I enjoy finding a synergy between teaching, outreach and scientific research, and I explore new ways to capture the attention of students and engage the community with the research that I find so important.
I teach undergraduate Insect Biology (fall semesters) and graduate Insect Evolution and Diversity (spring semesters, odd years).
Insect Biology (ENT 3014/BIOL 3014)
Objectives: (1) To gain an appreciation of the diversity of insects and the basics of their biology, evolution, and behavior; (2) Understand the diverse ways insects have become successful, in terms of their diversity, abundance, and unique morphological adaptations; (3) Glimpse the many services insects provide humans and the biosphere; (4) Become aware of the importance of studying entomology, both in terms of the benefit of insects to human society and as agricultural and human pests. Syllabus.
Insect Biology Laboratory (ENT 3024/BIOL 3024)
Objectives: (1) Collect, preserve and care for insect collections; (2) Label anatomy of the insect groundplan; (3) Understand major events in the insect evolutionary history; (4) Identify common orders of insects; (5) Identify common families of insects found in Virginia on sight. Syllabus.
Insect Evolution and Diversity (ENT 5404)
Objectives: (1) Describe major events in the evolutionary history of insects, and hypotheses for its megadiversity; (2) Understand taxonomy and how species are named and classified; (3) Learn about modern techniques to estimate phylogenies such as Bayesian inference and phylogenomics; (4) Explain the importance of natural history collections and how to properly collect, preserve, and care for insect collections; (5) Learn how insects inform us about biodiversity and conservation decisions. Syllabus.