Teaching and Outreach
BIOL 321HE: Human Evolution
Mount Holyoke College
In this seminar we explore ~6 million years of human evolutionary history. Key questions include: Why are we built the way we are? What are the biological characteristics that make us different from our primate relatives? What do we know about the hominin species that preceded Homo sapiens? How is our evolved biology mismatched with our modern environment, and what can we do about it? We will engage with these questions via readings (including primary scientific literature), discussion, writing assignments, and lecture.
Taught Spring Semester 2021
Anthropology 191: First Year Seminar - The Human Species
University of Massachusetts
In this course first-year students explore fundamental ideas in biological anthropology through hands-on labs, and discuss academic and personal skills needed for college success. This small class format (19 students maximum) is intended to help students foster meaningful connections during their first semester at college.
Taught Fall Semesters 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Anthropology 103: Human Origins and Variation
University of Massachusetts University Without Walls
An introduction to the field of biological anthropology: human evolution, human biological variation, primate evolution and diversity.
I give occasional guest lectures on the subjects of human evolution, the evolution of endurance running, and the evolution of human sweating. Recently I have presented guest lectures to: Human Origins and Variation (UMass, 2019), Human Evolution (UMass, 2020), Race and Biology (Mount Holyoke College, 2017, 2018, 2020), and Introduction to Biology (Mount Holyoke College, 2020).
High School Teaching
Since 2006 I have taught 9th and 10th grade biology, first in Connecticut (2006) and then in Massachusetts (2007-present). In addition to surveying the main subfields of biology and preparing students for the MCAS Biology test, students engage in evolutionary theory at a deeper level than at most high schools, including a unit on human evolution. As of 2019, only a handful of states include human evolution in the biology teaching standards. Massachusetts is not among them and I feel strongly that this is a glaring omission from most states' curricula.
Outreach and Public Lectures
Lecture: "Beating the heat: How sweating helped make us human". Mount Holyoke College Biological Sciences Seminar Series, March 2020. video
Podcast guest: "How humans evolved to sweat". Let's Talk About Sweat, episode 3. April 2020. video
Lecture: "Beating the heat: How sweating helped make us human". Waikato Institute of Technology Research Bytes Seminar Series. April 2020. video
Lecture: "Endurance Running and Human Evolution". Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club annual dinner, 2016.