Paleontology & Geobiology at Williams College

Phoebe Cohen, Assistant Professor of Geosciences


My goal as a teacher is to challenge and inspire students, to promote critical thinking and analysis, and to foster a sense of confidence in students’ ability to interpret the fascinating and complex world around them. Teaching is an integral and fulfilling part of my work as a scientist.


I teach GEOS 101 / ENVI 105: The Co-Evolution of Earth and Life during the fall semester (check out our student geological history blog here!) and GEOS 202 / BIOL 211: Paleobiology in the spring semester. In alternating years I teach Geobiology as either an upper level course or senior seminar.

For students:

If you need a letter of recommendation from me, please download and read my guidelines – 2014_Cohen_LettersOfRecommendation_Guidelines.

If you are interested in working in my lab, I recommend you take one of my courses. first, but you can also just come talk to me, the best way to set up an appointment is over email.

If you are interested in thesis work, you are required to have taken at least one, and preferably two, courses with me, and are highly encouraged to begin working in my lab before the summer leading into your senior year.

I have been fortunate to act as a teaching fellow and instructor in a number of undergraduate courses at MIT and Harvard University:

Instructor, Astrobiology, MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Winter Session 2012.

Head Teaching Fellow, Paleobiological Perspectives on Ecology and Evolution, Harvard University Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Spring 2009. Professor Charles Marshall.

Teaching Fellow, Dinosaurs and Their Relatives, Harvard University Core Program, Spring 2008. Professor Charles Marshall.

Teaching Fellow, History of the Earth, Harvard University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Spring 2006. Professors Daniel Schrag and Paul Hoffman.

Teaching Fellow, Environmental Risks & Disasters, Harvard University Core Program, Fall 2006. Professor Brendan Mead.

In addition, I completed two courses on scientific teaching and communication while at Harvard.