Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
PhD (Australian National)
6-118E, City Centre Campus10700 – 104 AvenueEdmonton, AB780-633-3667
Dr. Melissa Hills has been a faculty member at MacEwan University for more than 10 years and is dedicated to the university's identity as a learner-focused undergraduate institution. She is a molecular biologist by training and has always worked with plants as model systems. She uses the model plant Arabidopsis to support student research in genetics. She is also interested in invasive plant species, and in the past has collaborated on biosafety research related to genetically engineered crops. Dr. Hills has taught a range of courses including botany, cell biology and genetics. As a teacher, she consistently engages in pedagogical development, reflects regularly on the quality of her students’ experiences and continuously seeks to improve learning outcomes for all students. She brings her enthusiasm for biology and learning into the classroom every day.
Available to supervise senior students' independent study.
Teaching and Research Interests
Dr. Hills teaches genetics at the second third, and fourth-year level. She has a deep respect for her students as mature, motivated and capable learners. She believes that students deserve rigorous, evidence-based learning opportunities to support the development of core disciplinary skills and the acquisition of a strong foundation of biological knowledge.
Dr. Hills prioritizes student-driven collaborative research. Her research program is designed with the goal of incorporating undergraduates in all aspects of the scientific process including experimental design, data collection and analysis and dissemination. She is also developing a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program to investigate strategies to better support inclusive learning environments.
Selected Publications / Presentations / Conference Papers