Title: Phylogenetic diversity comparison among Nebraska counties: example of a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE)
Presenter: Roxi Kellar
Date: November, 16, 2016
Time: 3:00-4:00 pm ET
Abstract: Tree of life data are becoming prevalent throughout high-quality ecology, evolutionary biology, and biodiversity investigations and in the educational development of versatile student-scholars. Phylogenies are serving a relatively new role in augmenting biodiversity assessments for conservation planning. In the spring 2016 semester, an honors lab section of freshman and sophomore Biology II students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha engaged in an authentic research experience using phylogenies to calculate and compare phylogenetic diversity metrics among varying communities. Following the CURE (Auchincloss et al., 2014) model, the entire lab class of 21 students worked together to address a research question of interest to the scientific community. In the semester-long project, students researched the scientific literature, asked questions, proposed hypotheses, designed and conducted an experiment, and communicated results to their peers. The experience culminated in Power Point presentations and full project reports, with a few students continuing the investigation after the end of the semester. By working together, using scientific tools, students applied concepts covered in lecture to a genuine research investigation, achieving the goals of CURE. Ultimately, students gained an understanding about and built their confidence in conducting scientific research.
This is the third webinar in the series.
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