Jessica Peebles-Spencer

Jessica Peebles-Spencer

Instructor of Biology


Room:CL 223A

Academic Information

Miami University, Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (2016)
Hanover College, B.A. in Biology (2010)


Generally, my interests include invasion ecology and pedagogy.

Specifically, I’m interested the complex community-level interactions of invasive shrubs and generalist herbivores on forest floor plants and tree species. While invasive plants and generalist herbivores have each been shown to have direct negative effects on plant communities, their indirect and interactive effects, have received far less focus. These indirect effects between plant and animal species are fundamental to understanding the workings of complex ecosystems and are likely important for understanding invasions.

Additionally, I incorporate experiential learning, active review, creative reflection, and inclusion and sharing in my classroom. By fostering opportunities to participate in “real science”, students are shown that science is a process and not just a collection of facts to be memorized. By encouraging students to consistently review concepts that we’ve already covered, as well as making connections between old concepts, new concepts, and concepts from other areas, I foster a deeper learning that extends beyond the next exam. Through written reflections, I encourage and allow the space for students to explore their own thought process, which in turn fosters deeper learning. By cultivating active discussion and opportunities for student involvement, I maximize the learning benefits of diversity by allowing students to learn from each other, and not just from me.