Tamra Mendelson is a world class teacher and scholar in evolutionary biology and animal behavior. Students and colleagues describe her as an enthusiastic, patient, creative teacher who infuses her courses with humor, active learning, and ample opportunities for student participation. Known for her open-door policy and rigorous approach to academics, Mendelson revamped an introductory graduate course to focus on the importance of good writing. She regularly uses technology in her courses, which eased the pandemic-driven transition to online learning. Mendelson received her B.S. in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Ph.D. in zoology from Duke University.