Paper out today

Our paper is finally available online at the Center for Case Study Teaching in Science! I am so pleased with this teaching resource and cannot wait for it to be used in undergraduate classrooms. My students in Animal Behavior (BZ 300) just completed the case study and are practically experts on gene-by-environment interactions.



Guppy kits: teacher edition

“Even people in Alabama could be tricked into learning evolution with such an engaging program .” This is a quote from my mom, who happened to be visiting from Alabama when we launched our guppy kits this week.  Along with my mom, local teachers came to CSU to try out the kits as part of an amazing event hosted by the CNS EOC. The teachers were quite impressed; most of them want to use the kits in classrooms next year! As a special treat, Stephanie Simmons attended. She is one of the 7th-grade teachers that helped me design the original program on which we based the kits. *pictures*


Jacqueline Broder and Stephanie Simons work through a guppy kit.


Did morality evolve in rats?

I was so excited to read Oberliessen et al.’s paper in this month’s Animal Behaviour issue. Their study shows that rats understand fairness. “Our findings are consistent with the notion that a sense of fairness may have evolved long before humans emerged. [It] may therefore be a basic organizational principle, shared by many social species, that shapes the intricate social dynamics of individuals interrelating in larger groups” (Oberliessen et al. 2016).

This takes me back to a eureka moment when I was an undergraduate in  Patty Gowaty’s animal behavior class. We read Frans de Waal’s book  Our Inner Ape, which convinced me that primates follow the golden rule and have a sense of morality. Wow! Primates and now rats are “moral.” How special are humans after all?

Our Inner Ape