Cornell University ShieldCornell University

Tara Baxter


I am currently the Genetics Team Lead for Sapling Learning, an online homework software company based in Austin, TX that focuses on STEM homework solutions for high school and college students. I'm particularly interested in effective pedagogy for communicating genetic ideas and concepts to students and new ways in which to engage students in material through online learning. I also like to include as much of my own favorite genetics background as is possible into the Sapling Genetics questions which includes: coat color genetics, canine behavioral genetic, computational genomics, and animal breeding.

I received my BS in Animal Science in 2009 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During that time, I worked as an undergraduate researcher in the lab of Larry Schook, studying the effect of the RUNX2 gene on suiforme facial morphology. I received my MS from Adam Boyko's lab in 2014 from the Genetics, Genomics, and Development department with my study on canine behavioral genomics. I also worked as a Graduate Research Teaching Fellow with the Center for Teaching excellence. Despite the wealth of knowledge I gained on dog behavior during my MS, I found neither a genetic locus for or a reason why my dog Boone like to play with bricks. We did find a putative gene for why he drools on the brick, though!