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Mitra Asgari

Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501

Mitra Asgari is a Lecturer at the School of Life Sciences and joined ASU in fall 2020. She is an Aquatic Ecologist and has a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and a Master’s in Marine Biology. After her Ph.D., first at Cornell University and since she joined ASU, she has been teaching large-enrollment introductory biology courses. Mitra is a passionate teacher and a strong advocate of student-centered and evidence-based teaching to help improve students’ engagement, learning process, and sense of belonging in intro bio courses. Mitra teaches biology in a fun and interactive way so students can be engaged in their own learning process by having a more active role during lectures and using the metacognition cycle of planning, conducting, and reflecting on their study patterns and learning processes while learning biology.

Mitra’s biology background is Aquatic Ecology, and she has studied how aquatic invertebrates interact with each other and their environment to structure their populations across time and space in these habitats. During her graduate research fieldwork, she worked with intertidal crabs in the Persian Gulf, Iran and aquatic insects called backswimmers in Southwest Michigan ponds using field surveys and experimental studies.

While doing her Ph.D. she became interested in teaching and at Cornell University as an education Postdoctoral Associate, in addition to developing teaching materials and teaching an intro bio course, she became familiar and involved with the field of Biology Education Research. Mitra’s current education research projects are

  • Study the composition of groups formed by students in introductory biology labs, the relationship of the group compositions with students learning gain, and attitude towards group work
  • Study the impact of semester-long pedagogy support on the cognition and practice of Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching Assistants leading intro bio labs

At Cornell University, Mitra also had the opportunity of working with a group of TAs teaching biology labs and develop and lead pedagogy courses for TAs in multiple semesters. She has been one of the BioTAP (Biology Teaching Assistant Project) scholars (, a network developed to build capacity in the area of research on biology GTA teaching professional development (TPD). At ASU as one of the Co-directors of Scientific Teaching in Higher Education Certificate (, Mitra is looking forward to working with and supporting Graduate and Undergraduate TA students in their teaching and scholarship of teaching and learning in coming years. 


Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Wayne State University – Detroit, MI, 2018

M.Sc., Marine Biology, Shahid Beheshti University – Tehran, Iran, 2009

B.Sc., Biology, Shahid Beheshti University – Tehran, Iran, 2006

Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 181General Biology I
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 530Scientific Teaching
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 282ConceptualApproachBioMajors II
BIO 494Special Topics
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 281ConceptualApproachBioMajors I
BIO 494Special Topics