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Evolution Education at the Undergraduate Level Peter White Merle Heidemann Jim Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution Education at the Undergraduate Level Peter White Merle Heidemann Jim Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution Education at the Undergraduate Level Peter White Merle Heidemann Jim Smith

2 The Evo-Ed Project: What is it? “[Students] leave schools without fully understanding how well supported evolutionary theory is.” “Many teachers are not scientifically capable of teaching evolution using modern approaches.”

3 (above) Word cloud of the Aims and Scope of journals that have “Evolution” in their title

4 Science Teaching Must Evolve: – Learning of evolution as an integrative biological theory. – Resources for science teachers so they can teach evolution as an integrative biological theory. The Two-Track Problem: 1.Cell and Molecular Bio., Genetics, Biochemistry 2.Organismal Bio., Ecology, Evolution (capstone course? integration here?)

5 The Evo-Ed Project: – A Case Approach to Evolution Education – Integrative cases that explore trait evolution across biological scales.

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7 Trichromatic Vision Evolution in Primates

8 Fur Color Evolution in Beach Mice

9 Trichromatic Vision Evolution in Primates Fur Color Evolution in Beach Mice Seed Taste Evolution in Field Peas

10 Trichromatic Vision Evolution in Primates Fur Color Evolution in Beach Mice Seed Taste Evolution in Field Peas Toxin Resistance Evolution in Clams

11 Trichromatic Vision Evolution in Primates Fur Color Evolution in Beach Mice Toxin Resistance Evolution in Clams Seed Taste Evolution in Field Peas

12 Trichromatic Vision Evolution in Primates Fur Color Evolution in Beach Mice Seed Taste Evolution in Field Peas Toxin Resistance Evolution in Clams

13 Mouse Fur Color c(tyr) Tyrp1 Tyrp2 p MC1R protein is stimulated and facilitates cAMP production. cAMP is used to regulate gene expression.

14 Pea Seed Taste

15 LB145: Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology -Spring semester Second course in intro-bio sequence -66 Students (mostly sophomores) -Taught by Jim Smith (Peter White G.L.) -Cells & Organelles / Cell Energetics / Dogma The Evo-Ed Project: – A Case Approach to Evolution Education – Integrative cases that explore trait evolution across biological scales.

16 LB145: Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology -Spring semester Second course in intro-bio sequence -66 Students (mostly sophomores) -Taught by Jim Smith (Peter White G.L.) -Cells & Organelles / Cell Energetics / Dogma The Evo-Ed Project: – A Case Approach to Evolution Education – Integrative cases that explore trait evolution across biological scales.

17 The Assessment Tool for Evaluating Evolution Knowledge (ATEEK) -Iterative design process (Anderson and Bishop 1990) 1.Determine essential concepts important to evolution. 2.Design an assessment tool that probes for those concepts. 3.Field test the assessment tool. 4.Evaluate student responses. Revise a given question if the pattern of responses differs from the expected pattern. 5.Field test the revised assessment tool. 6.Repeat steps 4 and 5 until satisfied with the pattern of answers.

18 The ATEEK Q1. Jaguars can have an orange coat or a black coat. Orange jaguars have either two G alleles or one G allele and one g allele, whereas black jaguars have two g alleles. When a jaguar has the genotype gg, what happens so that a black coat is produced? Q2. Toxican mushrooms contain a toxin that causes vomiting when ingested. Recently, some Toxican mushrooms were found that did not produce the toxin. Describe in detail what might have happened at the molecular level so that these mushrooms no longer produce this toxin? Q3. The non-poisonous Toxican mushroom has become more frequent in mushroom populations and poisonous Toxican mushrooms have become rare. Define Natural Selection and use it to explain this scenario. Q4. Considering genetic mutation – (i)Describe, at the molecular level, what a mutation is. (ii)Use your answer from part (i) to describe the process whereby a mutation results in a change at the phenotype level. Q1. Jaguars can have an orange coat or a black coat. Orange jaguars have either two G alleles or one G allele and one g allele, whereas black jaguars have two g alleles. When a jaguar has the genotype gg, what happens so that a black coat is produced? Q2. Toxican mushrooms contain a toxin that causes vomiting when ingested. Recently, some Toxican mushrooms were found that did not produce the toxin. Describe in detail what might have happened at the molecular level so that these mushrooms no longer produce this toxin? Q3. The non-poisonous Toxican mushroom has become more frequent in mushroom populations and poisonous Toxican mushrooms have become rare. Define Natural Selection and use it to explain this scenario. Q4. Considering genetic mutation – (i)Describe, at the molecular level, what a mutation is. (ii)Use your answer from part (i) to describe the process whereby a mutation results in a change at the phenotype level.

