Project Dragonfly Directors

Chris Myers

Chris Myers

...received his Ph.D. in ecology from Vanderbilt University and is now a professor of Zoology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University. His research areas include community-based conservation, participatory science, and national education reform. Chris is the founding Director of Project Dragonfly and served as Editor-in-Chief of Dragonfly magazine--the first national magazine to feature the investigations of children. Project Dragonfly has reached millions of children through award-winning print media, teacher programs, and the Emmy-Award winning national PBS children’s television series, DragonflyTV. He has written more than 60 professional articles and has directed projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization for Tropical Studies, and other agencies. Chris directs Earth Expeditions and the Global Field Program, served as a Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, and taught environmental education at Yale University.

Lynne Born Myers

Lynne Born Myers

... is a founder and co-Director of Project Dragonfly, where she oversees national exhibits, participatory media, and learning programs. She served as the founding editor for Dragonfly magazine and now leads the development of national exhibits for Wild Research and Saving Species. These two NSF-funded projects are designed to engage millions of families at zoos, aquariums, and other public learning institutions throughout the U.S. Lynne also writes fiction and nonfiction books for children with her husband, Chris, including McCrephy's Field (Houghton Mifflin), Forest of the Clouded Leopard (Houghton Mifflin), and Galapagos: Islands of Change (Hyperion). Lynne received her B. Phil. from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University. She has developed conservation partnerships in many countries for Earth Expeditions, and works on a variety of research and education projects addressing human relationships with nature.

Program Faculty

Chris Myers

Chris Myers

...received his Ph.D. in ecology from Vanderbilt University and is now a professor of Zoology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University. His research areas include community-based conservation, participatory science, and national education reform. Chris is the founding Director of Project Dragonfly and served as Editor-in-Chief of Dragonfly magazine--the first national magazine to feature the investigations of children. Project Dragonfly has reached millions of children through award-winning print media, teacher programs, and the Emmy-Award winning national PBS children’s television series, DragonflyTV. He has written more than 60 professional articles and has directed projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization for Tropical Studies, and other agencies. Chris directs Earth Expeditions and the Global Field Program, served as a Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, and taught environmental education at Yale University.

Jamie Bercaw Anzano

Jamie Bercaw Anzano

... is Director of Communications and Research at Project Dragonfly at Miami University, where she instructs international and web-based graduate courses and serves as a graduate advisor. When Dragonfly began more than 17 years ago, Jamie served as an editor for Dragonfly children's magazine. She has since worked on a number of Dragonfly initiatives to implement inquiry-driven reform in formal and informal learning environments. Prior to her work at Dragonfly, Jamie wrote hundreds of articles as a newspaper reporter and magazine writer. She has a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in journalism, a master's in environmental science with concentrations in environmental education and public policy from Miami's Institute of Environmental Sciences, and post-master’s work in pursuit of a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Miami. Her interests lie within the intersection of theory and practice and in helping educators and other professionals explore ways to use inquiry to improve human and ecological communities. Jamie has explored many countries throughout the world, but she particularly enjoys rediscovering her backyard with her husband and two sons.

Hays Cummins

Hays Cummins

... is a professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University. Hays is a founding Co-Director of Project Dragonfly and served as the science editor for Dragonfly magazine. Hays received his Ph.D. in oceanography from Texas A&M University and has led international courses for years to the Bahamas and the Florida Keys, Curacao Island, and Costa Rica. His research focuses on the reconstruction of past ecological communities in marine systems and understanding ecological change. He also has a passion for weather and astronomy. Hays has authored many research papers and popular articles focusing on science and science education.

Jill Korach

Jill Korach

... is the Assistant Director of Field Programs for Project Dragonfly at Miami University where she instructs international and web-based courses and serves as a master's advisor. Jill is president of the board of Imago, a Cincinnati-based grassroots environmental organization focused on connecting communities to nature and sustainable living (http://imagoearth.org). Jill earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Washington University in St. Louis where she focused on tropical rainforest ecology, a master's from Miami University's Institute of Environmental Sciences concentrating in conservation biology, and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in biology. As a part of Miami’s Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology doctoral program, Jill is exploring the role important natural areas play in our lives and how ecological, cultural, and social values contribute to conservation. She credits her love of the natural world to the outdoor adventures she takes with her family and getting a chance to climb trees as a child.

