Teaching and Mentoring

I have always had a great interest in teaching. My position at BSU gives me the opportunity hone my teaching in a teaching-supportive environment, while also gaining experience with new courses and working in a curriculum that has a heavy emphasis on undergraduate research. Prior to starting at BSU, I taught several lab-based ecology and evolution courses at the University of Richmond, and as a graduate student, I served as both a lead instructor or teaching assistant for 10 regular semester courses and 2 summer courses.

My courses place a heavy emphasis on conceptual understanding of course material, critical thinking, and scientific writing that is both concise and coherent. Writing assignments vary from short, focused assignments, to more lengthy, student-driven research papers and independent research reports. I also help students write for different audiences, e.g., in my BIOL 340 course, students write one assignment for a non-scientific general audience, and another assignment for scientific audience. In lab courses, I rely on open-ended, inquiry-based labs which guide students through the process of doing science using scientific method. Labs typically guide them on how to use common methods in the field, but are flexible in terms of precise methodology, hypotheses tested, and expected results, allowing students to make their own hypotheses and predictions. Most recently, I have been working on implementing flipped pedagogies in the lectures for General Ecology (BIOL 225; flipped since Fall 2018) and Biological Evolution (BIOL 422; flipped since Spring 2021).

I approach teaching with passion and enthusiasm for my field and my research. My favorite teachers were those who came to class excited by what they do, ready, no only to share their life's work, but put their work, and the work of others in the field, in the context of the greater body of science. These favorite teachers of mine make what they study and what they teach relevant to the lives of even the most jaded undergraduate, and I aspire to do the same.

Finally, BSU has a strong, campus-wide undergraduate research program, and I have been mentoring 3-5 students in research every semester since Spring 2015. Fifteen of these research students have been awarded competitive Adrian Tinsley Program Summer Grants which carry a stipend for the student, myself, and a small research budget. Similar to an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates, the ATP Summer Grant pays students to complete a significant research project over a 10-week summer period.

Instructor at Bridgewater State University

  • BIOL 123: Becoming a Biologist (lab-lecture hybrid) - Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, 2022, 2023
  • BIOL 199: Seeing the Forest For the Trees (first-year seminar) - Fall 2017
  • BIOL 225: General Ecology (with lab) - Fall semesters, 2014 - present, except Fall 2020 (on sabbatical)
  • BIOL 329: Winter Ecology Lab - January Intercession 2018, 2020, 2023
  • BIOL 340: Darwinian Medicine - Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2023
  • BIOL 372: Behavioral Ecology - Fall 2017
  • BIOL 396: Research Problems in Biology - All semesters, Spring 2015 - present
  • BIOL 424: Molecular Ecology (with lab) - Spring semesters, 2015 - 2017
  • BIOL 422: Biological Evolution - Spring semesters, 2015 - present, Summer Session II 2020
  • BIOL 485: Honors Thesis - Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2023
  • BIOL 502: Graduate Research - Spring 2024
  • BIOL 503: Graduate Directed Study - Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023
  • BIOL 520: Advanced Topics in Ecology: Biological Evolution - Summer 2018, Spring semesters, 2021 - present (formerly listed as BIOE 515)


Last Updated: March 21, 2024