I enjoy teaching, engaging, and exciting students about biology, whether they are considering a career involving organismal biology, a career in another related field such as medicine, or an entirely different path. I've taught a variety of college-level biology courses, and I work to make hands-on activities, discussions, and projects important components of all my courses. I structure my classes so that I provide guidance, counterpoints, or context to help guide student-centered learning, and I balance the need to make my classes challenging for the strongest students yet fair and manageable for all students.

Courses Taught:

Course descriptions taken from course catalogues. Selected syllabi are hyperlinked to course titles.

Wesleyan University (Visiting Assistant Professor)

  • CIS 150: The Art of Scientific Writing (2016, 2017). Mastering the art of effectively communicating ideas and results in written form is vital for success in science. Clarity and simplicity are of paramount importance when communicating complex scientific ideas. This course provides an example-driven approach to developing these science writing skills.
  • CIS 520: Academic Writing and Publishing (2016, 2017). This graduate-level course is designed to help students’ master basic expository writing skills in order to successfully communicate their research in the published literature, to complete their theses, and to write grant proposals.

The University of Connecticut (Assistant Professor in Residence, Instructional Specialist, Adjunct Professor)

  • EEB 2202: Evolution and Human Diversity (2016). The biological bases of human diversity from genetic and evolutionary perspectives. Topics include the genetic basis for human variation and race; adaptations of human populations; the role of genes and environments in producing human variability; cultural evolution; origin and spread of “modern” humans.
  • EEB 2208: Introduction to Conservation Biology (2018). Patterns of biodiversity and extinction; causes of extinction and population declines; ecological restoration; conservation planning; protection of ecosystem services; implementing conservation actions; conservation economics; conservation law; effects of global change.
  • EEB 2214: Biology of the Vertebrates (2004, 2005). Evolutionary history and diversity of vertebrates with emphasis on classification, fossil history, feeding, locomotion, physiological ecology, reproduction, defense, and social behavior.
  • EEB 2244: General Ecology (2011, 2013, 2016, 2018). Fundamental ecological dynamics of communities, populations and ecosystems, with emphasis in discussion sections on reading primary literature, problem-solving, and exposure to ecological research techniques.
  • EEB 2244W: Writing section for General Ecology (2014, 2015). Content as in EEB 2244W but with additional major writing assignment.
  • EEB 2245: Evolutionary Biology (2007). Introduction to evolutionary mechanisms, biogeography, and the history of major groups of plants and animals.
  • EEB 2245W: Writing section for Evolutionary Biology (2005, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015). Content as in EEB 2245W but with additional major writing assignment.
  • EEB 2293WC: Methods of Field Ecology (2005, 2006). An intensive introduction to field and laboratory methods in ecology. Emphasis placed on the use of quantitative and analytical techniques in physiological, population, community and ecosystem ecology. An introduction to sampling procedures, data collection and statistical analysis. Computers used to model population and community dynamics and to analyze ecological data sets. Laboratory periods consist of field and laboratory problems; field trips required, including occasional weekend trips.
  • BIO 1102: Foundations of Biology (2005, 2006, 2016). A laboratory course designed for non-science majors; surveys major biological principles with emphasis on their importance to humans and modern society.
  • BIO 1108: Principles of Biology II (2004, 2005, 2006). Designed to provide a foundation for more advanced courses in Biology and related sciences. Topics covered include ecology, evolution, genetics, and plant biology.
  • BIO 1108: Laboratory for Introductory Biology (2012). Laboratory course to accompany BIO 1108.
  • BIO 1109: Topics in Modern Biology (Honors; 2014). Readings, lectures, seminars, films and field trips exploring current developments in biology and their social and scientific implications.
  • BIO 2289: Introduction to Undergraduate Research (Honors; 2014, 2015, 2018). Introduction to the variety of research programs in the Life Sciences on the Storrs campus. Required of Sophomore Biology Honors students; also open to students interested in undergraduate research.

The University of Rhode Island (Adjunct Professor)

  • Bio 272: General Evolution (2011). Introduction to evolution as the unifying thread in the biosphere. Processes and patterns discussed, including microevolution and macroevolution. Social impact of evolution discussed from a biological perspective.