Kevin Matteson

Kevin Matteson

... is the Assistant Director of Master's Programs for Project Dragonfly at Miami University. Since 2002, Kevin has researched ecology, pollinator conservation, and entomology in heavily developed urban landscapes in both Chicago and New York City. For his doctoral research, conducted at Fordham University, Kevin utilized high-resolution GIS datasets to evaluate landscape factors influencing the diversity of bees and butterflies in community gardens of East Harlem and the Bronx. In addition to teaching at the undergraduate- and graduate-level, Kevin has served as an educator in a variety non-traditional settings including bilingual art-based science education in the Bronx and student-led programming while at the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society. Kevin has also engaged in scientific outreach through work as a scientific consultant and blogger for an urban citizen science program (http://greatpollinatorproject.org/) and currently serves as Chair of the Urban Ecosystems Ecology section (http://www.esa.org/urbanecology/) of the Ecological Society of America. He currently resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio with his wife and two young children.

Philip Lavretsky

Philip Lavretsky

... is a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Dragonfly program. He got his Ph.D. from Wright State University in 2014 with his dissertation work focusing on the evolution and population genetics of a recently radiated mallard clade. Although much of his work focuses on his true passion, waterfowl, he has lead and/or collaborated on the genetics and conservation of various taxa, including sea turtle leeches, endangered plants, different fish, and many other birds. In general, his research interests are interdisciplinary and transcending landscape, evolutionary, and conservation genomics to study speciation, evolution, adaptation, and the role of gene flow. In addition, he has and continues to lead scientific collection trips around the world with vouchered specimens now housed in several national museums and Universities. He currently resides in Beavercreek, Ohio with his wife and young child.

Javier Miguelena

Javier Miquelena

... is a Visiting Assistant Professor with Project Dragonfly. He has a B.S. in biology from the Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico. He also holds a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Arizona. Javier’s research has looked at the effects of human-induced habitat change on ant communities. For his Ph.D. dissertation, he considered the impact of urbanization on ant diversity in the arid urban environment of Tucson, Arizona. In particular, he looked at irrigated parks which are a new and extraneous habitat in that environment. He has also done research on the behavior of the exotic dark rover ant and the pest management of termites. While in Arizona, Javier was part of science outreach efforts with the Urban Entomology Laboratory, the Arizona Insect Festival, and the Insect Discovery Program. As a result, he has spoken about insects and science to audiences of all ages, frequently while holding a live insect specimen.

Annika Keeley

Annika Keeley

... recently earned her Ph.D. in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University. She received her master’s in wildlife biology from Southwest Texas State University, and her bachelor’s in zoology and botany from Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada. For her dissertation she studied animal movements and the design of wildlife corridors. The project included field work with kinkajous (a Neotropical relative of the raccoon) in Costa Rica, genetic lab work, and movement analyses of desert bighorn sheep and elk in Arizona. Previously she has worked with temperate and tropical bats, ground squirrels in Canada, corn crakes in Poland, and amphibians in Germany (where she grew up). Annika is currently teaching Leadership in Science Inquiry for Project Dragonfly, Conservation Biology at Northern Arizona University and Biology Concepts at Coconino Community College. She also enjoys hiking, backpacking, mushroom hunting, birding, traveling, and doing yoga.

Caroline Rivera

Caroline Rivera

... began teaching human anatomy and physiology while a graduate student in Old Dominion University’s doctorate program in biology. Caroline went on to become Professor of Biology at Tidewater Community College and eventually moved into higher education administration. Caroline continues to design and teach courses in human anatomy and physiology for several community colleges and universities simply because of her love of and commitment to education. A self-proclaimed “unnatural-scientist,” she de-mystifies complex matters of human physiology through uncomplicated examples using simple language. Caroline is able to break down complex ideas and theories into accessible, bite-sized pieces, thus making them accessible to anyone with a desire to learn.  Dr. Rivera is a proud, community college success story -- a high school dropout who went on to beat the odds. Caroline has a bachelor’s and master's degree in anthropology, a master’s degree in Biology (ABD Ph.D.), and a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership.

Carrie Washburn

Carrie Washington

... graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Zoology.  Her post-graduation field work opportunities included studying honeybee hive dynamics in responses to food locations using celestial cues (very cool stuff!), studying marine invertebrates (especially nudibranchs) in their natural Oregon habitats, and travel to the Saint Lawrence Seaway north of Quebec to study whale diving cycles and breathing patterns.  After working as a vet tech in a local hospital, she went back to school to earn earn an M.S. in Conservation Biology, focusing her thesis work on amphibian movement patterns in relation to celestial cues.  Following graduate school, Carrie was hired by The Nature Conservancy as a wetlands restoration specialist, where she spent a lot of time in the field and traveling to assess various habitats for proper management. Stewardship days involved her teaching the local folks about the environment and ways they can help protect what they love. She now lives outside Chicago with her husband and two children and teaches at the local college.  She and her family love the outdoors and enjoy hiking, biking, camping, birding, and they love to travel and will take any opportunity to explore both within the USA and out.  Carrie goes back and forth between Illinois and Michigan a lot and travels to Northern Michigan and Northeast Maine every year (love the Northern Territory!).  Her most memorable and unforgettable trips have included whale watching in the Saint Lawrence Seaway, tropical rainforest explorations in the West Indies and scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.

