Our vision

As dedicated teachers, we understand the challenge (and importance) of engaging students in introductory biology. We believe that all students can learn and apply the core concepts in a biology class, but they need study aids that help them understand the content, not just memorize it. We also believe in the power of biological knowledge: Every aspect of student life revolves around biology, so understanding biology gives students a vital tool they need to make sense of the world.

Leafcutter Media specializes in traditional and web-based biology instruction. We currently author the print and digital content for two nonmajors biology textbooks: Biology: The Essentials and Biology: Concepts and Investigations. As we expand, we will accept e-instruction projects, such as producing animations, mobile applications, lecture PowerPoints, and other multimedia tools. Please contact us if you'd like to discuss a possible project.

Meet our staff

Mariëlle Hoefnagels - President

Marielle Hoefnagels photo

I earned my PhD in botany and plant pathology at Oregon State University in 1997, and I have been teaching nonmajors biology at the University of Oklahoma ever since. It is my favorite part of my job at OU. I love helping students learn about a topic that they might have feared in the past, and I love coaching them to help improve their study skills. (Find out more about my courses: OU teaching page.)

Shortly after coming to OU, I became a McGraw-Hill textbook author. For me, writing and teaching are perfectly complementary activities. I think about my students as I write, and I think about how best to explain topics in the book as I teach. I'm excited about using the print book and our digital assets to create powerful new tools for instructors and students.


Matthew Taylor - Director of Media Development

Matt Taylor photo

I received my Bachelor's in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma and a Masters in Educational Technology from Boise State University. I help Mariƫlle with all parts of textbook development and production, but my main focus is to improve the online materials that accompany the books. I write interactive questions, create lecture PowerPoints, and design animated tutorials. I enjoy the creativity of using technology to teach biology.

I have also participated in various teaching and tutoring positions at the University of Oklahoma.

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