Teaching

Please email me if you are interested in a Masters research project!
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Undergraduate courses taught
Ecology
General biology
Introductory Biology
Animal Communication
Ornithology
Animal Behavior

Courses taught
Ecology
Behavioural Ecology

Core principles of my teaching philosophies
(1) Don’t simply tell, show and tell
(2) Learning occurs in and out of the classroom
(3) Embrace diversity
(4) Adapt when necessary

Teaching techniques used
Lecture
Computer modelling
Hands-on training
Reading discussions
Field trips
Guided group projects
Individualized instruction
Problem-based instruction

What students have been saying
"Helpful and funny"
"Active and friendly process of the lesson"
"... thank you for different and not so generally known examples."


Keys to undergraduate success
(1) Do not be afraid to ask questions.
(2) Develop a study routine.
(3) Finish your assignments early, and use your extra time wisely.
(4) Make the most of your professors' office hours.
(5) Fixate on learning, not your grade.
(6) Find something exciting about anything you are learning.
(7) Be proactive and seize available opportunities.


Keys to graduate success
(1) Find the right program. Do not rush to decide.
(2) Exhaustively research your topic before you experiment.
(3) Study something you love, this will be your life.
(4) Learn when to be, or not to be, independent.
(5) Do not feel pressured to cut corners.
(6) All researchers receive rejections, what is important is how you deal with them.


My students have gone on to work for ...
Canadian Wildlife Service
Parks Canada
REU grant at Yale University
National Geographic
Research with Oxford's Edward Grey Institute
many others, ...









Current mentee
Karel Gern, Mgr student (equivalent to an MSc)
Smiley face Karel is investigating host-brood parasite coevolution. Avian brood parasitism is an alternative breeding strategy where females leave their eggs in the care of unrelated parents. Unless the parasitism is detected by these foster parents they will unwittingly take responsibility for the care of these parasitic offspring. While we have learned a lot about how hosts recognize these foreign eggs, we still do not fully understand why some parasitic eggs escape host detection. Karel is interested in the perceptual basis of host egg recognition decisions and is using the blackbird Turdus merula as a model species. His research will emphasize visual perception and cognitive processes in birds, and will address a variety of novel aspects of coevolutionary arms races and self-recognition.