STATEMENT OF TEACHING AND PROFESSIONAL GOALS
My teaching interests are varied and include ecology, evolution, mycology, botany, plant pathology, and medical mycology. Much of what I teach coincides and overlaps with my research interests. I enjoy teaching and sharing with students my fascination about the diversity of life contained in the natural world. I want to build awareness in students of how all living things are interdependent on one another and why intricate relationships among different species have evolved over time. I believe that biology students need to have a broad view of how all facets of biology interrelate with one another. The fields of ecology and evolutionary biology or "historical ecology" are excellent means for helping students to integrate much of what they learn in biology (e.g., morphology, anatomy, physiology, reproductive biology, genetics) into one coherent picture.
I am interested in teaching students in the classroom and through example (i.e., research). Undergraduate and graduate research projects are great tools for helping students to gain a firm understanding of the "scientific method" and utilize critical thinking skills in developing conclusions based on available data and tested hypotheses rather than speculation. I believe that research is a creative process of discovery, and that the scientific method is one way that we learn more about ourselves and the natural world. I think that these experiences can be critical in helping a student develop positive attitudes towards science and motivating them to become lifelong learners.
The ultimate goal is to generate educated men and women. I see that this is of critical importance, because scientific knowledge, by itself, can be misused, if other aspects of a person life are not in balance and well developed. A student graduating from a biology program at a university should have an understanding of the relationships between science, technology, society, and...