Avida-ED Workshop

Avida-ED is an online resource for teaching evolutionary concepts to students via an interactive web based application. The program is designed for high school and undergraduate students. The NSF supports Avida-ED and provides funding for workshops to help professors integrate the tool into the classroom. This June, Dr. Phifer-Rixey and Dr. Tiffany Medley attended their workshop at UT-Austin as part of a plan to build a bridge between evolutionary concepts taught in Introductory Biology and Genetics.

Congratulations, Graduates!

Congratulations to Summer Shaheed and Sebastian Vera! Both graduated this spring with a degree in Biology. In addition to being active in research, both were very active in student groups, ranging from club lacrosse to the Muslim Student Association. They made a huge contribution to the lab. Summer will be pursuing a career in dentistry and Seb is heading off to med school next spring. We will miss you!

We also finally got to celebrate Katherine Banfitch’s winter graduation. Katie is already working on her Masters in Teaching here at Monmouth. She will be pursuing a career in secondary science education. Congratulations, Katie!

DNA Unravelled: Teacher Kits

We delivered our first teacher kits today at Amerigo A. Anastasia School in Long Branch. These kits have everything needed to extract DNA with elementary age students (except the strawberries)!  After we deliver an in-person workshop with a school, we then provide kits for the teachers to  use the acitivity in the future at low cost.  We are grateful to the European Society for Evolutionary Biology  which provides funding for both the in class workshops and the teacher kits. Katie Banfitch (MU School of Science, left) put together the kits based on her experience last semester as our outreach coordinator and Jessica Alonzo (middle) facilitated all of our work at the school.

EPiC Conference 2018

Members of the lab presented posters at the 2018 Evolution in Philly Conference sponsored by ASN, GSA, and others. The conference was held at the Academy of Natural Sciences and we all enjoyed hearing about the excellent science happening in the region.

Congratulations, Sebastian!

Sebastian Vera just wrapped up his time as Summer Scholar. This competitive program supports undergrads from across the University as they pursue research.  Seb kickstarted  our research program on new wild derived strains this summer and will continue his work this academic year.

Welcome Carleigh Engstrom to the Lab!

Carleigh Engstrom teaches biology at Biotech High School in Freehold, NJ and joins us as part of the Teach Revolution Progam.  The new program is focused on integrating evolutionary research into high school curriculums nationwide.  Supported by NSF BEACON, the Society for the Study of Evolution and Wiley Publishers, this program provides funding for teachers to spend the summer participating in research and then take that experience back to the classroom. Carleigh’s specialty is Molecular and Agricultural Technology and she is collaborating with us to study local population genetics in Striped Bass.  We are so happy to welcome her to our group.  Read more about the program here: https://beaconed.wordpress.com/

Congratulations, Graduates!

Congratulations to our 2018 Spring graduates– Bradley Kraft, Brian Reiss, and Anjali Tampay!   Brad will be starting med school in the fall, Brian will be starting a Master’s program, and Anjali will be applying to grad school.  Come back and see us soon.