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