TEACHING INTERESTS: Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Bacterial Genetics, Microbial Evolution, Microbial-Host Interactions


BioSci 3760 – Microbiology Lab, Fall 2016 – 2019

Course Description: This Microbiology Lab course is designed to familiarize you with how research is conducted in environmental microbiology.  You will be design and perform experiments, analyze data and communicate your results.  Over the course of the semester, we will explore the diversity and function of soil microbes.  You will become a microbiologist as you design and execute experiments to identify and characterize microbes from different soil samples.  Since you will provide the soil samples, no one, not even the instructor or teaching assistant, will know what microbes you will isolate.  Thus, this is truly your project – the outcome of the project in in your hands!

You will work just like a scientist to conduct experiments with proper controls, keep good records of your results, and explain your findings and conclusions, both in writing and oral presentations.  Some students will enter the lab course with prior microbiology experience and others will have little experience.  Our objective is for all students to emerge from the course with a clear understanding of environmental microbiology research.

BioSci 3750 – General Microbiology, Spring 2014, Fall 2014 – 2019

Course Description: The diversity and adaptive capabilities of microbial life will provide a central theme for the Biology 3750 course this semester.  Microbes possess an astounding range of abilities that allow them to grow and flourish in almost every accessible environment on earth.  In addition to those environments considered rich with life (jungles, ponds, chicken salad, you, etc.) microbes also exist in places highly refractory to most forms of life and that we typically consider uninhabitable, such as acidic solfotaras, hot springs, salt mines, and the deep sea.  The wide range of systems inhabited with microbial life is a direct reflection of the cellular, metabolic, and genetic plasticity of microorganisms.  Natural selection provides the driving force that generates this degree of diversity, and microbes are constantly adapting to new selective forces, such as those introduced by man.

In this course we will focus primarily on the structure, metabolism, genetics, and ecology of prokaryotes including the bacteria and the archaea.  The primary goal of this course is for students to obtain a broad appreciation for the unique problems and opportunities presented by microbes; how they conform to the general principles of biology, but also how microbes have evolved alternate and sometimes bizarre strategies to survive and multiply.

BioSci 8740 – Species Interactions, Spring 2013

I taught this course along with Dr. Candace Galen. This course looks at important topics in Species Interactions including mechanism, evolution, and ecology using exemplary examples from primary literature. The course includes both instructor and student presentations and all class periods include extensive discussion.

MMI 7404 – Bacterial Pathogenesis – Fall 2013-2018

I contribute to this team taught course on bacterial pathogenesis by teaching about bacterial cell division.