Teaching

Scott teaches a variety of courses in evolutionary biology, ornithology and population genetics. In addition, many postdocs in the lab find that becoming a Teaching Fellow for LS1b is a good way to stretch funds and get some valuable experience teaching in a large survey course in genetics and evolution.  Graduate students in the lab are often recruited to act as Teaching Fellows for these courses.

In fall 2015, Scott for the first time taught a Freshman Seminar, entitled "The Evolutionary Transition from Dinosaurs to Birds: Fossils, genomes, and behavior". As part of their immersion into the dinosaur world, the students spent hours among fossils and specimens in the paleontology and ornithology collections of the MCZ, sequenced DNA and skyped with leading paleontologists from China to Texas.

This fall (2016) Scott returns to an old favorite, OEB125, Molecular Ecology and Evolution, which has not been taught since 2011. Phil Grayson is the Teaching Assistant.

In Spring 2013, Scott taught OEB 275br: Evolutionary Genomics and the Museum: Enhancing insight into evolutionary processes using museum collections

Course description: This semester we will explore through lectures, videocasts and discussion the ways in which museum collections and online museum databases can enhance modern studies of genomic and geographic variation. Lecture topics will review the state of the art with regard to using genomics to study geographic variation, and in-class demonstrations will link such studies to museum and biodiversity databases and explore the reciprocal benefits of doing so. Some lectures will be held remotely and given by video by scientists at institutions participating in AIM-UP!, a NSF-funded multi-institution research network aimed at enhancing undergraduate education through museum collections (http://www.aim-up.org/home).

Prerequisite: OEB 10, OEB 53, or equivalent.

Other recent course offerings:

OEB 275r. Phylogenomics, Comparative Genomics and Adaptation (Fall 2012)

Catalog Number: 5004
Scott V. Edwards
Primarily for Graduates
Half course (fall term). Th., 2-4, and occasional computer labs Exam Group: 16,17
Location: University Herbaria Conference Rm 142

This semester we will explore through readings of the recent literature the ways in which comparative genomics can inform phylogeny and genomic adaptation. In addition to surveying recent methods for harnessing thousands of loci for phylogenetic reconstruction, we will also study how comparing genomes of higher clades can reveal signatures of adaptation, particularly in the noncoding portion of the genome.
Prerequisites: OEB 53, OEB 181, OEB 125 or equivalent.

OEB 190. Biology and Diversity of Birds (Spring 2016; Offered next in Spring 2018)

An introduction to the biology of birds. Covers the fossil record and theories for avian origins, physiology and anatomy, higher-level systematics and field characters of the ~27 orders, speciation processes, nesting and courtship behavior, vocalizations, mating systems and sexual selection, cooperative breeding, demography and conservation. Optional field trip during spring break. Laboratories will consist of gross anatomy, bird watching excursions in the Cambridge area, field techniques and specimen preparation, and systematic study of avian groups using the collections of the Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Prerequisites: OEB 10 or OEB 53 or permission of the instructor.

Western Panama, OEB190 Spring break field trip, 2012