David Koetje

David Koetje


  • BS in Biology, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985
  • PhD in Plant Physiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 1991                                         

Professional Experience

  • Professor Biology Department, Calvin College, Sept 2008 - present 
  • Associate Professor Biology Department, Calvin College, Sept 1998 – Aug 2008
  • Assistant Professor Biology Department, SUNY Fredonia, Jan 1993 – Aug 1998
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate Department of Botany, Washington State University,Sept 1991 - Dec 1992
  • Graduate Research Assistant Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, Purdue University, Jan 1987 - Aug 1991
  • Instructor and Co-organizer International Rice Biotechnology Workshop, Purdue University, March 1990
  • Teaching Assistant  Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, Purdue University,Aug 1989 - Dec 1989
  • Research Technician Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, Purdue University,Aug 1985 - Dec 1986


Dr. Koetje has broad scholarly interests that range from understanding plants' interactions with their environments, to promoting sustainability, to catalyzing pedagogical and curricular reforms in undergraduate biology education. He is currently leading the biology department's efforts to upgrade Biology 224 and 225 labs, developing integrative investigations centered on compelling, socially-relevant questions as a way to promote mastery of essential research and critical thinking skills.

Dr. Koetje and his family enjoy a lifestyle that is well-suited to west Michigan: swimming, biking, and kayaking are favorite activities.  Even before local foods became popular, they practiced the art of “putting up” produce from area orchards and from their own extensive vegetable garden.

Academic interests

  • scientific teaching pedagogies and active learning
  • urban farming / local foods
  • plant environmental stress responses
  • biotechnology
  • plant genetics
  • ecosustainability

Research and scholarship


Peer-reviewed publications

  • DS Koetje, Hosta sports: Phenotypic streaks and genomic upsets.  The Hosta Journal 42(1): 17-20. (2011).
  • DS Koetje, Place-based agriculture: Christian environmentalism informing collaborations in agroecology and biotechnology. Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith 57: 13-23 (2005).

Books & Chapters

  • Koetje DS, ME Sheehan (2008) “Biotechnology: Building consensus with knowledge,” In: E Vander Lei and D Ward, eds. Real Texts: Reading and Writing Across the Disciplines, Pearson Publishers, New York, NY
  • Koetje DS, ed. (2006) Living the Good Life on God’s Good Earth. Faith Alive Resources, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Koetje DS (2003) Jasmonates.  In: HL Henry and AW Norman, eds, Encyclopedia of Hormones, Academic Press, San Diego, CA; vol. 2, pp. 523-528


  • DS Koetje (Fall 2005) Farming for shalom: A place for biotechnology? Spark, Calvin Alumni Association’s magazine
  • Kleinschmidt AM, DS Koetje (2002) The social context of scientific research: Taking responsibility and engaging the public.  Access via CUR’s research responsibility page: http://www.cur.org/conferences/responsibility/ResRespons.html
  • Koetje, DS (2002) A Hispanic theology of reconciliation and its implications for Calvin.  In: S Hasseler and R Groenhout, eds, Race, Reconciliation, and Reformed Perspectives, Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship, pp. 51-53
  • Bouma H, DS Koetje (2000) Current issue: Genetically modified crops. ASA Bioethics Commission Newsletter 1:3-5
  • Koetje, DS (2000) Guest columnist for Shoreline Business Monthly of Muskegon, Michigan.  Titles:
    “Biotechnology: Great Expectations for the 21st Century” (Feb 2000)
    “Biotechnology: From Milk to Molds to Molecules” (Mar 2000)
    “Pharmaceutical Biotechnology” (Apr 2000)
    “Genetically Modified Foods: A Step in the Right Direction?”  (May 2000)
    “Beyond the GMO Dichotomy: Shaping a Sustainable Future” (Jun 2000)

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