Evolution in the classroom

I recently wrote a short article for the Indiana University Biology newsletter (check out page 2). It’s about approaches myself and several other IU folks have taken to teach evolutionary concepts (and science more generally) in undergraduate classrooms. The main take-away: active learning techniques work! Plus, they’re fun.

Advertisements

There really is a two-fold cost of sex

The new SSE/ESEB journal Evolution Letters is out, and Curt Lively, Lynda Delph and I have the first paper of the first issue!

“The two-fold cost of sex: experimental evidence from a natural system” 2017 Evol Letters 1(1): 6-15.

Theory by Maynard Smith in the 70’s proposed the two-fold cost of males as the primary cost of sex in dioecious species (species with separate males and females). Here, we experimentally validate this theory. In the snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum, there is indeed a two-fold cost of sex.

You can find the open-access article here, plus commentary on the Evolution Letters blog and the Wiley press release here.

This study required lots of snorkeling, snail sorting, and quiet contemplation over the unusual contents of storage containers.

Congratulations Kayla!!

Former Lively lab undergraduate Kayla Stoy is going to graduate school! Best wishes Kayla! Emory’s Population Biology, Ecology and Evolution won’t know what hit ’em. I’m looking forward to us designing an absurdly complicated experiment that requires us to spend all future Tuesday nights at the scope.

Update: Kayla also got an NSF GRFP – go Kayla!!

p1100253-e1488405446974.jpg
Looking through the microscope…towards a bright, bacteria-ridden future

 

Movie Stars – education resource

The Morran lab makes its acting and directing debut in “The Red Queen Game.” Signe White and McKenna Penley star as hand models, and our lab bench stars as the background. Thanks to Josh Kushner for the original score!

I created this video to show teachers and students how to play the Red Queen Game in their classrooms. The game is a simple and hands-on way to teach host-parasite coevolution and test the hypothesis that host-parasite coevolution maintains genetic variation. The open-access publication describing the game and its underlying concepts can be found here, and additional resources are available under The Red Queen Game.

parasites coevolution sex