Todd Cooke




Office Phone: (301) 405-1628

Fax: (301) 314-9489

Office Address: 2206 H.J. Patterson





I am currently teaching an introductory course in organismal biology called BSCI 207 Principles of Biology III: Organismal Biology and its honors version HLSC 207. I am also serving as the Director of Integrated Life Sciences, which is a new Living-Learning Program in the Honors College. On an ad hoc basis, I participate in graduate seminars focusing on recent advances in plant biology and in biology education research.


graduate program affiliations

  • BISI – BISI-Physiological Systems (PSYS); BISI - BISI-Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics (BEES)


research interests

Plant biology, developmental mechanisms responsible for the origin and diversification of land plants, generation of biological form, biology education research.


recent publications

Cooke, TJ, Poli, DB, and Cohen, JD. 2004. Did auxin play a crucial role in the evolution of novel body plans during the late Silurian-early Devonian radiation of land plants? In: AM Hemsly and I Poole, eds. The Evolution of Plant Physiology, pp. 85-107. Academic Press: London.

Cooke, T.J. 2006. Do Fibonacci numbers reveal the involvement of geometrical imperatives or biological interactions in phyllotaxis? Botanical Journal of the  Linnean Society 150: 3-24.

Watkins, J.E., Coffey, J.E., Redish, E.F., and Cooke, T.J. 2012. Disciplinary authenticity: Enriching the reform of introductory physics courses for life science students. Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research. 8, 010112.

Redish, E.F., and Cooke, T.J. 2013. Learning each other's ropes: Negotiating interdisciplinary authenticity, Cell Biology Education - Life Science Education 12:175-186.

Banavar J.R., Cooke, T. J., Rinaldo, A., and Maritan, A. 2014. Form, function, and evolution of living organisms. Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences USA. 111: 2417-2424.



NSF Graduate Fellowship, 1974-1977
Jeanette Siron Pelton Award for Outstanding Research in Experimental Plant Morphology (Botanical Society of America), 1983
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 1995-1996
Outstanding Contributions to Seniors Award (Office of Vice President for Student Affairs, UM), 1996
Faculty Service Excellence Award (College of Chemical and Life Sciences, UM), 2002
Fellow, Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (UM), 2005-present
Lilly Fellowship (Center for Teaching Excellence, UM), 2007-2008
Teaching and Curriculum Development Excellence Award (College of Chemical and Life Sciences, UM), 2008
Education Fellow in the Life Sciences (National Academies), 2009-2010
Creative Educator Award (Board of Visitors, College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, UM), 2012
Outstanding Faculty Award (Honors College, UM), 2013



Ph.D. - Cornell University, 1979