Ph.D., Univ. of Oregon (1984)
B.A., California State Univ., Fresno (1977)
Kathleen Archer graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in biology (botany emphasis) from California State University, Fresno, in 1977. She continued her studies at the University of Oregon, graduating in 1984 with a Ph.D. in plant physiology and development. Her dissertation research characterized a mutation in tobacco that altered chloroplast development. Following graduate work she took post-doctoral research positions, first with Dr. Maureen Hanson at Cornell University, and then with Dr. Ken Keegstra at the University of Wisconsin, focusing on the molecular biology of protein import into chloroplasts.
She conducts research in two areas. The first focuses on algal chloroplasts living within the body of the sea slug Elysia crispata, an unusual relationship that allows the sea slug to survive without food as long as it receives light. The second focuses on biology education, in particular on teaching techniques that are evidence-based and on methods to objectively measure successful learning.