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I have begun an ambitious effort to inventory and assess the concepts I want my students to master. Check out my Conceptual Teaching Assessment Project!
Recent Major Posts
- My Evolution 2014 talk is on YouTube
- Evolution 2014: Overall Impressions
- Evolution 2014: Day 4
- Evolution 2014: Day 3
- Evolution 2014: Day 2
- Evolution 2014: Day 1
- Evolution 2014: Day 0
- Evolution 2014: Preview
- Open Information Environments and the 21st Century College Classroom
- Moodle Tip: Using anchor links to create your own course page menu
Recent Minor Posts
- Recommendations for creating a more student-centered classroom
- Evolution 2014: Synthesis centers can serve as incubators if they buffer researchers from the risk of failure
- Evolution 2014: Want to teach both sides? Have your students deconstruct creationist propaganda!
- Evolution 2014: EvoGrader will take the grading out of assessing student learning outcomes
- Evolution 2014: A clever way to see if creationist students understand evolutionary concepts
- Evolution 2014: The Evolution Film Festival was on fire!
- Evolution 2014: Could the right symbionts provide protection from chytrid infection to amphibians?
- Evolution 2014: Are island mutualist communities more likely to be nested because they are inherently more unstable?
- Evolution 2014: Is thyme a facultative mutualist with leguminous plants?
- Evolution 2014: Lemurs display huge diet diversity, and their gut microbes track this diversity
Category Archives: Evolution
One nice thing that organizers of the Evolution 2014 conference did was to offer the opportunity for presenters to have their talk recorded and archived. These recorded talks now have their own Evolution 2014 YouTube Channel, and my talk is included in … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
My first session of the day was spent entirely in a Symbiosis session. I am fascinated by symbiosis, particularly mutualistic symbiosis, so I am always looking for cool new stories to help illustrate the concept for my students. This session featured … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
Evolution 2014: Are island mutualist communities more likely to be nested because they are inherently more unstable?
The interactions in ecological communities can be structured in a variety of ways, and recently there has been a push to categorize these networks along the spectrum between modular (smaller clusters of more specialized interactions) and nested (unclustered networks with … Continue reading
Erin McKenney of Duke University talked about three lemur species with different diets: a frugivore (fruit-eater), a generalist, and a folivore (leaf-eater). Not surprisingly their gut morphologies and passing times vary with their diet, but McKenney showed that they also … Continue reading
Evolution 2014: Aphids protect themselves from parasitoids by harboring a bacteria whose viral parasite is toxic
Andrew Smith of Drexel University spoke about a four-species interaction that could best be described as “my symbiont’s enemy is my parasitoid’s toxic enemy” scenario. Aphids can avoid being parasitized by a parasitoid wasp if they harbor particular bacterial strains. What’s interesting … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
Julie Noor of Duke University shows how a very simple classroom experiment in fly breeding to the F3 generation can force students to answer the following question in the affirmative: “Have you ever seen evolution actually occurring?” It is powerful … Continue reading
After landing at Raleigh-Durham airport today I am ready for Evolution 2014! It has been four years since I last attended the annual meeting that brings together members of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American … Continue reading
The New York Times “On Separate Islands, Crickets Go Silent“
I have corresponded with Cath Dennis of the University of Aberdeen, as we both share an interest in how to bring some of the foundational work exploring cooperation into our classrooms. She has just published one of her classroom activities — … Continue reading
I am proud to announce that a paper on which I am co-author, “A review and synthesis of late Pleistocene extinction modeling: Progress delayed by mismatches between ecological realism, interpretation, and methodological transparency“, has been published in the June 2014 … Continue reading
The Chronicle of Higher Education “Dolphin Talk and Human Credulity” Great short here (and further evidence that TED Talks entice scientists to lose their heads and say unfounded things). Anyone who has carefully watched a child learn to talk comes to realize … Continue reading
The Economist “A potent source of genetic variation in cognitive ability has just been discovered” A new gene variant, KL-VS, appears to account for up to 3% of variation in IQ score; this would be a radical discovery given that … Continue reading
Science News “Babies cry at night to prevent siblings, scientist suggests” What’s particularly interesting here is not just the parent-offspring conflict proposed but also the conflict between mothers and fathers that is implied in this theory. In fact, it seems that … Continue reading
Thinking green is just not enough It was one of those classic moments where the irony just seemed too severe to be unplanned. I was riding my bike to work when I passed a parked vehicle and noticed a remarkable … Continue reading