Elizabeth Evans, D.V.M.

Assistant Professor of Biology Biology


Office: St. Ignatius Science Center 220G

Courses: General Physiology, Anatomy and Physiology and Animal Behavior

Research Interests:
I have spent many years observing and studying animal behavior of many species in different settings related to my work as a veterinarian. Animal welfare regulations require animals to be housed in environments that allow and encourage species-typical behaviors such as burrowing and nesting for rodents. Social animals are to be given opportunities for appropriate socialization while minimizing risks for injury. Animal behavior allows glimpses into animal health and well-being and is therefore an important part of any veterinary care program. Although I am no longer in full-time research, I still consult with local research facilities and train veterinary technicians to work with non-traditional animals such as rodents, rabbits, and chickens. Since coming to Rockhurst, my scholarly interests have continued in two tracks.

Animal Behavior
In my animal behavior class, students design their own short individual observational behavior research projects. Many of these projects have been done at the Kansas City Zoo which is an excellent resource for observational behavior research on many species including evaluation of various forms of environmental enrichment or relationships between conspecifics in social groups.

Selected Publications and Presentations:

  1. Evans, E. “Animal Welfare: Impact on Research and Public Perceptions,” Invited speaker for the Animal Health Corridor Lecture Series sponsored by Kansas State University (Olathe, KS, Aug. 15, 2012).
  2. Evans, E, “Practice Tips for Snakes, Iguanas, Bearded Dragons, and Other Reptiles,” Training seminar for licensed veterinary technicians (May 2009).
  3. Evans, E, “Practice Tips for Various Exotic Mammal Pets: ferrets, rabbits and rodents,” Training seminar for licensed veterinary technicians (July 2008).
  4. Evans, E., Book Chapter titled “Small Rodents: Mice, Rats, Gerbils and Hamsters” in Exotic Pet Behavior: Birds, Reptiles and Small Mammals, edited by Teresa Bradley Bays, Teresa Lightfoot, and Jörg Mayer, Elsevier (July 2006).
  5. Evans, E., G. Gates, V. Green, “A ‘Puppy Playroom’ as Opportunity for Exercise and Learning Prior to Adoption,” (poster abstract) Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science Vol. 38, No. 4, July 1999.

SOTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning)
I am currently working on a project with several of my colleagues from the biology department on assessing the learning of students in our introductory biology course sequence, general biology I and general biology II. The main focus of the project is to understand how students learn and retain fundamental biological knowledge. I continue that assessment into my upper level general physiology course with additional assessment of nutritional information as applied to physiology.

Selected Presentations

  1. Evans, E., L. Felzien, C. Wills: “Assessment of Factors Affecting Learning and Retention in a Two-Semester General Biology Course Sequence”, Presented at 58th Annual ACUBE (Association of College and University Biology Educators) at University of Portland (Portland, OR, Oct. 15-17, 2014)
  2. Felzien, L., C. Wills, E. Evans, and C. Scholes,: “Assessment of Learning and Retention in a First Year General Biology Sequence”, Roundtable Presentation at 56th Annual ACUBE (Association of College and University Biology Educators) at Lakeland College (Sheboygan, WI, Oct. 19, 2012)
  3. Evans, E., “Nutritional Assignment for General Physiology Course”, Poster Presentation at 51st Annual ACUBE Meeting (October2007), Loras College, Dubuque, IA.