A professor of science education in the Department of Biology, Balgopal focuses her research on understanding how students learn through writing and how teachers develop both their base of knowledge and ability to effectively communicate with students.
Balgopal began her career as an entomologist studying the behavior and evolution of parasitoid wasps. Her interest in education was piqued in graduate school while trying to understand why and how students resist learning about evolution.
Understanding this requires knowing how students learn in general, and the nature of knowledge, and Balgopal began applying her experience as a biologist to researching STEM education.
In her current research on how people make meaning of natural science concepts, she uses discourse and communication theories to understand how undergraduate students identify and resolve misconceptions.
Balgopal earned her Ph.D. from North Dakota State University and came to Colorado State in 2008.