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Context, Problem

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I am asking how we can use phylogenetic trees in our Introductory Biology courses to increase student understanding of organismal diversity and evolutionary relationships.Our rationale is that phylogenies serve as representational tools that can help students make connections across taxonomic boundaries.

Basic Information re: research:

-Course: LB144 (Introductory Organismal Biology)

-Semester(s):  Fall 2008 and Spring 2009

-Student population: Primarily Biology majors, with many pre-professional students

-Number of students:  220 in F08, 120 in S09

-Level of students:  Freshman/Sophomore

Scholar Implementation Plan

-File IRBAs: September 2008

-Data collection: During F08 and S09 course offerings

-Preliminary data analysis: January 2009