Meet your Instructors

Programs offered through the public education department are developed and taught by museum education professionals with science backgrounds and years of experience teaching in informal learning environments.

Colleen MacGilvrayPhoto of Colleen MacGilvray Museum Education Coordinator

Colleen MacGilvray is the Museum Education Coordinator at the KU Natural History Museum.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with honors and holds a Master of Science in Environmental Education as well.  She has taught and delivered science programs for students of all ages in many unique environments, including science museums, nature centers and conservancies, national monuments, and hiking trails recognized by the National Trails System.

Teresa MacDonald

Photo of Teresa MacDonald Associate Director of Public ProgramsTeresa MacDonald is the Associate Director of Public Programs at the museum. She holds a BA, honors, in physical anthropology, an MSc in vertebrate paleontology, and a PhD in science education. She has more than twenty years of science teaching experience in museums, science centers, universities and schools from kindergarten to college level on three continents. Teresa has been involved with several grant-funded projects such as Principal Investigator for Understanding the Tree of Life, Co-PI and outreach lead for the Euteleost Tree of Life project, Co-PI for Adventures at Nanoscale: Superconductivity, outreach director for Quarked! Adventures in the Subatomic Universe, and partner on the IMLS-funded project The Tree Room: Teaching and learning about evolutionary relationships.

Selected Papers & Presentations

Thanukos, A., MacDonald, T., Heiser, D., and Ross, R. (2016). Visualizing Evolution: Reinforcing NGSS’s Unity and Diversity Standards at zoos and aquariums. Presentation at AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) annual conference, San Diego, CA, September.

Novick, L.R., Pickering, J., MacDonald, T., Diamond, J. et al. (2014). Depicting the Tree of Life: Guiding Principles from Psychological Research. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 7(1):1-13.

MacDonald, T. (2014). Evolutionary Tree Design: An exploratory study of the influence of linear versus branched format on visitors' interpretation and understanding. Poster at NARST (National Association for Research in Science Teaching) conference, Pittsburgh, PA, March (

MacDonald, T., and Wiley, E.O. (2012). Communicating phylogeny: Evolutionary tree diagrams in museums. Evolution Education and Outreach, 5:14-28. DOI 10.1007/s12052-012-0387-0. (KU ScholarWorks

MacDonald, T., and Bean, A. (2011). Adventures in the Subatomic Universe: An exploratory study of a scientist-museum physics education project. Public Understanding of Science, 20(6):846-862.