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Cissy Ballen

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Title

Cissy Ballen
Postdoctoral Associate

Department:


Google Scholar profile


Education & Background
  • Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology - University of Sydney, Australia B.S. in Fisheries & Wildlife/Biological Sciences - University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Appointments
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Biology Education
    Cornell University, Ithaca NY, 2014
    Concentration: Undergraduate biology education
    Advisor: Professor Kelly Zamudio
Research interests

My research centers on strategies to reduce attrition of historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields. I became interested in this topic as an undergraduate teaching assistant in zoology at the University of Minnesota. Sehoya Cotner and I co-wrote a paper published in the Journal of Science Teaching that demonstrated female students largely benefit, disproportionately from men, by having a female role model teaching their Biology class. While the research has broad applications, the results also rang true on a personal level. At the University of Minnesota I will continue my work on institutional biases and solution-oriented strategies to promote diversity in the sciences.

Past research

Cornell University
Understanding how to promote and maintain diversity in STEM fields has critical implications for the prevention of “leaky pipelines in the sciences” with respect to gender and underrepresented groups. One way to mitigate STEM attrition is to expose undergraduates to diverse learning opportunities and develop inclusive instructional strategies that will benefit a wider audience. My past research used integrative approaches to gain insight into the effects of support programs, teaching methods, and classroom culture on student performance.

Before I entered the field of discipline-based education research I completed a doctoral degree in evolutionary biology and herpetology, and I maintain strong interests in reptile physiology and behavior. I currently live in northeast Minneapolis with my pet snake, David Boa.

Presentations

Ballen, C., Weiman, C., Searle, J., & Zamudio, K. Active learning promotes diversity in STEM. Evolution, Austin, TX. 2016.

Ballen, C. The Practice of Inclusive Teaching in STEM Workshop. Invited speaker, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 2016.

Ballen, C. Careers in Molecular Biosciences. Invited speaker, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 2016.

Ballen, C., Shine, R. & Olsson, M. Multifactorial sex determination in chameleons. Invited speaker, Herpetology Club, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 2016.

Ballen, C. Evidence-based approaches to promoting diversity in the sciences. Invited speaker, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. 2015.

Ballen, C., Shine, R. & Olsson, M. Effects of early social isolation on the behavior and performance of juvenile lizards, Chamaeleo calyptratus. EvoDay Symposium: Evolution and Behavior. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 2015.

Ballen, C. Biology of Colour Signalling Reptiles. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University. 2015.

Ballen, C. What the heck is going on? Active learning in the Biology Classroom. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University. 2014.

Ballen, C., Shine, R. & Olsson, M. Male and female chameleons use different colours to advertise social dominance. Meeting of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, Point Wolstoncroft, NSW, Australia. 2013.

Ballen, C., Healey, M., Wilson, M., Tobler, M., Wapstra, E. and Olsson, M. Sex-specific basking and activity effects on lizard superoxide levels: high superoxide levels in hot females and cool males. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Minneapolis, MN, USA. 2011.

Ballen, C., Healey, M., Wilson, M., Tobler, M., Wapstra, E. and Olsson, M. Sex-specific basking and activity effects on lizard superoxide levels: high superoxide levels in hot females and cool males. Joint meeting of the International Ethological Conference and the Animal Behavior Society, Bloomington, IN, USA. 2011.

Ballen, C., Healey, M., Wilson, M., Tobler, M., Wapstra, E. and Olsson, M. Net superoxide levels: steeper increase with activity in cooler female and hotter male lizards. University of Sydney post-graduate research showcase, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Poster presentation, 2011.

Ballen, C. The evolution and maintenance of colour signals in reptiles. University of Sydney post-graduate seminar, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 2011.

Peer reviewed publications

Ballen, C., Shine, R., and Olsson, M. 2016. Multifactorial sex-determination in chameleons. Journal of Herpetology (In press)

Tobler, M., Ballen, C., Healey, M., Wilson, M., and Olsson, M. 2015. Oxidant trade-offs in immunity: an experimental test in a lizard. PLoS One 10(5): e0126155.

Ballen, C., Shine, R., and Olsson, M. 2015. Developmental plasticity in an unusual animal: the effects of incubation temperature on behavior in chameleons. Behaviour 152 (10): 1307-1324.

Ballen, C. 2014. Biology of Colour Signaling Reptiles. PhD thesis, University of Sydney: 243.