Deanna Soper

Deanna Soper

... received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and currently is a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on the effects of natural and sexual selection on the ecology and evolution of reproductive biology. Most of her work has been conducted using Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a freshwater snail from New Zealand. This snail has the unique feature of coexisting sexual and asexual reproductive modes and has a high infection rate by the sterilizing trematode, Microphallus livelyi. She has investigated how this naturally selective force has influenced the evolution of mating behavior, ploidy, and gametogenesis. In addition, she has also conducted research using the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. This beetle is a cosmopolitan pest and females are known to mate multiply with males that have spiked genitalia. She has investigated how sexual selection through increased male density has altered mating behavior and the evolution of genital spike length. Deanna has also instructed courses at many institutions and has served as an undergraduate and graduate research mentor.

Genifer Lara

Genifer Lara

... currently teaches geology and geography at Mohave Community College in Kingman, Arizona. For the past several years, she has been a field instructor for Round River Conservation Studies, a study abroad program for undergraduates majoring in life and environmental sciences from the U.S. and Africa. During her time with RRCS, she worked in Botswana and Namibia, and spent semesters living in primitive field camps, falling asleep to the sounds of lions, hippos, and hyenas. She has also traveled extensively for work, studying a variety of species in diverse locations such as, the beach in Uruguay, the harsh Impenetrable Forest of Argentina, the tropical rain forests of Honduras and Costa Rica, and the savannas of Malawi. She received her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Wildlife Biology from Prescott College in 2008, her M.S. in Geosciences from Mississippi State University in 2011, and is currently finishing up a second M.S. in Entomology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also has a certificate in Aquarium Science and is a current Wilderness First Responder. She loves teaching and inspiring others to get out and be a part of nature. She has a passion for bats, reptiles, birds, and insects, among most other animals. In her spare time she enjoys birding, herping, photography, travelling, and spending time with her husband and their furkids.

Heather Taft

Heather Taft

... received her Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, with a dissertation focused on conservation genetics, from the University of California, Riverside. There she spent her nights in the field trapping kangaroo rats and her days in the lab analyzing DNA from hair samples taken off the captured animals in order to assess their movement across southern California highways. Heather’s passion lies not only in conservation but also in teaching, and learning how to teach better, to inspire future conservation biologists. Since graduating Heather has completed a Graduate Certificate in E-learning and Online Teaching through the University of Wisconsin, Stout where she designed an introductory biology class with a lab that she now teaches online for State Fair Community College in Missouri. She also teaches undergraduate biology classes online for Colorado State University - Global Campus.

Jennifer Price

Jennifer Price

... graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in biology and a minor in environmental sciences. She was fortunate enough to participate in an undergraduate semester abroad program in Queensland, Australia with the School for Field Studies. There, she studied rainforest ecology and conservation. She continued her education at Rutgers University where she earned a Ph.D. in ecology and evolution. Since then, she has been involved in research and conservation projects involving freshwater invertebrates, water quality, reptiles, and amphibians. In addition to her courses at Project Dragonfly, Jennifer also teaches biology at John Tyler Community College in Virginia and is working on a research grant involving the relationship between freshwater mussels and dams in South Carolina rivers. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding, and playing games with her husband and 9 year old son, Simon.

Kathayoon Khalil

... is a social scientist and conservationist living in Seattle, Washington. Kathayoon received her Ph.D. in environmental education from Stanford University, studying social networks in zoo and aquarium education. She received her Master's in Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and her Bachelor's in Organismal Biology from Claremont McKenna College. Kathayoon is currently the Principal Evaluator at the Seattle Aquarium and serves as an advisor to the the Research and Technology and Conservation Education Committees of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Kathayoon is a member of Class 6 of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program and an award-winning educator in design thinking. Throughout her involvement in Project Dragonfly, Kathayoon has taught several courses including Earth Expeditions courses in Costa Rica and Baja.  Kathayoon enjoys yoga, crafting, travel, and playing music. She does not enjoy running but does it anyway.

