Laurel Roberts

  • Senior Lecturer

Contact

Office: (412) 624-4291
230C Langley Hall
4249 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Teaching

Dr. Roberts currently teaches Foundations of Biology 1 and 2 (BioSc 150 & 160), Ecology (BioSc 0370), Human Physiology (BioSc/NeuroSci 1250) and Physiology Lab (BioSc 1255).  Her summer term appointment is with the School of Medicine, where she teaches a noncredit pre-med enrichment course, MedBio, as part of the Summer Pre-Med Academic Enrichment Program (SPAEP) Level 1.  Dr. Roberts also supervises students in BioSc 1690-Experience in Undergraduate Teaching, BioSc 1901-Independent Study and BioSc 1903-Undergraduate Research. She was a member of the University’s Pre-Professional Health Careers Committee from 2009-14. Currently, she is on the Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE) and the Advisory Committee on Admission of Student Athletes (ACASA).

She is an academic advisor for the Premed Organization for Minority Students (POMS, Panthers Educating and Advocating for Children in Homeless Situations (PEACHS), and the Panther Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (PKDSAP)

Scholarly Interests

Receiving graduate training in behavioral ecology and physiology, conducting research in pathology and molecular biology and teaching undergraduates at all levels has given me a rather broad view of biology.  My current interests are also somewhat diverse:

  • The Science of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) with the goal of enhancing science teaching at the introductory and advanced levels
  • Physiological ecology; studying the actions of the individual in the context of both the internal and external environment
  • Issues related to the preparation of undergraduates for medical careers.

Roberts, L. Peer-Learning Thrives in Dorms. Teaching Times April 28, 2011.

Roberts, L. Peer-Learning Thrives in Dorms. Teaching Times April 28, 2011. http://www.cidde.pitt.edu/teaching-times/peer-learning-thrives-dorms

Bobick, S. and L. Roberts (2010) Study Guide to accompany Biology: A Guide to th

Bobick, S. and L. Roberts (2010) Study Guide to accompany Biology: A Guide to the Natural World by David Krogh 5th edition, Prentice Hall

Roberts, L. B. and W. A. Searcy (1988) Dominance relationships in harems of female red-winged bla

Roberts, L. B. and W. A. Searcy (1988) Dominance relationships in harems of female red-winged blackbirds.  Auk 105:89-96.  

Dr. Roberts studied biology with a concentration in Animal Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania.  There, she had her first experiences in research, studying flocking behavior in birds at the Morris Aboretum and veterinary pathology at the Philadelphia Zoo. After a brief stint at the Pittsburgh Zoo, she worked as a research assistant in the Experimental Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She joined Biological Sciences in 1984 when she entered the masters program in Ecology and Evolution. Her thesis study was on dominance relationships within harems of red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus). Her dissertation examined the effect of increasing harem size on male reproductive success in the same species. After graduate school, Dr. Roberts taught at the Community College of Allegheny County (Allegheny Campus) for several years before returning to Pitt as a lecturer in 1995.

Dr. Roberts received her MS in 1986 and her Ph.D. in 1992 with William Searcy at the University of Pittsburgh. She also earned graduate credits in physiology from the University of Washington.