Ballen, C., Shine, R., and Olsson, M. 2014. Effects of early social isolation on the behaviour and performance of juvenile lizards, Chamaeleo calyptratus. Animal Behaviour 88: 1-6.

*See additional coverage on the Nature Research Highlights, ABC Science, Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, Phys.org

Olsson, M. M., Stuart-Fox, D., and Ballen, C. 2013. Genetics and evolution of color patterns in reptiles. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 24: 529-41.

Ballen, C., Healey, M., Wilson, M., Tobler, M., Olsson, M. 2012. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards. Naturwissenschaften 99(8):661-664.

Ballen, C., Healey, M., Wilson, M., Tobler, M., Wapstra, E. and Olsson, M. 2012. Net superoxide levels: steeper increase with activity in cooler female and hotter male lizards. Journal of Experimental Biology 215(5):731-735.

Cotner, S., Ballen, C., Brooks, C. D., Moore, R. 2011. Instructor gender and student confidence in the sciences: a need for more role models? Journal of College Science Teaching 40(5):96-101.

Other publications

Ballen, C. 2016. ‘Reconstruction and using phylogenetic trees: Active learning module’, in Hillis, D.M., Sadava, D.E, Heller, H.C., Price, M.V., eds., Principles of Life, 2e. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Ballen, C. 2016. ‘Introduction to population genetics: Active learning module’, in Hillis, D.M., Sadava, D.E, Heller, H.C., Price, M.V., eds., Principles of Life, 2e. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Ballen, C. 2016. ‘Animal origins and diversity: Apply What You’ve Learned’, in Hillis, D.M., Sadava, D.E, Heller, H.C., Price, M.V., eds., Principles of Life, 2e. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Ballen, C. 2016. ‘Protostome Diversity: Apply What You’ve Learned’, in Hillis, D.M., Sadava, D.E, Heller, H.C., Price, M.V., eds., Principles of Life, 2e. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Ballen, C. 2016. ‘Deuterostome Diversity: Apply What You’ve Learned’, in Hillis, D.M., Sadava, D.E, Heller, H.C., Price, M.V., eds., Principles of Life, 2e. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Grants and Awards

Cornell University Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Practitioners Fellowship, 2016

Cornell University Online Module Grant: Pre-lecture animated videos for Evolutionary Biology & Biodiversity (BioEE1780) and the Lab of Ornithology, 2015

Cornell University Teaching Support Scheme, Travel Grant, 2015

University of Sydney Biological Sciences Postgraduate Scholarship, 2010–2014

University of Sydney Post Graduate Research Support Scheme, 2012                           

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Graduate Student Travel Award, 2011

University of Sydney Post Graduate Research Support Scheme, 2011           

Outstanding Performance Award for Teaching Assistants in the College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota, 2009

College of Natural Resources High Ability Non-Resident Scholarship, University of Minnesota, 2004-2008

Timothy B. Knopp Memorial Scholarship, University of Minnesota, 2008

Frank H. and Ione Mossman Kaufert Forestry Education Scholarship, University of Minnesota, 2008                      

Laboratory and Classroom Teaching

2016 Directed research (BTL 4994), University of Minnesota

2016  Evolutionary Biology & Biodiversity (BioEE 1780), Cornell University

2015  Evolutionary Biology & Biodiversity (BioEE 1780), Cornell University

2015 Evolution and Marine Diversity (BioSM 1780), Shoals Marine Laboratory

2014  Evolutionary Biology & Biodiversity (BioEE 1780), Cornell University

2013 Tropical Wildlife Biology (BIOL 3010), University of Sydney

2010 Invertebrate Zoology (BIOL 2011), University of Sydney

2009 Animal Diversity (BIOL 2005), University of Minnesota

2009 Introductory Biology: Evolution and Biology of Sex (BIOL 1001), University of Minnesota

2008  Introductory Biology: Evolution and Biology of Sex (BIOL 1001), University of Minnesota

2008 Wildlife Handling and Immobilization for Research and Management (FW 5625), University of Minnesota

2008 Flowering Plant Diversity (PBIO 4511), University of Minnesota

2008 General Zoology (BIOL 2012), University of Minnesota

2007  General Zoology (BIOL 2012), University of Minnesota

 

Phone Number
607-279-2625
Email Address

balle027@umn.edu

Address
3-154 MCB
420 Washington Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455