Photo of Lena Tibell

Lena Tibell

Professor Emerita

Professor in Visual Learning and Communication, Biochemistry and Life Science Education.


The molecular would is too small to be seen and felt. Instead representations like analogies, pictures, animations, video films, simulations and virtual reality techniques are used to describe the events and processes. But how do people interpret the representations? What do they learn?

My research interests range from protein chemistry, molecular interactions and cell biology to life science education. In collaboration with the members of our group, we are presently focused on students' construction of aperceptual complex, dynamic and emergent concepts as they interact with visual and multimodal representations used in the learning and teaching of molecular and cellular biosciences, chemistry and biology.

My educational background is MSc in mathematics, chemistry and biology from Uppsala and Göteborg Universities. I hold a PhD in Biochemistry from Umeå University with professor Sven Lindskog as supervisor. The PhD thesis concerned the catalytic mechanism of Carbonic Anhydrase II. 

After my PhD, I worked as Researcher in a small biotechnology company, Symbicom AB, Umeå. From 1990 I worked as Assistant and Associate professor at the Department of Biochemistry, Umeå University. 

In 2001, I became Associate professor at the Department of Cell Biology, Linköping University and from 2009 Professor at the Division of Information and Media Technology, Department of Science and Technology at Linköping University. In 2011, I was awarded a Contract professorship at Linköping University.

I am Chairman and Scientific leader of the National Graduate School in Science and Technology Education Research, FontD. 



Andreas C. Göransson, Konrad Schönborn, Lena Tibell (2023) Towards defining success factors for school visits to digital science centers


Jörgen Stenlund, Lena Tibell, Konrad Schönborn (2022) 'Awesome to see the immense time before us on Earth' - Students affective responses when interacting with a tree of life visualising evolutionary concepts Journal of Biological Education Continue to DOI
Alma Jahic Pettersson, Carl-Johan Rundgren, Lena A.E. Tibell (2022) Students' Meaning-Making of Nutrient Uptake in Relation to Organizational Levels Designs for Learning, Vol. 14, p. 29-45 Continue to DOI
Gunnar Höst, Konrad Schönborn, Lena Tibell (2022) Visual images of the biological microcosmos: Viewers' perception of realism, preference, and desire to explore Frontiers in Education, Vol. 7, Article 933087 Continue to DOI
Marta Koc-Januchta, Konrad Schönborn, Casey Roehrig, Vinay K. Chaudhri, Lena Tibell, H. Craig Heller (2022) "Connecting concepts helps put main ideas together": cognitive load and usability in learning biology with an AI-enriched textbook International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, Vol. 19, Article 11 Continue to DOI