Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray

Professor of Biology
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Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray began teaching biology, zoology and ecology at Hope College in 1986. Dr. Winnett-Murray has had a continuing role in introductory biology courses for biology majors and non-majors, and her favorite courses to teach are those that use local habitats as living laboratories. Her research focuses on responses of animals (most often birds) to environmental changes brought about by human alteration of habitats. Dr. Winnett-Murray’s field “laboratories” are located in and around Holland, Michigan, and also in distant places such as Costa Rica. She has also enjoyed collaborating with K–12 teachers and their students on research projects and in programs that introduce students to the excitement of learning ecological science.

AREAS OF Expertise

Dr. Winnett-Murray’s areas of expertise include the science of ecology, animal behavior and evolutionary and general biology. While a Ph.D. candidate, she participated in the Organization for Tropical Studies field course in ecology for graduate students in 1980, her first introduction to tropical ecology.

EDUCATION

  • Ph.D., zoology, 1986, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • M.S., biology, 1979, California State University, Northridge
  • B.S., biological sciences, 1976, University of California, Irvine

Selected HONORS and AWARDS

  • Janet L. Andersen Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award, Hope College, 2006
  • Sigma Xi Hope College Chapter Research Award, (with K.G. Murray), 2001
  • Michigan College Science Teacher of the Year Award, 1997-98, Michigan Science Teacher’s Association
  • Marcia Brady Tucker Travel Award, 1985. American Ornithologists’ Union
  • Frank M. Chapman Memorial Award, American Museum of Natural History, 1982-83: “Behavioral Ecology of Four Neotropical Wrens”

Recent Grants

  • National Science Foundation – Division of Biological Infrastructure, 2005–2007
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Natural Heritage Program, 2002
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Natural Heritage Program, 2000
  • National Science Foundation – Division of Undergraduate Education, 1998-2000
  • Hope College Faculty Development Grant, 2000

recently PUBLISHED WORK

  • “Authentic assessment using biology laboratory practicals,” Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, 34, Proceedings of the 34th Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE), 2013
  • “Exploring animal photoreceptors and eyes,” Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, 32, Proceedings of the 32nd Workshop/Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE), 2011
  • “BioOptics Corporation: An Investigative Interdisciplinary Case Study on the Eye,” Tested Studies For Laboratory Teaching, Volume 30, Proceedings of the 30th Workshop/Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE), 2009
  • “Enriching a culture of research: expanding opportunities to a broader community,” Broadening Participation in Undergraduate Research: Fostering Excellence and Enhancing the Impact, Council on Undergraduate Research, Washington, D.C., 2009
  • “The roles of disperser behavior and physical habitat structure in regeneration of post-agricultural fields,” Post-agricultural succession in the Neotropics, Springer, 2008
  • “Investigating the consequences of an invasive species to the ecological integrity of the community,” Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, 28, Proceedings of the 26th Workshop/Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE), 2007
  • “Resurrecting the Lab Practical,” Beyond Tests and Quizzes: Creative Assessments in College Classrooms, Anker Publishing, Joseey-Bass, 2007

Outside the College

Much of Dr. Winnett-Murray’s time spent outside of the college relates to her interest in ecology. She has been involved with several K–12 school initiatives for teaching ecological science. Dr. Winnett-Murray participates in professional organizations such as the Ecological Society of America and the Association of Biology Laboratory Education to assist in the dissemination of outstanding ecological “labs” and learning experiences to the world.

She is a participant in the Ecological Research in Education Network, and she tries to creatively invent ways to get to new outdoor laboratories through teaching May Terms with Hope students. Even when she is not at work, Kathy is often observing birds, walking through the woods or planning a trip somewhere biologically diverse.

View all of Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray’s published work in Digital Commons.

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Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray

Phone Number616.395.7719

Schaap Science Center 2023 35 East 12th Street Holland, MI 49423-3605