Human Heredity and Evolution
For this course I led a discussion for non-majors as an introduction to genetics and heredity. We covered topics like Mendelian inheritance and Punnett squares, pedigrees, DNA structure and function, mutation, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, human evolution, genetic diseases, and cancer. The students were also required to submit a term paper discussing a topic related to genetics.
|Data from the exercise physiology lab|
This course is taken in the final quarter of the senior year, and introduces students to human physiology by performing experiments using the students as the subjects. Topics include muscle physiology, reflexes and reactions, nerves and action potentials, vision and senses, blood typing, glucose regulation, EKG and circulation, respiration, excretion, and exercise physiology. Students gain a hands-on appreciation for human physiology while also learning how to collect, analyze, display, and interpret data. Students also complete two case-study reports, where they must use their knowledge from lab to diagnose a disease and determine a treatment.
Functional Anatomy of the Vertebrates, part B
|Diagram of blood flow through a mammal heart|
This is an upper-level course focused on the anatomy of organs and organ systems of vertebrates. Students dissected cats, and then compared other taxa (bowfin, dogfish, mudpuppy, bullfrog, turtle, pigeon, fetal pig, fetal calf, rabbit) to what was observed in their cat. Students also looked at histological sections of organs in order to understand anatomy of each system from the cellular to the organ-system level.
Functional Anatomy of the Vertebrates, part A
|Lever mechanics of the masseter muscle|
This is an upper-level course focused on the musculo-skeletal system of vertebrates. Students spend 3 weeks on the cranial skeleton, and observe changes in jaw mechanics across mammals and non-mammals, then 3 weeks on the post-cranial skeleton, observing the tradeoff between force and speed in the appendicular lever systems of mammals and non-mammals. Finally, students spend 3 weeks dissecting, isolating, and identifying the muscles on a cat, observing origins and insertions of each muscle, and how each contributes to movement of the skeletal elements.
Organisms in their Environment
This was a 5-week summer class that focuses on introducing physiology to non-majors. We discussed topics such as nutrition, respiration, circulation, the nervous system and reflexes, genetic variation, and organismal diversity. The final lab utilized the UCR botanical gardens, where students explored how environment and evolution contribute to the reason organisms look the way they do.
Comparative Physiology Lab
This senior-level lab introduces students to experimental physiology techniques and ideas such as EMG, respirometry, muscle stimulation and force measurement, cardiac function, exercise physiology, and locomotion. The focus is on applying knowledge of physiological principles to several taxa, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Students also conduct independent research projects, where they propose, conduct, and analyze (including stats) an experiment on their own.
I taught Ichthyology my first semester at Clemson, and I was given freedom to design the labs, with some help from Tim of course. We used preserved specimens from the Campbell Museum of Natural History here on campus, dissections of fresh specimens, articulated skeletons, and took students on field trips to local lakes and rivers to electrofish and seine. At the end of the semester, I took the students on a field trip to the GA aquarium.
Natural History of the Vertebrates Lab
This sophomore-level class introduces students to vertebrate evolution, natural history, and comparative anatomy. The lab involves dissections of a lamprey, dogfish, mudpuppy, pigeon, and cat. Additional labs focus on vertebrate diversity, and relied on preserved specimens of fish, amphibians, reptiles, turtles, birds, and mammals.
The Biology of the Sirenia
|Reading group in the museum|
This was a class that Chris taught in the Drowned Cayes, Belize. The focus was on Sirenian biology, we also did bird surveys and marsh hikes, visited the dolphin research facility, and went into Belize City to experience the culture and visit the Zoo and Altun Ha. At the field station, we held lectures, with a guest lecture by Dr. Caryn Self-Sullivan (in the middle of the photo), went on small boats to do manatee surveys, and went snorkeling several times a day. We explored mangrove channels, seagrass beds, coral reefs, and a 20’ crevice in the seafloor known as “the crack”. This area of Belize is unique in that manatees are found in all of these habitats, even the coral reef!