Co-Director of VolsTeach
Susan Riechert, Arts and Science Co-Director of VolsTeach, is a UTK Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and has also held the James R. Cox Professorship. She has won several prestigious awards including the UT Alexander Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship, the L.R. Hesler Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service, the UT Alumni Outstanding Public Service Award, and the CA&S Academic Outreach Award. She is both a Fellow of The Animal Behavior Society of America and AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) and has served as President of the Animal Behavior Society and of the American Archeological Society.
Most of Dr. Riechert's research on spiders is at the interface between behavior, ecology and evolutionary biology. This work has been funded by grants primarily from the National Science Foundation but includes grants from the Institute of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, Roosevelt Memorial Fund and the National Geographic Society.
Riechert is a National Academies Education Fellow and has received Howard Hughes funds, and Dwight D. Eisenhower and Tennessee Higher Education Commission Improving Teacher Quality grants for the professional development of teachers as it relates to her development of the K-12 outreach project, Biology in a Box. Biology in a Box exercises simulate the scientist's method of discovery, thereby responding to the shortcomings that education leaders have identified in our science curriculum.
At the undergraduate level, Riechert has taught the introductory major’s biology course, Biodiversity, for many years and currently teaches the honors equivalent of this course and Animal Behavior.