Beyond the Biology Classroom


  • BS, Dickinson College
  • PHD, Indiana University

Associate Professor of Biology

Contact Information

Packer is a plant ecologist interested in how plants use direct and indirect defenses to protect themselves against natural enemies. She and her students examine the role extrafloral nectaries and hydrogen cyanide play in plant defense against herbivores. They are interested in whether these defenses are increased in plants when they experience damage. Recent publications include “Simulated Herbivory Induces Extrafloral Nectary Production in Prunus avium”, coauthored by Christine Pulice ’08 and published in Functional Ecology, and “Service Learning in a Non-majors Biology Course Promotes Changes in Students‚ Attitudes and Values About the Environment,” published in The International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

She teaches the introductory course Ecology and Evolutionary Biology along with upper-level courses in General Ecology, Plant Physiology, and Plant-Animal Interactions, as well as a Science and Society course for non-majors. She is director of the Common Reading Program and a member of the Committee on Teaching and Learning. Packer is a member of the Ecological Society of America and the National Science Teachers Association.

  • BIOL-450: Advanced STEM Seminar
  • BIOL-010: Ecology and Evolution
  • BIOL-101: Ecology and Evolution
  • BIOL-101L: Ecology and Evolution Lab
  • BIOL-350: Investigative Problems in Biology
  • BIOL-010: Issues in Biology
  • BIOL-205: Organismal Biology
  • PRDV-104: Perspectives
  • ECOL-501: Plant-Soil Microbe Interaction
  • BIOL-250: STEM First-Year Seminar
  • BIOL-510: Student Research I
  • ECOL-510: Student Research I
  • BIOL-511: Student Research II
  • BIOL-560: Sustainable Food Systems
  • ECOL-560: Sustainable Food Systems