”  American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators, Austin, TX, May 28-31, 2015.

“Does Scientific Terminology Affect Students’ Ability to Learn Biology?”  Society for Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER West), Irvine, CA, Jan. 14-15, 2017.