Vanessa S. Quinn, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Vanessa Quinn


Vanessa Quinn teaches upper division courses and non-major courses in the department of Biological Sciences. In the Honors College, Quinn is responsible for assessment and student leadership.

Research Overview

Student research is one of the best ways students can become part of their program of study. Quinn works with graduate and undergraduates to develop teams of students who work on projects in field settings. Students will apply for internal and external funding and present their work at internal and external conferences.

I'd rather be hiking in the rain than sitting behind my desk on a sunny day. I can't find the person who said this the first time but it is me in a nutshell. The best thing I do at PNW is teach a class that takes undergraduate students to the Smoky Mountains to become immersed in the natural world.

Select Publications

Flaherty, E., R. Urbanek, D. Wood, C. Day, L. D’Acunto, V.S. Quinn, and P. Zollner. In Press. Mentored conference experiences support students’ career exploration and professional development. Wildlife Society Bulletin.

Flaherty, E., R. Urbanek, D. Wood, C. Day, L. D’Acunto, V.S. Quinn, and P. Zollner. 2018. A framework for mentoring students attending their first professional conference. Natural Sciences Education. 47:1-8.

Quinn, V.S. 2015. Using astrology to confront and discuss pseudoscience in the classroom. The American Biology Teacher. 77:542-548.

Teaching Focus

Quinn is interested in providing innovative teaching strategies that will support students of diverse interests in the natural world. She covers material in animal behavior, evolution, travel study courses and belonging in higher education.

Previous Roles

2016 – 2018, Director of the Student Research Office

2015 – 2016, Academic Program Coordinator, Health Studies

2014 – 2015, College of Science Dean’s Fellow

2013 – 2015, Faculty Fellow for Assessment

2013 – 2015, Academic Program Coordinator, Biology

Vanessa Quinn


(219) 785-5457

Office Location:

Westville Campus, SWRZ 104


  • Ph.D. – Life Sciences, Indiana State University
  • M.S. – Biology, Northern Michigan University
  • B.S. – Psychology and Zoology, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Areas of Expertise

  • Behavioral and Evolutionary
  • Ecology Herpetology
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Credentials, Accreditations & Awards

  • ACUE Certificate in Effective College Instruction
  • Academic Programs Section Innovative Teaching Awards
  • Indiana Academy of Science Fellow Chair’s Award for Grantsmanship
  • Chair’s Award for Scholarship

Curriculum Vitae