Topics in Evolutionary Ecology: Extreme Life Styles- Instructor of Record
In Spring 2015, I designed and taught an upper-level, special topics seminar for sixteen Duke undergraduates. Each week, the first half of class was spent discussing primary literature on a specific topics in evolutionary ecology–ranging from Sexual Selection to Coevolution and Eusociality to Senescence. The second half of each class was devoted to learning and practicing important critical thinking and communication skills. This was a writing intensive class where students synthesized recent research on three topics of their choice through the semester. To emphasize the iterative process of writing, I provided extensive feedback on drafts as did peer reviewers. In the course of this endeavor students engaged in conducting literature searches and generating bibliographies with software, providing constructive criticism of other’s writing, creating conceptual figures to visualize concepts and relationships, and giving oral presentations.
Documentation: Syllabus, Mid-Course Feedback, Reflection on Feedback, Peer Review Assignment, Peer Review Example, Synthesis and Presentation Assignment and Rubrics, Synthesis Example 1, Synthesis Example 2, Synthesis Example 3, Presentation Example 1, Presentation Example 2, Presentation Example 3
Data Expedition: Exploring the genetic basis of yeast biofilms- 12 hour module co-taught with Colin Maxwell in Nov 2014 for Dr. Armaleo’s sophomore-level Cellular and Molecular Biology Class (info about program)
Students learned to: 1) Visualize high-dimensional gene expression data; 2)Understand genetic differences in the context of gene networks; 3)Connect genetic differences to physiological outcomes, 4) Perform simple analyses using the R programming language
Documentation: Course Plan, R Workbook, Bulk Segregant Analysis Exercise, Evaluation Summary, Evaluations, Course Report
Organismal Responses to Climate Change- Teaching Assistant for Dr. K. Donohue
In Fall 2014, I TAed a senior level seminar for biology majors (22 students) at Duke. For this course, I taught two class periods (one on climate projections and one on using process-based models to predict organismal response to change. I also was in charge of designing, implementing, and assessing two student projects. One project used online tools to generate future climate projections according to various emission scenarios in a region of the world of their choice. In pairs they produced a written report, where they utilized the figures they generated to compare and contrast the effects of these various scenarios and speculate on the biotic effects of those changes. The second project was also a group project where students chose a species assemblage they were interested in and generated predictions of how species overlap and assemblages will shift (or not) as climates change. They used GBIF to download worldwide species distribution data, MAXENT to generate predicted species distribution models for current and future climates, and the statistical program R to quantify changes.
Documentation: Climate Projection Assignment Description, Example Climate Projection Report, Student Feedback on Climate Project and Class 1, Species Niche Modeling Description, Example Niche Modeling Presentation, Example Niche Modeling Report, Student Feedback on Niche Modeling Project and Class 2: Summary, Original Responses, Teaching Triangles Peer Feedback: Class 1, Class 2, Reflection