Join this free webinar series, featuring discussions with authors from recently published articles in Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education® (JMBE). Come meet other biologists who do discipline-based education research (DBER), become more familiar with study design and interpretation of data of DBER studies and learn how to improve your teaching in the process. Register for each webinar individually. Free for everyone!

After attending JMBE Live! webinars, participants will be able to do the following:
  • Discuss critical aspects of DBER research study design.
  • Interpret results of DBER studies.
  • Describe how DBER studies can inform classroom or laboratory teaching.
  • Be more motivated to conduct your own DBER study and publish in JMBE.

Sept. 29 - "Here Is the Biology, Now What is the Mechanism? Investigating Biology Undergraduates’ Mechanistic Reasoning within the Context of Biofilm Development"

Understanding molecular processes and coordinating the various activities across levels of organization in biological systems is a complicated task, yet many curricular guidelines indicate that undergraduate students should master it. Employing mechanistic reasoning can facilitate describing and investigating biological phenomena. Biofilms are an important system in microbiology and biology education. However, few empirical studies have been conducted on student learning of biofilms or how students utilize mechanistic reasoning related to systems thinking to explain biofilm formation. Using mechanistic reasoning and the theory of knowledge integration as conceptual and analytical frameworks, we examined the features of 9 undergraduate biology students’ mechanistic models of a specific transition point in biofilm development.


  • Rachel Horak, Ph.D., Senior Education Specialist at American Society for Microbiology
  • Sharleen Flowers, Ph.D., University of Colorado-Boulder.
  • Stephanie Gardner, Ph.D., Purdue University.

Missed a past JMBE Live! webinar? Catch up on recordings from the series when you visit the JMBE YouTube playlist. Including the latest video on Teaching Climate Change, recorded live at ASM Microbe 2023.

Submit your paper to JMBE's 2023-2024 special series on Teaching Climate Change by Nov. 1. 

Contact Information

Dr. Rachel Horak,