Associate Professor
Science Biology

Jessica Brandt earned a M.S. in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology from Frostburg State University and a Ph.D. in Animal Sciences from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2021 she joined UWO-Fox Cities as an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department. Her research integrates field and laboratory components to answer questions of population genetics and genomics, conservation management, and molecular ecology. In between degrees Jessica worked as an avian field technician and as a veterinary molecular diagnostic specialist. She currently enjoys teaching a variety of biology courses including introductory biology, anatomy, physiology, and animal biology. The main goal she has in all of her classes is to make biology accessible and relevant to every student.

Outside of work she (along with her husband) spends her time chasing after her own personal genetics experiments, Lily and Jack. She loves to to run, adventure outdoors, and travel whenever possible.

Teaching and Learning Philosophy

Teaching in higher education provides me with an opportunity to interact with and educate individuals from a wide variety of background, with varied life experiences, and who will enter a broad range of professional fields. Many of the courses I teach primarily enroll non-majors who are interested in pursuing health related careers; others enroll a mix of biology, chemistry, and forensic science majors. Regardless of a student’s major or field of interest most of these courses are expected to be challenging. This pre-conception that a course will be “hard” means I, as an instructor, must not only provide the required material but also must do so in a way that is meaningful to students. Excellent instruction can lead to a shift in perception, which allows students to grasp how content will serve them in their future courses and careers. Students, upon completion of my courses, should be equipped with foundational understanding of biological concepts and systems. Each semester and in every course, I aim to exemplify excellence as an instructor by coupling the following strategies: (1) creation of a community within the classroom where students are confident in providing input and taking ownership of their education and (2) flexibility in course instruction techniques.