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Mindi Summers

Pronouns: she/her


Assistant Head, Undergraduate Programs

Faculty of Science , Department of Biological Sciences

Educational Leader in Residence, Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, TI Academic and Research Team

Academic Lead, University of Calgary Teaching & Learning Grants

Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, TI Academic and Research Team

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Research partners


Educational Background

B.S. , Stanford University, 2009

Doctor of Philosophy , Scripps Institute of Oceanography - Univ of California, San Diego, 2014

M.S. , Scripps Institute of Oceanography - Univ of California, San Diego, 2011




Mindi Summers is an Associate Professor (Teaching) in the department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary. She designs innovative teaching and mentoring practices to involve undergraduate students in biodiversity and conservation research, and helps build community partnerships for students to apply their biological knowledge to sustainable design. Dr. Summers' research and outreach efforts focus on pollinators, and her collaborative work led to the University of Calgary being designated a Bee Campus in 2020. Through this designation, she works with the campus community and The City of Calgary to study and promote urban pollinator conservation. 


Areas of Research

Biology education , Scholarship of Teaching & Learning , Biodiversity, Plant - pollinator interactions, Urban ecology, Bio-inspired design, Sustainability

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
BIOL 401 Evolutionary Biology Winter 2023
ZOOL 401 An Introduction to Invertebrate Zoology Winter 2023


  • Killam Undergraduate Mentorship Award, 2022
  • University of Calgary Internationalization Early Career Award, 2022
  • University of Calgary Experiential Learning Teaching Award, 2021
  • University of Calgary Student Union Teaching Excellence Award, 2021
  • University of Calgary Sustainability Team Team Teaching Award, 2021
  • Faculty of Science Scholarship Excellence Early Career Award, 2021
  • Faculty of Science Teaching Excellence Early Career Award, 2020
  • University of Calgary Sustainability Research Team Award, 2021
  • Nomination for Student Union Teaching Excellence Award, 2018
  • Nomination for Student Union Teaching Excellence Award, 2017

More Information


  • Phillips L*, Duclos K*, & Summers MM. 2022. Animal behaviour case study lessons in communication, migration, and parental care using the jigsaw approach. CourseSource.
  • Armbrecht L, Eisenhofer R, Utge J, Sibert EC, Rocha F, Ward R, Pierella Karlusich J J, Tirichine L, Norris R, Summers M, & Bowler C. 2021. Paleo-diatom composition from Santa Barbara Basin deep-sea sediments: A comparison of 18S-V9 and diat-rbcL metabarcoding vs shotgun metagenomics. ISME Communications, 1(1), 66.
  • Altiner D, Payne JL, Lehrmann DJ, Özkan-Altiner S, Kelly BM, Summers MM, & Yu M. 2021. Triassic foraminifera from the Great Bank of Guizhou, Nanpanjiang Basin, south China: taxonomic account, biostratigraphy, and implications for recovery from end-Permian mass extinction. Journal of Paleontology.
  • Branchaw JL, Pape-Lindstrom PA, Tanner KD, Bissonnette SA, Cary TL, Couch BA, Crowe AJ, Knight JK, Semsar K, Smith JI, Smith MK, Summers MM, Wienhold CJ, Wright CD, & Brownell SE. 2020. Resources for teaching assessing the Vision and Change biology core concepts. CBE-Life Sciences. 19(2).
  • McKay DM, Summers M, Buret AG, Emmett T, & Gilleard JS. 2019. Rethinking graduate education in parasitology: a case study. Trends in Parasitology.
  • Couch BA, Wright CD, Freeman S, Knight JK, Semsar K, Smith MK, Summers MM, Zheng Y, Crowe AJ, & Brownell SE. 2019. GenBio-MAPS: A programmatic assessment to measure students understanding ofVision and Change core concepts across general biology programs. CBE-Life Sciences. 18: 1-14.
  • Semsar K, Brownell S, Couch B, Crowe A, Freeman S, Smith M, Summers M, Wright C, & Knight J. 2019. Phys-MAPS: A programmatic physiology assessment for introductory and advanced undergraduates.Advances in Physiology Education. 43: 15-27.
  • Summers MM, Couch B, Knight J, Brownell S, Crowe A, Semsar K, Wright C, & Smith MK. 2018. EcoEvo-MAPS: a tool to assess student learning in ecology and evolution through the undergraduate major. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 17: 1-12.
  • Smith MK, Toth ES, Borges K, Dastoor F, Johnston J, Jones EH, Nelson PR, Page J, Pelletreau K, Prentiss N, Roe JL, Staples J, Summers M, Trenckmann E, & Vinson E. 2018. Using place-based economically relevant organisms to improve student understanding of the roles of carbon dioxide, sunlight, and nutrients in photosynthetic organisms. CourseSource.
  • Trenckmann E*, Smith MK, Pelletreau KN, & Summers MM. 2017. An active-learning lesson that targets student understanding of population growth in ecology. CourseSource.
  • Summers MM, Messing CG, & Rouse GW. 2017. The genera and species of Comatulidae (Comatulida: Crinoidea): taxonomic revisions and a molecular and morphological guide. Zootaxa. 4268: 151-190.
  • Rouse GW, Lanterbecq D, Summers MM, & Eeckhaut I. 2016. Four new species of Mesomyzostoma (Myzostomida, Annelida). Journal of Natural History. 50: 1-23.
  • Summers MM, Pleijel F, & Rouse GW. 2015. Whale falls, multiple colonisations of the deep, and the phylogeny of Hesionidae (Annelida). Invertebrate Systematics. 29: 105-123.
  • Summers MM & Rouse GW. 2014. Phylogeny of Myzostomida (Annelida) and their relationships with echinoderm hosts. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 14: 170.
  • Summers MM, Messing CG, & Rouse GW. 2014. Phylogeny of Comatulidae (Echinodermata: Crinoidea: Comatulida). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution. 80: 319-339
  • Summers MM, Al-Hakim I, & Rouse GW. 2014. Turbo-taxonomy: 21 new species of Myzostomida (Annelida). Zootaxa. 3873: 301-344
  • Summers MM, Katz S, Allen EE, & Rouse GW. 2013. Association of rhizobia with a marine polychaete. Environmental Microbiology Reports. 5: 492-498.
  • Payne JL, Summers M, Rego BL, Altiner D, Wei J, Yu M, & Lehrmann DJ. 2011. Early and Middle Triassic trends in diversity, evenness, and size of foraminifers on a carbonate platform in south China: implications for tempo and mode of biotic recovery from the end-Permian mass extinction. Paleobiology. 37: 409-425.