Sep 192012

Hi, my name is Sarah Bodbyl Roels. You may remember me from the 2012 Summer Institute, when I gave an invited plenary talk about my doctoral research at the University of Kansas. I have been hired by KBS as the new GK-12 program coordinator and I am currently working alongside Robin Tinghitella as she transitions to her new faculty position at the University of Denver in Colorado. Please congratulate Robin on her new job and thank her for many years of hard work developing the KBS GK-12 program.

About me: I am a native Michigander, growing up in Cutlerville, just south of Grand Rapids. I majored in biology at Calvin College and then moved to Kansas to pursue a doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I am a self-professed biology nerd and I love science! I am broadly interested in the evolutionary significance of the diverse reproductive strategies found among all plant and animal taxa. My doctoral research focused primarily on mating system evolution (or changes in the reproductive strategies of populations over time) in Mimulus, a genus of common North American wildflowers. I plan to continue research in the field of evolutionary biology in partnership with KBS and MSU. Stay tuned for updates and hopefully some new data nuggets.

Thoughts on GK-12: I had the distinct pleasure of being a GK-12 fellow at the University of Kansas from 2011-2012. I partnered with a 7th grade physics class in an inner city middle school. The GK-12 experience launched me into the world of science education and science communication, where I developed a deep conviction to improve science literacy and improved my ability to communicate clearly as a scientist.

I am excited by this new opportunity to continue growing relationships between the graduate students, faculty, and staff of KBS and the teachers, administrators, and students of the GK-12 partner districts. I look forward to meeting you all this year. Please feel free to contact me at

~ Sarah