19 LB145: Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB145

20 LB145: Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB145

21 Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB144 BS162 Average Student Score (n = 94) LB145 * * * * Average Student Score (n = 74)

22 Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB144 BS162 Average Student Score (n = 94) LB145 * * * * Did not use integrative cases. Organismal Biology Courses Did not use integrative cases. Organismal Biology Courses Used integrative cases. Cell and Molecular Biology Course Used integrative cases. Cell and Molecular Biology Course Average Student Score (n = 74)

23 Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB144 BS162 Average Student Score (n = 94) LB145 * * * * Used integrative cases. Cell and Molecular Biology Course Used integrative cases. Cell and Molecular Biology Course Did not use integrative cases. Organismal Biology Courses Did not use integrative cases. Organismal Biology Courses Average Student Score (n = 74)

24 Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB144 BS162 Average Student Score (n = 94) LB145 * * * * Used integrative cases. Cell and Molecular Biology Course Used integrative cases. Cell and Molecular Biology Course Did not use integrative cases. Organismal Biology Courses Did not use integrative cases. Organismal Biology Courses Average Student Score (n = 74)

25 Connect genotypes to phenotypes. Describe the cellular mechanism of phenotypic expression. Understand the genetic basis of mutation. Describe how mutation results in a phenotype change. Apply NS to explain change in allele freq. The ATEEK

26 Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB144 BS162 Average Student Score (n = 94) LB145 * * * * Learned cell and molecular biology in a cell and molecular biology course. Didn’t learn cell and molecular biology in organismal course. Average Student Score (n = 74)

27 Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB144 BS162 Average Student Score (n = 94) LB145 * * * * Learned cell and molecular biology in a cell and molecular biology course. Didn’t learn cell and molecular biology in organismal course. Average Student Score (n = 74)

28 Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB145

29 1.What is the difference between the R 67 and C 67 alleles? Specifically ­ how do their nucleotide sequences differ and what is the resulting difference in the amino acid sequences they produce? 1.What is the role of the MC1R protein in eumelanin pigment synthesis in Peromyscus polionotus (i) dark fur populations and (ii) light fur populations? 1.What role does natural selection play in determining the coat color of Peromyscus polionotus populations? Briefly describe some of the studies that have been done to support this. 1.Do populations of Peromyscus polionotus with light fur tend to have a high C 67 allele frequency? Why or why not? 1.What phenotypes do the following genotypes typically code for: R 67 R 67, R 67 C 67, C 67 C 67 1.Can the genotype R 67 R 67 result in a phenotype different from the one you listed above? Why or why not? 1.What is the difference between the R 67 and C 67 alleles? Specifically ­ how do their nucleotide sequences differ and what is the resulting difference in the amino acid sequences they produce? 1.What is the role of the MC1R protein in eumelanin pigment synthesis in Peromyscus polionotus (i) dark fur populations and (ii) light fur populations? 1.What role does natural selection play in determining the coat color of Peromyscus polionotus populations? Briefly describe some of the studies that have been done to support this. 1.Do populations of Peromyscus polionotus with light fur tend to have a high C 67 allele frequency? Why or why not? 1.What phenotypes do the following genotypes typically code for: R 67 R 67, R 67 C 67, C 67 C 67 1.Can the genotype R 67 R 67 result in a phenotype different from the one you listed above? Why or why not? Case Questions (Final Exam)

30 Multiple Regression Analysis: Post-Course ATEEK = Pre-Course ATEEK + Course Grade + Case Score (F 3,55 = 13.76, Adjusted R 2 = 0.40) Variable Standard Coefficient Standard Error t-valuep-value Pre-Course ATEEK Course Grade Case Score

31 Average Student Score (n = 63) * * * * LB145 Variable Standard Coefficient p-value Pre-Course ATEEK Course Grade Case Score Use of cases was linked to higher post-course ATEEK scores. Suggestive that an integrative cases approach may help students in their learning of evolution. (F 3,55 = 13.76, Adjusted R 2 = 0.40)

32 The Evo-Ed Project: “[Students] leave schools without fully understanding how well supported evolutionary theory is.”  Cases may help students understand how novel phenotypes arise starting from the most basic building blocks of life.  Cases give students concrete examples of evolution.  Integrative approach good idea anyways? (Data seem to support it too)

33 The Evo-Ed Project: “Many teachers are not scientifically capable of teaching evolution using modern approaches.” Evo-Ed Website: Explanation of cases and corresponding.ppt resources.

34 Games/Simulations

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36 LB145 LB144 Next Steps: 1.Include population genetics and speciation into our assessment tool (ATEEK). 2.Among-courses analysis: 1.Continued development and dissemination of the case approach and our education resources. Biology Students Case Approach Low Use of Cases Approach Cases Approach No Cases Approach Cases Approach No Cases Approach  Cases x 2  Cases x 1  Cases x 0

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38 Acknowledgements: Partial support for this work was provided by the NSF TUES program under Award No Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Thanks to Kathis Ellis, Joe Murray, Miles Loh, Kendra Cheruvelil, Chuck Elzinga, Gerry Urquhart, Cherryl Murphy, Andy Jarosz, Doug Luckie, Craig Nelson and Lyman Briggs College for their contributions to the project. Questions?


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