Meet the Staff

Our staff members draw upon interdisciplinary backgrounds to develop programs, exhibits, and related materials. We welcome you to call, email, or mail us with questions or comments.

Robert A. Hefner Museum of Natural History
Miami University
110 Upham Hall
Oxford, Ohio 45056

Director of the Hefner Museum of Natural History, Steve Sullivan

Steve Sullivan


Steven M. Sullivan serves as the Director of the Hefner Museum of Natural History. Steve's passion for museums as a teaching tool began at an early age. By high school, he had transformed his parent's basement into "Steve's Museum"—a place where local kids could come to learn about the nature in their neighborhood through examining the living and preserved specimens Steve had collected. At Brigham Young University, while majoring in zoology and conservation biology, Steve worked at the university's museum of natural history, and volunteered at the museums of art and paleontology, and took courses through the museum of anthropology, learning more about the technical aspects of running a professional research and display institution.

Early in his career, Steve worked at the US Fish and Wildlife service monitoring bird populations, teaching teacher professional development classes, and creating exhibits. Later he managed the scientific collections of at one of the oldest natural history institutions, the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Museum. As their senior curator of urban ecology, Steve worked with the exhibits department to develop permanent and touring exhibits, with the education department to develop lesson plans that brought specimens into the classroom, and worked with the public to establish an authentic connection to the natural world around them. Steve’s goal in all that he does is,”to help people realize their direct and indirect connections with the non-human world and to maximize local biodiversity while minimizing human/animal conflict.”

In addition to his broad museological training and experience, Steve brings to the Hefner —and to Miami University—a passion for collaboration with diverse disciplines to tell the exciting stories of nature to people of all ages and interests.

Naturalist, Don Koller

Don Koller


Don Koller is an environmental educator and seasoned naturalist, willing to share his expertise with museum visitors. He brings a wealth of knowledge of Ohio's natural history, a love of teaching (30 years), and excellent photography and wood working skills. He holds an associate degree from Hocking Technical College in Parks and Recreation, a BS from the University of Cincinnati in Elementary Education (gr.1-8), and an MS from Northern Kentucky University in Elementary Education with an emphasis in math and science. Mr. Koller also worked for Ohio State Parks and Cincinnati Parks and Recreation as a naturalist. He enjoys spending time with his three dogs. Other interests include hiking, botany, ornithology and herpetology, and he is an active member of the square dance club, Frontier Squares.

Early Childhood Specialist, Julia Robinson

Julia Robinson


Julia Robinson is the Senior Project Manager and Museum Educator at the Robert A. Hefner Museum of Natural History. She also serves as the director for the Cecilia Berg Center for Environmental Education. Mrs. Robinson received her BA from Purdue University. She completed an MA in Elementary Education with an emphasis on the integration of math and reading at the University of South Carolina. She taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades and Title 1 Reading. Julia facilitated many teacher workshops helping teachers to establish publishing companies and to plan hands-on science units at their individual schools. She served as Director of Edwards Memorial Nursery School in Liberty, IN, for five years before joining the Hefner. Julie enjoys painting slates and gourds and canning and freezing fruits and vegetables from her family's garden and fruit trees.