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Iglika Pavlova, PhD


PhD, Washington University in St. Louis

MS, Sofia University

Office: Edison Science Hall, Room 147A

Phone: 732-923-4772


Spring 2016 Courses:

Discovery and Thinking in the Natural Sciences

Research Interests:

My specialty is creating and assessing curricula that use active learning approaches to engage students in the complexity of real-life examples. The goal is to get to a deeper, more fundamental understanding of concepts. Such an approach can help create a framework that allows for transfer of knowledge to other examples, outside of the particular classroom and into the real life of any person (be it personal or professional).

The major areas of research and scholarship are to:

  1. Explore understandings and misunderstandings in science and critical thinking
    • Missing links and misconceptions in chemistry, genetics, evolution, and probability (and at the intersection of these fields)
    • Conceptions on the use of evidence and epistemological worldviews
    • The role of previous teaching on current strengths and problems in understanding
  2. Develop explicit conceptualization lecture units, active learning modules, and formative assessments to target problem areas identified in (1)
  3. Develop and validate survey instruments that complement existing ones
    • Focus on creating instruments that assess ability to transfer knowledge to real contexts, rather than textbook answers
    • Assess missing links in teaching and learning that require re-assessment of prior understandings or integration between fields, and thus influence subsequent transfer of knowledge to the real world
  4. Conduct studies to test effectiveness of tools developed in (2) and using assessment strategies from (3)

Undergraduate students are welcome to join in one of several research projects. The projects draw on the fields of cognitive and educational psychology, the philosophy of science, and philosophy of knowledge (epistemology). Students in biology/science, math, education, psychology, philosophy, and other fields will be able to find something suitable to their interests.

Currently, the major project is on student understanding of confounding factors and controlled experiments. With data already available for analysis, undergraduate researchers can join in immediately to answer a variety of questions.

Selected Works:

Scholarly Articles:

Peer-reviewed Publications

Pavlova, I.V., and Kreher, S.A. 2013. Missing Links in Genes to Traits: Toward Teaching for an Integrated Framework of Genetics. American Biology Teacher 75 (9): 641
Feature article in genetics-themed issue

Pavlova, I.V., and Lewis, K.L. 2013. An Easy and Fun Way to Teach About How Science “Works”: Popularizing Haack’s Crossword Puzzle Analogy. American Biology Teacher 75 (6): 397

Pavlova, I.V., C.Y. Lin, and S.H. Speck. 2005. Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 Rta-dependent activation of the gene 57 promoter. Virology 333:169

Pavlova, I.V., H.W. Virgin IV, and S.H. Speck. 2003. Disruption of gammaherpesvirus 68 gene 50 demonstrates that Rta is essential for virus replication. J.Virol. 77: 5731

Liu, S., I.V. Pavlova, H.W. Virgin IV, and S.H. Speck. 2000. Characterization of gammaherpesvirus 68 gene 50 transcription. J.Virol. 74:2029

Nelson, M.A. et al. 1997. Expressed sequences from conidial, mycelial, and sexual stages of Neurospora crassa. Fungal Genet. Biol. 21:348