Lisa Tracy

Biology Instructor

Departments: Biology, Environmental Science
Office: H302e
Phone: 651-450-3780


Lisa Tracy has been teaching biology at the college level since 2009. Besides Inver Hills, Lisa has taught biology courses at Minnesota State University Moorhead, North Hennepin Community College and Normandale Community College. She has an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and a B.A. in Biology from the University of St. Thomas. Her area of research at Otago was avian population genetics and their implications in wildlife management.
Lisa has taught the following courses at Inver Hills:

  • BIOL 1120 Exploring Biology
  • BIOL 1117 Environmental Science
  • BIOL 2201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 2202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Lisa is actively involved in undergraduate research at Inver Hills, including Amphibian Pathogen Studies and Wildlife Studies with the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Three Rivers Park District. Prior to her teaching career, she lived and worked in New Zealand and Alaska, managing avian conservation genetics and animal behavior research projects and working in aquatic field biology.
Lisa’s awards and accomplishments include:

  • Golden Apple Teaching Awards: IHCC (2014) and Normandale Community College (2012)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology Society Annual Conference Robert Anthony Scholarship (2011)
  • Supervised undergraduate research presentations
    • Posters at the MN State Capitol
    • CCURI Student Colloquium in Pittsburgh
    • Minnesota Academy of Science Winchell Symposium
    • HHMI Student Showcase
    • Minnesota Undergraduate Scholars Conference
    • Inver Hills Annual Research Conference

Published work

Wolff BG, *E Wurm, LN Tracy (2013) Pseudacris crucifer (Spring Peeper) Myiasis. Herpetological Review 44(3): 498-499. * Denotes research student advisee

Tracy LN, MG Efford, GP Wallis, IG Jamieson (2011) Preserving genetic diversity in threatened species' reintroductions: how many individuals should be released? Animal Conservation 14:439-446.

Tracy LN, IG Jamieson (2011) Historic DNA reveals contemporary population structure resulting from anthropogenic factors, not pre-fragmentation patterns. Conservation Genetics 12:517-526.

Jamieson IG, LN Tracy, SS Taylor, H Kokko, D Armstrong (2009) Why some species of birds do not avoid inbreeding: insights from New Zealand robins and saddlebacks. Behavioural Ecology 20(3): 575-84.

Jamieson IG, LN Tracy, D Fletcher, DP Armstrong(2007)Moderate inbreeding depression in a reintroduced population of North Island robins. Animal Conservation 10:95-102.

Tracy LN, DE Nelson (2004) The Biology of Behavior: Circadian Neuroscience. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 68:33.

Langseth AJ, LS McNamara, LN Tracy, DE Nelson (2003) Changes in the photic responsiveness of the mouse circadian pacemaker during initial cycles in constant darkness. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 29:511.11.

Tracy LN, LA Hruby, PA Stahler, AJ Langseth, DE Nelson (2002) Respon­sive­ness of the circadian photic entrainment pathway in mPer2 mutant mice. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 28:577.23.

Teaching philosophy

"Teaching courses in the biological sciences at the college level allows me to engage students and inspire a deeper curiosity about life. Beyond ensuring that students learn important fundamental concepts of each course, as an educator I strive to fulfill several other objectives:

  • Cultivate commitment to improving our community through meaningful service learning opportunities
  • Encourage life-long learning through active learning techniques
  • Foster critical thinking and promote engagement in the process of science through novel undergraduate research

"I hope this approach helps develop considerate, creative and capable contributors to society."

What do you like best about being an Inver Hills instructor?

"I chose to pursue this career because I enjoy the opportunity to help students achieve their goals. I feel honored to be in a position to help students with tools for success, and I enjoy working with a diverse student body at Inver Hills. We represent and celebrate a variety of cultures, races and life experiences. I find my work most rewarding when students have made great gains in their outlook and motivation and are on their way to achieving their goals."

Lisa is an outdoor enthusiast. She enjoys a number of activities, including canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, rock climbing, backpacking and cross-country skiing.

Education Credentials

Master of Science (MS) - Majors: Zoology/Animal Biology - University Of Otago

Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Majors: Biology, General - University Of St Thomas

Lisa Tracy