Well I just completed the Avida-ED workshop in Seattle. Avida-ED is pretty sweet. Groups from many different institutions learned the software and shared their proposed implementation plan. Everyone had creative ideas for how the tool can be used to improve their teaching. I’ll be using it in my evolution course (BIOL 3010) at DU with the help of Whitley, my partner in crime. DU was well represented with Mayra and Gabby rounding out the crew. Avida-ED hosts 2 workshops per year and I highly encourage everyone to apply!

Step 1: submission

So I decided it’s time to celebrate all parts of the lengthy arduous publication process.

Today, I’m celebrating step 1: submitting your paper to a¬†journal!

I’ve been working with two talented undergrads since March to publish a teaching resource that we developed. It introduces natural selection, adaptation, inheritance, and mutation to students in grades 3-5 using an interactive game. I’m very proud of the product and hope that we can get it out to teachers. Fingers crossed!



Lab mates pretended to be 3rd graders and tested the activity in April.

More than anything, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Lindsay Todd and Lisa Keim on this project. They are bright, hard-working, creative, and great at communication. This collaboration has truly been a joy, and I can’t wait to see what they do after graduation, which is tomorrow :-).

Cricket research!

My stellar undergraduate Kallie Feldhaus received a PinS award from DU to fund her summer research. We’ll be looking at the effects of noise pollution and density on female search costs in crickets.


The lovely Claudia Hallagan has been showing us the animal-husbandry ropes.


The talented Gabby Gurule-Small has been teaching us how to run phonotaxis trials!


We’re so excited to get our project underway!

Femme in STEM

Nothing like a bunch of brilliant and enthusiastic middle-school scientists to inspire you…


A few weeks ago I got to volunteer at a really amazing event called Femme in STEM. One of my colleagues, the amazing Faith Lierheimer, founded the event. Whitley Lehto and Gabby Gurule-Small put together a lovely evolution activity about animal communication that included live termites. They are SO little! And they follow the smell of bic pens–who knew?!