With the Project Biodiversify team, Data Nuggets team, Weber Lab at the University of Michigan and the Ballen Lab at Auburn University my goal is to make biology courses both filled with biology education AND a great place to be for ALL students.
Broadly, I am interested changing how we teach biology to make it BOTH more inclusive to students from underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds AND accurate in terms of the biology we are teaching -- the two go hand in hand.
See below for more details on a couple of ongoing and upcoming projects :)
sex and gender related topics in biology
After what seems like a lifetime of biology education and then combing through half a dozen textbooks, my colleagues at Project Biodiversify and I have come to the realization that sex and gender related topics in biology are taught in ways that are not fully accurate or inclusive. Therefore we've designed workshops and written a recently-published paper outlining ways instructors can improve their teaching methodologies in these subjects. See our paper here: PDF
Looking forward, we're collaborating with instructors at U Minnesota to test whether instructors briefed with these methods have different impacts on students and their understanding of the biology of sex than students not exposed to instructors with such briefings. Results TBD!
diversifying and humanizing role models in biology
My colleagues and I were interested in whether our biology textbooks are representing a diversity of scientist role models. In our recent publication we found that white men scientists were over-represented and that ZERO black women scientists were featured in the top ten used textbooks in the US. We have work to do! See paper here PDF
We and other instructors are realizing that we need to diversify our lectures and courses. But what is the "right" way to do this? We're asking just this in our current project -- we're implementing different "treatments" of assignments either including just diversifying information or diversifying and humanizing information about scientists from marginalized backgrounds and assessing student responses. Results TBD!