Maria Victoria Gonzaga
Biology Online National Capital Region, Philippines

Maria Victoria Gonzaga is the Editor-in-Chief of Biology Online. Since 2006, she has been enriching the website’s content by her enormous passion for learning, scientific writing and illustrations. One of her life goals has been to make others perceive Biology as a way to appreciate life. Prior to joining Biology Online she was a member of the College of Science faculty at Emilio Aguinaldo College in Manila, Philippines, and served four years as researcher/writer in a laser medicine research facility in King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where her scientific work was chiefly about the enhancing effects of low-power laser and LED phototherapy on wound healing. She is the author of numerous articles and contributed to the Book Lasers in Medicine Surgery and Dentistry. She earned her BS in Biology from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Philippines.

Advisory Board

Mary Anne Clark, PhD
Professsor of Biology Texas Wesleyan University

Mary Anne Clark is Professor of Biology at Texas Wesleyan University, where she has taught genetics to both majors and nonmajors for several decades. She obtained her Bachelor's degree from Texas Woman's University, her M.S. from New Mexico State and her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr. She is very interested in the use of virtual environments in teaching science and is the creator and manager of Genome Island, a virtual learning environment in Second Life. She has worked with undergraduate research students on projects in a number of areas, including the observation of social interactions in juvenile bonobos at the Fort Worth Zoo, the annotation of genes in reptile genomes, and RNA folding for the EteRNA project. She has also enjoyed the opportunity to teach with faculty from other departments in cross-disciplinary courses combining sciences with literature and the arts. A supporter of open source resources for science classes, Dr. Clark has contributed to the OpenStax Biology textbook published at Rice University.

Todd Smith, PhD
Director Digital World Biology

Todd M. Smith, Ph.D. is an entrepreneur, scientist, biotechnology industry expert, and photographer. He holds BS degrees in Genetics and Biochemistry and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry. Following his PhD work in natural product biosynthesis, he developed bioinformatics software and sequenced the BRCA1 gene with Drs. Leroy Hood, and Mary Claire-King. In 1997, he co-founded the bioinformatics software company Geospiza and led the commercial development of laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and high throughput data analysis systems for all forms of DNA sequencing and microarray technologies. The company’s free Sanger electropherogram trace viewer, FinchTV, became a standard tool that is still widely used. PerkinElmer acquired Geospiza in 2011, and in 2013 Dr. Smith joined Digital World Biology to lead business development and participate in the InnovATEBIO National Biotechnology Education Center. He also serves as an entrepreneur mentor for the University of Washington’s CoMotion business incubator. In that role, he participates in business workshops and helps emerging biotechnology companies analyze market opportunities for novel genomics and bioinformatics technologies. Dr. Smith currently serves on advisory boards at Phase Genomics and Stratos Genomics, and is an editor for OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology.

Cathy Buntting, PhD
Director Science Learning Hub

Dr. Buntting is the Director of Waikato University's Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research and the New Zealand Science Learning Hub. She has extensive experience leading science education research and making this research accessible to teacher audiences. Her view is that contemporary science understanding and processes should be accessible and visible to wider audiences, including school students and teachers, and that all people should be able to use scientific understanding to make informed decisions for themselves and their societies.

Alessandra Di Lorenzo, PhD
Professor of Biology Austin Community College

Dr. Alessandra Di Lorenzo obtained her Master’s Degree in Biology from the University of Naples Federico II (Italy). In her early post-graduate Environmental Research Dr. Di Lorenzo led the Eureka project “WABIS” (Water Bio-treatment using Inert Supports) at the University of Naples Federico II (Italy), focusing on the study of bio-barriers for the remediation of oil spills in water. Being passioned about teaching, while doing research Dr. Di Lorenzo obtained her teaching certifications and taught part-time in high school for a few years until she joined the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at Houston, where she focused in the field of Cancer Epigenetics, obtaining her PhD in Molecular Carcinogenesis in 2014. After being a postdoctoral fellow for a few years she eventually went back to cultivate her teaching passion, indeed she joined the Faculty body at Austin Community College in 2016. Given her varied background she currently teaches diverse classes ranging from Molecular and Cell Biology, Physiology and Ecology.

