Erin A. Scheessele

Specialty: Biology

Taught: 2007-08


  • PhD, Oregon State University, 2008

Teaching Philosophy

Memorization is not education. I believe my role as a teacher is to develop critical thinkers. Therefore I design my courses to produce people capable of constructively solving problems to arrive at an answer rather than emphasize memorization. By fostering a learning environment that stresses critical and analytical thought, my students will be able to extrapolate from the concepts learned in class to novel scenarios, both in class and in life.

My approach to teaching recognizes that people learn in different ways, and everyone learns more effectively when multiple learning styles are engaged.

It is my responsibility as the instructor to share my enthusiasm for the course material, inspire the students to engage with the course, and provide a welcoming environment that is conducive to learning. I believe the best way to meet these responsibilities is to foster an intimate learning environment.

Research Interests

I am investigating indirect effects of ambient UV-B on amphibian life history traits via trophic interactions. I hypothesize that increased levels of ambient UV-B may result in a poorer quality diet for amphibian larvae. A lower quality diet may result in a longer time to metamorphosis and a smaller size at metamorphosis, both results being disadvantageous. I have conducted both laboratory and field experiments measuring the effect of UV-B on diet quality and diet composition as well as UV-B irradiated food on amphibian life history traits.

Since joining the Blaustein Lab at Oregon State University I have participated in research involving: mesocosm and lab experiments investigating synergies between the chytrid fungus and UV-B radiation, laboratory behavioral trials looking at effects of urea contamination on feeding and survival of four amphibian species, molecular experiments measuring photolyase repair activity in salamanders, and long term censusing of Western Toads.


  • Blaustein, A.R., J.M. Romansic, E.A. Scheessele. 2005. Ambient levels of ultraviolet-B radiation cause mortality in juvenile western toads, Bufo boreas. American Midland Naturalist, 154(2):375-382.
  • Blaustein, A.R., J.M. Romansic, E.A. Scheessele, B.A. Han, A.P. Pessier, J.E. Longchore. 2005. Interspecific variation in susceptibility of larval anuran amphibians to the pathogenic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Conservation Biology, 19(5):1460-1468.
  • Blaustein, A.R., B. Han, B. Fasy, J. Romansic, E.A. Scheessele, R.G. Anthony, A. Marco, D.P. Chivers, L.K. Belden, J.M. Kiesecker, T. Garcia, M. Lizana, L.B. Kats. 2004. Variable breeding phenology affects the exposure of amphibian embryos to ultraviolet radiation and optical characteristics of natural waters protect amphibians from UV-Bin the US Pacific Northwest: Comment. Ecology, 85(6):1747-1754.
  • Blaustein, A.R., A.C. Hatch, L.K. Belden, E.A. Scheessele, J.M. Kiesecker. 2003. Global change: challenges facing amphibians. In R. Semlitsch (ed) Amphibian Conservation. Smithsonian Press.
  • Hatch, A.C., L.K. Belden, E.A. Scheessele, A.R. Blaustein. 2001. Juvenile amphibians do not avoid potentially lethal levels of urea. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 20(10):2328-2335.
  • Gallione, C.J., E.A. Scheessele, D. Reinhardt, A.J. Duits, J.N. Berg, C.J.J. Westermann, D.A. Marchuk. 2000. Two common endoglin mutations in families with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia in the Netherlands Antilles: evidence for a founder effect. Human Genetics, 107:40-44.
  • Oregon State University, Department of Zoology. Doctoral student. Indirect effects of ultraviolet-B radiation on amphibian larvae mediated by trophic interactions. 2000-2007.
  • Guri, Venezuela. Field researcher. Intragroup dynamics of Alouatta seniculus in fragmented habitat. Advised by Dr. John Terborgh. June-July 1998.
  • Baylor College of Medicine, SMART Program. Summer Intern. Department of Human and Molecular Genetics. Cystic Fibrosis gene therapy research. Summer 1997.
  • Duke University, Department of Genetics. Lab intern, Research assistant, Independent research. Mutation analysis of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia in Dutch Antilles. 1996-1999.
  • Blue Creek, Belize. Archaeological field researcher. Excavated Mayan ruins. Summer 1996.
  • Duke University, Biology Department. Field research assistant, lab assistant. Maintenance of Mexican bean beetle colony and field observations with Dr. Bill Morris. 1995-1996.