Melissa McElligott


PhD, Biology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
BS, Marine Biology, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC

Area(s) of Expertise

Neural networks in the brainstem mediate locomotion in vertebrates, pedagogical techniques, and curriculum design

Research Interests

I have always been thrilled to teach introductory level courses for Biology majors and non-majors. My hope is to illustrate the diversity of topics in biology and simultaneously demonstrate the interconnectedness of these topics. Students best learn when they are self-motivated and enthusiastic about the subject material. Therefore, my ‘Foundations in Biology’ and ‘Inquiries’ courses are designed to reflect students evolving interests in science. We discuss a range of topics including: evolutionary biology, conservation biology, DNA technology, drug development, biomimetics, bioethics, cancer and stem cells. Learning is often an active and collaborative process. To address this, my classes contain a variety of active learning components including minute papers, team-based learning elements, concept mapping, debates, case-studies and student-lead presentations. Finally, I aim to demonstrate the dynamic nature of science. Every day, new advancements are being made, drugs are developed, and long-held assumptions are revisited. I design my courses to incorporate new literature as it becomes available and use it as a platform on which to teach fundamental biological concepts.

Curriculum Vitae


112 Mugar Life Sciences

Assistant Teaching Professor awarded Excellence in Teaching Award

The Office of the Dean is pleased to announce Melissa (Missy) McElligott the recipient of the 2015-2016 College of Science Excellence in Teaching Award.