MarySusan Potts-Santone

MarySusan Potts-SantoneAssociate Academic Specialist
Marine Invertebrate Zoology

Department of Biology
Northeastern University
203 C Mugar Life Sciences
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 

Academic Education

  • Ph.D. in Zoology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
  • B.A. in Biochemistry, Suffolk University, Boston, MA


  • Associate Academic Specialist, Northeastern University (2008 – present)
  • Assistant Academic Specialist, Northeastern University (2003 – 2008)
  • Lecturer, Northeastern University (1999 – 2003)
  • Part-time Lecturer, Northeastern University (1993 – 1999)

Other Professional Activities

  • Undergraduate Academic Advisor
  • Faculty Advisor – Northeastern University Animal Science and Pre-Veterinary Association (NUASPVA)
  • Northeastern University’s Universal Instructional Design (UID) team
  • New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS)
  • Eastern New England Biology Conference

Research Interests

I am interested in Marine Invertebrate Zoology and Universal Instructional Design in the Biology Classroom.

Gulf of Maine Invertebrates: Henricia sanguinolenta (blood star) on
Halichondria panicea (bread crumb sponge), Cobscook Bay, Maine. 2006.

Teaching Activities

As an instructor my responsibility is to facilitate learning in creative ways and to make every effort to meet the varied learning styles of the students in my classes. With the explosion of information, new technology and advances in biology, it is particularly important for students to be well grounded in this area and be able to synthesize information and make decisions about the changing world around them. This is the broad emphasis I stress in my 2 semester course in General Biology as well as in the more specialized course I teach in Invertebrate Zoology. Understanding invertebrates and their astounding diversity in an ecological and evolutionary context is particularly relevant because these organisms are: 1) vital members of marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, 2) sources of food and biomedical compounds for humans and 3) just plain interesting. In order to more actively engage students in the learning process, I have incorporated various types of technology into lecture, participated in Learning Communities and redesigned course curricula to include the principles and pedagogy of Universal Instructional Design. I strive always to forge connections between what the students learn about in lecture and then work with in the small group setting of laboratory.


  • Potts-Santone, MS, 2008. “Voices from the Classroom: First-Person Accounts” in Pedagogy and Student Services for Institutional Transformation: Implementation Guidebook for Faculty and Staff, editors E. Goff and J. Higbee, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.