The Ohio State University (Visiting Assistant Professor)

Shizuoka University, Hamamatsu, Japan (Visiting Professor)

  • Seminar in Field Ecology Research (2010). English-language seminar on ecological field research and data analysis.

Yale University (Lecturer)

  • EEB 115a: Conservation Biology (2008). An introduction to ecological and evolutionary principles underpinning efforts to conserve Earth's biodiversity. Efforts to halt the rapid increase in disappearance of both plants and animals. Discussion of sociological and economic issues.  
  • EEB 220a: General Ecology (2008). The theory and practice of ecology, including the ecology of individuals, population dynamics and regulation, community structure, ecosystem function, and ecological interactions at broad spatial and temporal scales. Topics such as climate change, fisheries management, and infectious diseases are placed in an ecological context.
  • EEB 230a: Field Ecology (2008). A field-based introduction to ecological research. Experimental and descriptive approaches, comparative analysis, and modeling are explored through field and small-group projects.
  • EEB 255b: Biology of the Invertebrates (2009). A systematic treatment of the invertebrate phyla, with emphasis on anatomy, functional organization, and evolutionary history.
  • EEB 256Lb: Laboratory for Biology of the Invertebrates (2009). Study of the anatomy of representative living invertebrates accompanied by examination of museum specimens of living and fossil invertebrates.

Corinthian Colleges (Adjunct Online Instructor)

  • EVS 1001: Environmental Science (2011-2012). This non-laboratory course introduces students to environmental issues through an understanding of the interrelationships of humans and their planet. Attention is focused on ecosystems, pollution, energy, and improvement or prevention of problems. Environmental concerns are explored through readings, research, and discussion.

The University of Michigan (Graduate Student Teaching Assistant)

  • BIO 154: Introduction to Biology. Second term of a two-term introductory sequence intended for concentrators in biology, other science programs or preprofessional studies. Other suitably prepared students wishing detailed coverage of biology are also welcome. The aims of Biology 152/154 are: (1) to provide factual and conceptual knowledge, (2) to afford experience in obtaining and interpreting biological hypotheses, (3) to give an integrated overview of modern biology and (4) to develop thinking and writing skills. Topics in Biology 154 include: (a) plant biology; (b) development; (c) animal structure and function; and (d) animal behavior.
  • BIO 195: Introduction to Biology. Biology 195 is a one-term alternative to the Biology 152-154 sequence. It differs from 152-154 in the accelerated pace of study and emphasis on the laboratory. Biology 195 is divided into four units (Biology of Cells, Genetics and Development, Biology of Organisms, and Biology of Populations). Unit examinations test both factual recall and analytical and integrative abilities. Lectures in Biology 195 reinforce key topics from the reading assignments and laboratory work and provide in-depth perspectives in several subdisciplines of biology. The laboratory, which is central to the course, provides the opportunity to make observations and perform experiments; these are discussed weekly in recitations.
  • BIO 305: Genetics This course is designed for students who are concentrating in the natural sciences, or who intend to apply for graduate or professional study in basic or applied biological sciences. This introduction to genetics is divided into three segments: nature and properties of genetic material, transmission of genetic material, and function and regulation of genetic material. There are three hours of lecture a week and one discussion section directed by teaching assistants. The discussion sections are used to introduce relevant new material, to expand on and review the lecture material, and to discuss problem assignments. Grading is based on examinations covering the lecture material, discussion material, reading assignments in the text, and problem sets covered in the discussion sections.
  • BIO 494. Evolution and Human Behavior. This course explores the sense in which human behavior can appropriately be viewed as an outcome of the process of organic evolution, and the consequences of this proposition. The principles of modern evolutionary theory are discussed with special reference to their significance for topics like sexuality, mate choice and pair bonds, parental care, nepotism, social reciprocity, and senescence and the life pattern. Emphasis is on evolutionary process rather than pattern, thus on natural selection and how it works; but the course begins with lectures on the pattern of evolution of hominids and the historical geography of humans. Theories of cultural change and learning are discussed, and efforts are made to relate cultural patterns and findings of the social sciences to the human background in biological evolution. A special effort is made to consider difficult topics such as music, art, humor, ethics, and morality. Discussion sections are oriented toward animal behavior to complement the lectures and broad the course.

© 2013