My teaching interests span a wide variety of courses that share a common thread of evolution (see list below). Like Theodosius Dobzhansky, I believe that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”
In all my courses, I like to highlight the relevance of biology in our everyday lives, whether it’s understanding the genetic basis for a human disease, using phylogenetic analysis to evaluate biodiversity, or debating the issue of human cloning. I also really enjoy working with students in the lab. Students in our Genetics course spend several weeks identifying and characterizing genetic mutations in yeast. Animal Evolution students get to collaborate with students in Introductory Biology in trying to understand how segmentation evolved in animals like arthropods and annelids; and, in my CORE 109 course on Genes and Human Fate, students analyze genetic variation of human populations and what it tells us about ancient human migrations.
BIOL 203 Genetics
BIOL 452 Animal Evolution
BIOL 478 Animal Systematics and Phylogeny
CORE 109 Genes and Human Fate