At Auburn University, I teach two courses on Developmental Biology and Evo-Devo Biology:
BIOL 4970 / 7970: Advanced Developmental Biology, 3 credits:
This course is designed to explore the molecular mechanisms that direct gene expression during the course of embryonic development, specifically how they shape the adult body plan with a focus on vertebrates. It is also designed to illustrate how studying the development of different organisms, even invertebrates, helps us understand the basis for many human developmental defects and disease. Finally, the course will explore the similarities and differences in developmental mechanisms among animals and how these studies help us understand evolution. This will be an inquiry-based course constructed to teach scientific process skills. Students can expect to gain an understanding of the following:
•The current research in evolutionary and developmental biology as well as the practical experimental techniques used to answer scientific questions in the field
•The molecular mechanisms used to build the various animal body plans and how these have evolved.
•The logic behind experimental designs used to test hypotheses and generate conclusions
•The process of effectively communicating scientific ideas
The interdisciplinary nature of Developmental Biology makes it an excellent course for upper level undergraduate and graduate students that are interested in pursuing professional degrees in the medical, veterinary, or dental sciences as well as graduate degrees in evolutionary, developmental and/or biomedical research. It is recommended that students have experience in, or have taken a course(s), involving cell biology, developmental biology, evolution, genetics, gene regulation, cell-to-cell signaling, physiology or immunology.
BIOL 4970 / 7970: Evolution and Development of Animal Form, 3 credits:
This course explores the molecular mechanisms that direct the embryonic development and shape the adult body plans of several animals, with a focus on non-traditional invertebrate species. It will also illustrate the similarities and differences in developmental mechanisms among these animals and how studying these complex systems helps us understand evolution as well as human developmental defects and diseases.
At Mississippi State University, I taught courses on Developmental and Evo-Devo Biology:
BIO 4504/6504: Comparative Vertebrate Embryology, 4 credits
Two hours lecture. Six hours laboratory. The embryology of the vertebrates; the fertilization of the egg; stages of cleavage and the development of organs and systems.
BIO 4563/6563: Evo-Devo Biology, 3 credits
Three hours lecture. A comparative study of the cell, molecular, and developmental regulatory mechanisms that have evolved to generate the body plans of a wide range of metazoan embryos, from sponges to humans.
BIO 8183: Capstone in Modern Biology (Developmental & Reproductive Biology)
During the final capstone course, BIO 8183 - Capstone in Modern Biology, students come to the Mississippi State University campus for ten days to work closely with biologists and fellow classmates, participating in "hands-on" experiences to apply biological principles learned during your program of study. This course enables MSU faculty to assess the student's proficiency in biology.