Dr. Rebecca Ellerington
Education, Outreach and Diversity Manager The Society for Experimental Biology

Dr. Rebecca Ellerington's scientific background is in cell biology and genetics, having worked as a research assistant in the Department of Forensics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) before completing her PhD in cancer research at University of Leeds (UK). Whilst undertaking her PhD, Rebecca also held a role as an Education Outreach Officer, delivering a training programme of workshops and developing online learning material for students aged 14-18, aimed to improve research skills. On completing her PhD, Rebecca worked in the field of scientific education, as a Curriculum Specialist for the Journal of Visualized Experiments, helping university lecturers to integrate online STEM teaching resources into their curriculum. Currently Rebecca works for the Society for Experimental Biology, as Education, Outreach and Diversity Manager. She works to engage the public in biological research, support scientists in developing their careers, and creating a more diverse and inclusive environment in science and academia.

Thomas R. Gest, PhD
Professor of Anatomy University of Houston

Dr. Gest has taught gross anatomy and embryology at several medical schools for over 30 years. His research interests include the study of anatomical dogma and variations, development of vascular patterns using corrosion casting, anatomical terminology, various aspects of anatomical donation programs, and innovative teaching techniques in anatomy. He has served on the National Board of Medical Examiners including on the item writing committee for anatomy and embryology and he is a member of the Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology, serving as Coordinator of the Gross and Clinical Anatomy Working Group since 2015. Dr. Gest has authored and edited numerous textbooks, atlases, and other learning materials for anatomy education.

Bob Allkin, PhD
Program Manager Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Dr. Allkin earned his PhD at the University of Westminster focusing on the Computer assisted identification of biological materials, and has spent his career working with botanists, initially helping them manage data about plant species and more recently focusing on more effective dissemination of this data. He currently leads Plant Name Services at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Their mission is to make it easier for non-botanists, particularly health professionals, to reliably and easily access information about plants. In his role Dr. Allkin oversees Kew's Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS) which is the world’s leading reference for global health regulators, natural product researchers, trade and practitioners, and provides a control vocabulary for ISO’s standard “Identification of Medicinal Products”. He also served for 13 years as a member of the Taxonomic Databases working group. An organization focused on developing data standards and protocols to promote collaboration and data exchange among systematists studying all biological organisms.

Jonathan Cumming, PhD
Professor & Department Chair of Natural Sciences University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

Dr. Jonathan Cumming received his B.S. in Biology from The College of William and Mary, M.S. in Forest Science from the University of New Hampshire, and Ph.D. in Natural Resources from Cornell University. Following a five-year stint as Research Professor at the University of Vermont, Dr. Cumming joined the faculty of Biology at West Virginia University (WVU), where his broad-ranging and successful teaching and research experiences led to his full promotion to professor. Dr. Cumming has taught Environmental Biology, Plant Physiology, Water and Nutrient Relations of Plants, Stress Physiology of Plants, and Preparing Future Faculty. He was selected as an Eberly College Outstanding Teacher (2003), a University Outstanding Teacher (2003), and named a National Academy of Sciences Education Fellow (2008). In research, Dr. Cumming has investigated the complex interactions between plant roots, soils, and symbiotic soil microbes, has publishing over 50 peer-reviewed articles as well as three book chapters and one edited text. Dr. Cumming is currently Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and is running a research and training program on biofuels feedstock production on marginal soils as a member of the Center for Bioenergy Innovation, a consortium of thirteen institutions advancing bioenergy options in the United States.

Jean Lacob
Teacher Army and Navy Academy

Jeanie Lacob currently teaches Middle and High School Science & Biology at Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, CA. She is recipient of Teacher of the Year while teaching in the Glendale School District, and a Halo Award for excellence by the San Marino Unified School District PTA. She graduated from the University of Southern California where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. She later went on to obtain a Single Subject Biological Sciences Teaching Credential and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Mrs. Lacob utilizes a variety of instructional skills and methods; varying them in order to accommodate student needs, interests, learning styles, and ability levels. Her focus is to develop a warm, positive, and encouraging relationship with students, using their interests to engage students and assist them in understanding the curriculum.