Cathy McGowan Russell

I am Cathy McGowan Russell, weaver of the Epic of Evolution web. I am also a mom, wife, teacher and scientist.

My passion for the Epic of Evolution began in high school and continued as I earned my Ph.D. in microbiology from the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University.  My dissertation research was looked at how bacteria evolve via horizontal gene transfer  While pursuing my doctorate in microbiology, I also earned a minor in educational technology. I used these skills to collaborate with other scientists, programmers and artists to produce several science education web sites, including the National Science Foundation-sponsored Microbe Zoo and several environmental science websites.

I love to share our scientific creation story.   It is for this reason that I am pleased to be a founding member of the International Big History Association which seeks to promote the teaching of Big History, also known as the Epic of Evolution. For years, I have been teaching the Epic of Evolution to adults and children in schools, after-school programs (including Exploring Evolution at the University of Colorado’s Science Discovery), in churches and via this web site, Along with a growing number of people, I share the vision that a person’s purpose, their spirituality, and their religion become more meaningful, more relevant and more empowering in the light of evolution.

My husband, Fly, and I are the delighted parents of our son, Sean. My role as mother clarifies my commitment to work toward creating an environmentally sustainable and joy-filled future. For me, a thriving future depends on understanding where we came from, how we belong and an inspired vision of where we want to go.

When not contemplating evolution , I enjoy writing and playing music with friends,  hiking, conversing,  sequestering carbon (aka gardening), and helping others create “Evolution Beads“.  I occasionally lead classes in HeartDance, which is a fusion of dance, weight training, and yoga meant to align body, mind and spirit with a sense of joy.

If you have comments or questions, please contact me at

Cathy McGowan Russell