Teaching Fellow

Yale University
New Haven, CT
2008 – 2011

Acted as teaching assistant and lead lab sections for courses:

  • Ornithology,
  • Biology of Infectious Agents,
  • Geographic Information Systems,
  • Ecology and Epidemiology of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

The latter three are targeted at students earning the Masters of Public Health degree.

  • Contributed to development of lab and field exercises, in some cases based on my own original research, for Geographic Information Systems and Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.
  • Evaluated and graded student assignments.
  • Created and administered quizzes for practical section of Ornithology in which students identified museum specimens to species, using the Peabody collection.
  • Assisted students with individual research projects, including project design, statistical and spatial analyses, and creating final reports.

Teaching for Ornithology involved a trip to Ecuador, during which we spotted and identified over 500 bird species in two weeks. Video of parrots at a clay lick along the Rio Napo in the Amazon: … is coming soon.

Moth ears in a bat-free environment, French Polynesia – Undergraduate Student Researcher

Richard B. Gump Field Station
Mo’orea, French Polynesia

View from Mt. Aorai, Tahiti, one of my collecting sites

View from Mt. Aorai, Tahiti, one of my collecting sites

As part of a semester-long course on the Biology and Geomorphology of Tropical Islands, conducted on the island of Mo’orea (sister island to Tahiti):

  • Designed and conducted an independent field research project, “Geometrid moth systematics and retention of the tympanal organ in the absence of bat predation.”
  • Collected, identified, dissected, measured, and preserved moths.
Cleora spp.

Cleora spp.

  • Generated phylogeny of moths based on morphological characteristics and mapped sizes of the tympanal organ to see if moths endemic to these islands showed evidence of tympanal degradation. No degradation was observed based on diameter of the tympanum.

Costa Rican bats & batflies – Undergraduate Student Researcher

Monteverde Institute
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Sturnira ludovici, Monteverde, Costa Rica

As part of a tropical ecology-focused study abroad program,

  • Designed and conducted an independent field research project, “Cospeciation of parasitic streblid batflies and their microchiropteran hosts.”
  • Mist-netted, identified, marked, and removed ectoparasites from bats. Collected, preserved, and identified batflies.
  • Used microscopic morphological characters to generate a phylogeny of batflies and compared it to the bat host phylogeny. High elevation bat species and their batflies have similar phylogenetic structure, and may have cospeciated in relative isolation.
Strebla hertigi, Monteverde, Costa Rica