Susan Keen

image of Susan Keen

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs; Senior Lecturer


CBS Dean's Office
Evolution and Ecology

Offices and Labs

203 Life Sciences Building


1991 PhD Biology University of California
1984 MSc Biology University of Michigan
1979 BSc 1st Cl Honours Biology University of British Columbia

Research Interests

Evolutionary biology, invertebrate zoology

I am interested in life history evolution and the role of asexual reproduction in life history.

Science teaching, especially in Introductory Biology

I develop teaching methods to make lecture and laboratory teaching more effective in very large classes; I am interested in pairing technology with classroom experience to maximize the value of in-person instruction. I have contributed extensively to course design, lab design and lab manual creation.

Interactive on-line material for teaching animal development

I am currently developing interactive web-based teaching modules to explore the events in animal development, the mechanisms underlying development, and the value of developmental characters for phylogenetic inference.

Textbook development for Zoology

I am a member of the author team for Integrated Principles of Zoology (Hickman, Roberts, Keen, Larson, I'Anson and Eisenhour), for Animal Diversity (Hickman, Roberts, Keen, Larson, and Eisenhour), and for the associated lab manuals(Lab Manual for Integrated Principles of Zoology; Laboratory Manual for Animal Diversity, both Hickman, Kats, and Keen.) The texts are also published in Italian and Spanish.

Increasing interactivity in classroom instruction

I was part of a 5-person team from UC Davis invited to the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (March 2009) to discuss curriculum development and incorporation of interactive methods of instruction in science teaching. This followed previous work with the Summer Institute on teaching methods (HHMI and NSF-sponsored) and other related conferences.


NSF 0942294, Division of Undergraduate Education, "Learning Modules to Enhance Understanding of Animal Development"
Education Fellow in the Life Sciences, 2005-2006; National Academies (Science, Engineering and Medicine)
Academic Federation Excellence in Teaching Award 2006
ASUCD (Associated Students at UC Davis) Excellence in Education Award 2004
UIIP (Undergraduate Instructional Improvement) Grant to investigate correlates of student performance in BIS 2B. Awarded to Strong, Patricelli, and Keen.

Department and Center Affiliations

Evolution and Ecology (primary)
Plant Biology (secondary)


Society of Integrated and Comparative Biology
Ecological Society of America

Teaching Interests

Introductory Biology, Invertebrate Zoology, Evolutionary relationships among taxa


BIS 2B Introductory Biology; Evolution and Ecology
BIS 2C Introductory Biology; Tree of Life


5/21/2010 9:26:34 AM
  • Animal Diversity 5th Edition, 2009. Hickman, C. P., Roberts, L. S., Keen, S. L., Larson, A., and D. J. Eisenhour. McGraw-Hill, NY.
  • Integrated Principles of Zoology, 14th Edition (2008) by Hickman, C. P., L. S. Roberts, S. L. Keen, A. Larson, H. I’Anson, and D. J. Eisenhour. McGraw Hill, NY. ; 15th Ed in prep. 2010
  • Integrated Principles of Zoology, 14/e by Hickman, Keen, Larson and Eisenhour; Spanish translation edition to be published by McGraw-Hill Interamericana de Espana (Spain); copyright date is 2010.
  • Animal Diversity 4th Edition, 2007. Hickman, C. P., Roberts, L. S., Keen, S. L. Larson, A., and D. J. Eisenhour. McGraw-Hill, NY.
  • Diversita Animale 4th Edition, 2007. Hickman, C. P., Roberts, L. S., Keen, S. L., Larson, A., and D. J. Eisenhour. McGraw-Hill, NY. This text is an Italian translation of our book, Animal Diversity.
  • Laboratory Studies in Integrated Principles of Zoology, 14th Edition (2008) by Hickman, C. P., L. B. Kats, and S. L. Keen. McGraw Hill, NY.; 15th Ed. in prep. 2009
  • Laboratory Studies in Animal Diversity , 5th edition, by Hickman, C. P., L. B. Kats, and S. L. Keen. expected 2009. This lab manual is currently under revision and my role in it will be similar to that for the manual above.
  • Laboratory Manuals for BIS2B, BIS 2C, and BIS 1B as part of a campus authors group; manuals published by Kendall-Hunt
  • Opell, B.D., T.W. Schoener, S.L. Keen and V. T. Davies. 1995. The new species Purumitra australiensis (Araneae, Uloboridae) with notes on its natural history . Journal of Arachnology 23:127-129.
  • Keen, S. L., and A. J. Gong. 1989. Genotype and feeding frequency affect clone formation in a marine cnidarian (Aurelia aurita). Functional Ecology 3:735-745
  • Keen, S. L. 1987. Recruitment of Aurelia aurita (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) larvae is position-dependent, and independent of conspecific density, within a settling surface. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 38:151-160.
  • Keen, S. L., and W. E. Neill. 1980. Spatial relationships and some structuring processes in benthic intertidal animal communities. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 45:139-155.
  • Johns, T., and S. L. Keen. 1986. Ongoing evolution of the potato on the altiplano of Western Bolivia. Economic Botany 40:409-424.
  • Johns T., and S. L. Keen. 1986. Taste evaluation of potato glycoalkaloids by the Aymara: a case study in human chemical ecology. Human Ecology 14:437-451.
  • Johns, T., and S. L. Keen. 1985. Determinants of taste perception and classifications among the Aymara of Bolivia. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 16:253-271.