Colleen Hitchcock

photograph of Colleen Hitchcock

Colleen Hitchcock is Assistant Professor of Ecology in the Biology Department at Brandeis University. At Brandeis she teaches courses in citizen science, ecology, conservation and biodiversity for Biology majors, environmental studies majors and minors, and pre-service teachers.

Colleen earned her Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. Her research focused on the protective coloration of caterpillars from visually-orienting predators in forest and old field habitats. This work also examined caterpillar mimicry complexes involving the monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) and the field-testing of predator-free space on common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Currently research is focused on the role of citizen scientists in ecological inquiry and conservation biology specifically relating to studies of phenology/climate change as a model for inquiry learning by undergraduate students.

In addition to teaching at the university level, Colleen works as a freelance consultant doing ecological research, leading teacher workshops and developing ecological curriculums for K-12 with a focus on urban ecological field experiences and citizen science.