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Kayla Nygaard, Ph.D.

Kayla received her BA in Biology from Carleton College in Minnesota where she studied the connection between lizard coloration and behavior (and even got to lasso a few lizards in Colorado). While Kayla thinks lizards and snakes are adorable, she is terrified of anything with more than four legs (with some exceptions for Drosophila, butterflies, banded wooly bears, and pink-spotted lady beetles). Kayla spent four years teaching science in a K-12 setting, has a preliminary Massachusetts teaching license, and won the Sontag Prize in Urban Education while teaching in Lawrence, MA. Research called her back and she received her PhD in Biology and Biomedical Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis where she studied neurodevelopmental disorders through mouse models of genetic syndromes. During graduate school, Kayla continued her interest in teaching, outreach, and mentorship and received her Teaching Citation and CIRTL Practitioner status through participation in the programs at the Center for Teaching and Learning at WashU. She now serves DRB as a Curriculum Fellow and is available to support students, postdocs, and faculty in DRB curricular needs, in addition to providing workshops for the broader BBS community. Beyond teaching and research, Kayla is always up to toss a disc (she captained an ultimate frisbee team in college), lend you a book (half her moving boxes were just beautifully bound paper), or talk about advocating for equity (in so many contexts) so don’t be afraid to say hello!

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