Kristen Keteles

Kristen Keteles

... received a Ph.D. in biological sciences (zoology) from Louisiana State University and a B.S. in marine science from Coastal Carolina University. Kristen is a toxicologist in the EPA Region 8 Office of Ecosystems Protection and Remediation in Denver, Colorado. She came to the EPA from the National Park Service (NPS) where she was a contaminants specialist, coordinating natural resource condition assessments at coastal National Parks, and prior to that she was faculty in the Biology Department at the University of Central Arkansas. At the EPA she conducts human health and ecological risk assessments and serves as a technical expert on adverse effects from exposure to pesticides and toxics. Even though she works for the government, she remains active in academia through adjunct appointments. In addition to teaching at Miami University through Project Dragonfly, she also serves on graduate committees at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Denver and teaches online biology classes at Colorado Christian University. Her research entails the investigation of the use of genomic and metabolic markers for detecting exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in aquatic life. In her spare time, she enjoys mountain biking, backcountry telemark skiing, and whitewater stand up paddle boarding.

Lori Anderson

Lori Anderson

... is a professor of biology at a community college in Central Minnesota. She currently teaches General Biology I and II, Microbiology, Environmental Science and Human Biology. Lori earned a M.S in Biology from Minnesota State University – Mankato and a M.S. in Adult Education from Capella University. She is currently ABD in her Ph.D. in Post-Secondary and Adult Education from Capella University. Her master’s research focused on allopolyploidy in Packera paupercula populations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  For a number of years Lori has volunteered as a University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener and as a Minnesota Tree Care Advisor for her county. Her passions include conservation, restoration and education. She loves exploring Minnesota’s many state parks, water-ways and forests. She also enjoys camping, kayaking, yoga, gardening and spending time with her husband, three children and numerous pets on her farm. She travels to other states and countries as often as possible to expand her family’s world view and to learn how other communities conserve and protect their natural resources. Her most recent travels included teaching an 8-week environmental science course in Costa Rica as part of her sabbatical.

Nancy Sundell-Turner

Nancy Sundell-Turner

... comes from a diverse background with degrees in physics, mathematics and biology. After completing a Ph.D. in applied mathematics at Cornell University (focusing on mathematical ecology), she went on to further study in ecology earning an M.S. in Natural Resources from The Ohio State University. Her master's work focused on studying landscape metrics used for conservation planning. Most recently, she has spent her time as a stay-at-home mom to her three children. During that time she's enjoyed a lot of hikes and nature programs with her kids, as well as participating in volunteer work at their school, planning events and helping with weekly Forest Friday hikes with her son's class.

Robin Hirshorn

Robin Hirshorn

... is a conservation biologist and science educator, and her interests are at the interface of conservation biology, behavior, ecology, and science education. She received her Ph.D. in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2011, and her doctoral research focused on the foraging ecology of dusky dolphins. This research resulted in insights about underwater behaviors, and she made an educational research-based video that was on exhibit at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She currently teaches courses that focus on ecology, biodiversity, evolution, and environmental science at Montgomery College and Howard Community College in Maryland. While teaching, she works to incorporate inquiry-based activities into courses and to connect students more closely with nature. She lives in Mount Airy, Maryland with her husband, four cats, and a diversity of native plants and ancient oak trees, and she is looking forward to facilitating community-level solutions through Project Dragonfly.

Robyn Charlton

... is a science and conservation education leader with degrees from Wright State University in elementary education and advanced teaching practices. Though trained in formal education, Robyn’s career has been balanced between time spent teaching in K-12 classrooms and time working with those same audiences in informal education in zoos and aquariums across the country. Robyn started her career as a seventh grade science teacher in Lebanon, Ohio and eleven years later was the Assistant Director of Education for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) headquartered at the Bronx Zoo in New York City, directing activities across WCS's five NYC-based zoos and aquarium as well as projects across several international landscapes and seascapes. After moving back home to Southwest Ohio, Robyn became the Coordinator of Online Faculty for Miami University's Regional E-Learning Initiatives. Through this position, Robyn serves as a facilitator and consultant to online faculty interested in further developing their pedagogical content knowledge as well as a promoter of scholarship in E-Learning at Miami and a catalyst for cultivating community and increased engagement among online faculty teaching through Miami University Regionals. Robyn’s interest in leadership is driven by desire to serve her communities as an agent of change, exploring new knowledge and ways of doing things, asking thoughtful questions and tackling complex problems with creative solutions.