Big news about Evolution: Education and Outreach.

You may recall that I was an Associate Editor of the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach from 2007-2009. I also edited the first “special issue” of the journal, on the subject of eye evolution, and I wrote a number of papers for early issues of the journal.

You may also remember that [...]

Baba Brinkman rocks Evolution 2012.

It hasn’t been all science talks during the Evolution 2012 conference in Ottawa. Last night, Oxford University Press and Trends in Ecology and Evolution treated attendees to the highly entertaining lyrical stylings of Baba Brinkman and his Rap Guide to Evolution. For those of you who missed it (note that this was mandatory for [...]

Links to my evolution education papers.

I’m currently at Evolution 2012 in Ottawa, having spoken at an education workshop on Friday. Various people at the meeting have told me that they’ve found my education papers very useful, so I thought I would put links to them all in one convenient location and then direct people there. So, here they are:


Should evolution be taught in school? Should math?

The first clip is a series of responses to the question “Should evolution be taught in school?” by the 2011 Miss USA contestants. If you can’t get through the whole thing (I couldn’t), don’t worry — you’ll get the gist of it quickly enough. The second clip is a spoof of the first. Enjoy! [...]

Baba Brinkman and the Rap Guide to Evolution — You can help!

Baba Brinkman, evo-rapper extraordinaire, is looking for support to finish an exciting project to create videos for his Rap Guide to Evolution. Most of the funding has come from the Wellcome Trust, but the last of the production costs are being assembled through Crowdfunder.  Help if you can!

Here’s the pitch:

And an [...]

Evolution: Education and Outreach Volume 3 Number 4.

Evolution: Education and Outreach Volume 3, Number 4 / December 2010 489-490


Niles Eldredge and Greg Eldredge 491-494

How Systematics Became “Phylogenetic”

Niles Eldredge 495-498

Introduction to the Special Issue

Sagas of the Children of Time: The Importance of Phylogenetic Teaching in Biology

Daniel R. Brooks 499-505

Why Trees Are Important

Edward [...]

Congrats Dr. Wood!

I am very pleased to note that my former undergraduate thesis advisor and influential early mentor, Dr. Chris Wood, has been named a winner of the prestigious Nature award for mentorship.  I wrote about my experience in the lab in a blog post last year here.  Now that it’s all official, I don’t mind [...]

Graduate students are not professional scientists. Discuss.

[Note: This post was inspired by a comment on this earlier post]

The title of this post is sure to upset lots of readers. Before you react, let me put the statement into context. “Professional”, in the sense I intend it, refers to having a “profession” — as in, a career. “Scientist”, in the [...]

Teaching tree-thinking to undergraduates.

Rich Miesel has a nice paper soon to appear in Evolution: Education and Outreach which further explores ways to help students grasp tree-thinking in evolutionary biology. It’s the latest in a series of papers on this topic in E:EO and other journals and covers misconceptions that can’t be clarified too often.

Miesel, R.P. Teaching [...]

Evolution of shell morphology in freshwater mussels.

For the past year, I have been working with several colleagues to completely redesign our first year biology program at the University of Guelph. One of the aspects of the new “Discovering Biodiversity” course (which complements courses in human health and molecular and cellular biology) that I am most excited about is the use [...]