Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

My new favorite concept mapping activity: depicting whole-system ecological flows

Posted 17 Jul 2015 / 0

Concept mapping is increasingly becoming an important part of my overall approach to teaching. I started out using it in my own research, and quickly realized how valuable it can be as a teaching tool. Because the only real goal of making a concept map is to explore and express understanding of a topic, concept Read More

A Major Post, Community Ecology, Competition, Concept Mapping, Ecology, Ecology Education, Ecosystem Ecology, Information Design, Interactions, Learning Management Systems, Lesson Ideas, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Mutualism, Predation, Teaching Tools

Evolution 2014: Day 2

Posted 22 Jun 2014 / 0

About five years ago I developed my Evolution course, which is aimed at my non-majors art and design students. I have not taught this course in more than two years, and as it has sat on the shelf I have been able to get that critical distance necessary to make the course better. So coming Read More

A Major Post, Assessment Methods, Competition, Conferences, Cooperation, Cooperative Breeding, EvoDevo, Evolution Education, Higher Education, Mutualism, Niche Partitioning, Parasitism, Society for the Study of Evolution

Evolution 2014: Could the right symbionts provide protection from chytrid infection to amphibians?

Posted 21 Jun 2014 / 0

Patrick McLaughlin showed work on Bioko Island suggesting that frogs there may be protected from the ill effects of chytrid infection by the presence of bacterial symbionts. These symbionts produce metabolites that lower rates of parasitic infection, suggesting that symbionts might be used to protect amphibian populations worldwide. It also suggests a mechanism by which Read More

A Minor Post, Biodiversity Loss, Coevolution, Competition, Conferences, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Invasive Species, Mutualism, Parasitism, Society for the Study of Evolution

Evolution 2014: Is thyme a facultative mutualist with leguminous plants?

Posted 21 Jun 2014 / 0

Mary McKenna of Howard University presented work that suggested that thyme plants may be facultative mutualists when associated with various legume species. In work done at the Blandy Experimental Farm, her students have demonstrated that legumes growing in the presence of thyme plants form more root nodules in association with their nitrogen-fixing bacterial symbionts. This effect occurs Read More

A Minor Post, Competition, Conferences, Mutualism, Parasitism, Society for the Study of Evolution

Evolution 2014: Day 0

Posted 20 Jun 2014 / 0

I started off this year’s Evolution meeting early. The conference is — at its core —  a four-day affair. But the days leading into the “official” start on Friday evening feature larger workshops aimed at building skills. I chose to attend the Experiencing Evolution workshop. Here’s what this session promised: Evolution is a key biological concept, Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Assessment Methods, Behavior, Coevolution, Competition, Conferences, Cooperation, Evolution, Evolution Education, Evolutionary Modeling, Genetics, Grants & Funding, Higher Education, Individual-based Models, Lesson Ideas, Multilevel Selection, Natural Selection, Phylogenetics, Population Genetics, Population Growth, Predation, Reproductive Fitness, Science in Art & Design, Sex and Reproduction, Society for the Study of Evolution, Talks & Seminars, Teaching, Teaching Tools

Evolution 2014: Evolution of cooperation in the high school classroom? You bet!

Posted 20 Jun 2014 / 0

Will Ratcliff presented an absolutely amazing set of laboratories that explore the evolution of multicellularity (http://www.snowflakeyeastlab.com/). They can be done with high school or college students, and allow students to see the benefits of cooperation and the action of multilevel selection in a few weeks’ worth of laboratory work. Really impressive classroom activity design!

A Minor Post, Competition, Conferences, Cooperation, Group Selection, Multilevel Selection, Predation, Society for the Study of Evolution

Schadenfreude as an instinct born of being a social, hierarchical animal

Posted 23 Aug 2013 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “On the Failures of Others“

A Minor Post, Competition, Emotion

Mammal monogamy still a mystery, but maybe more than a numbers game

Posted 30 Jul 2013 / 0

National Public Radio Morning Edition “For Some Mammals It’s One Love, But Reasons Still Unclear” Although brief, I appreciate how this article lays out the three hypotheses for monogamy: Monogamous co-parenting increases the survival rate of offspring as compared to parenting by the mother alone; Monogamy results from the pattern of resource distribution: if resources are Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Competition, Cooperation, Evolution, Genetics, Human Uniqueness, Mating systems, Radio & Podcasts, Sex and Reproduction

Working on a VUE concept map of the fieldTest simulation

Posted 22 Jun 2013 / 0

Jennifer Verdolin, Dylan Moore, and I created the fieldTest simulator several years ago. This individual-based simulation allows virtual animals with the potential to form social groups that defend territories to interact on landscapes containing different patterns and abundances of resources, and is part of my larger research into group territorial behavior. We presented our results at the 2009 Read More

A Major Post, Behavioral Ecology, Competition, Concept Mapping, Department of Mathematics & Science, Ecological Modeling, Group Territorial Behavior, Individual-based Models, Information Design, Spatially Explicit Modeling

Lee Alan Dugatkin blesses Slate with a piece on Kropotkin

Posted 31 Oct 2012 / 0

Slate “The Russian Anarchist Prince Who Challenged Evolution” I really appreciate the fact that Dugatkin uses Kropotkin to bring to light that Darwinian evolution has been — even in the time and work of Darwin — a process that was imagined to involve both competition and cooperation. Only in recent times has evolution become synonymous Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Behavior, Biography, Coevolution, Competition, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Ethics, Evolution, Mutualism, Political Science, Predation, Religion, Taiga (Boreal Forest), Tundra, Web