Kelly L. O'Donnell

Director of Science Forward @ Macaulay Honors College

I am the Director of Science Forward. SF a framework for scientific literacy and an open educational resource. My background is in evolutionary ecology with an interest in invasive plants and plant response to the novel conditions of the urban environment. I am also very interested in improving undergraduate science education.

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PhD: Stony Brook University, Ecology and Evolution, 2010

BS: Cornell University, Biology, 2004
SCIence Forward OEr

The Science Forward Open Educational Resource (OER) is a video series and set of tools suitable for a variety of student audiences. The interdisciplinary series of science videos feature scientists talking about the skills they use when they do their work. Each video has suggested readings and activities. This OER can be modified to suit a variety of student audiences and we have sample syllabi available for honors and community college settings. 

citizen science

Participating in citizen science is a great way to engage students and the public and foster an understanding of how science works. As part of the Science Forward program at MHC, I co-direct a 24-hour species diversity survey (a BioBlitz) for our sophomores. 

I also direct the NYC arm of the City Nature Challenge. This event is a 4-day, city-wide BioBlitz that is open to everyone! For general information, visit: For details about the 2019 NYC CNC, visit:

Academic Interests
  • botany
  • evolutionary ecology
  • urban ecology
  • scientific literacy pedagogy
  • citizen science

O’Donnell KL, LA Brundage, and J Ugoretz (executive producers). Science Forward Video Series and Open Education Resource. 2015. URL:    

O’Donnell KL and M Pigliucci. 2010. Selection dynamics in native and introduced Persicaria species. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 171(5):519-528. URL: