Outreach: collaborative learning and research
Below are descriptions of several ongoing and past outreach programs associated with the University of California-Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology, Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics, and the AU Museum of Natural History. Please check back for frequent updates!
During my postdoc at UC Davis, I am mentoring undergraduate Sara Chan during her study about the evolution of beak morphology in, mostly Northern Californian, birds.
During my Ph.D., I mentored AU undergraduate Laura Garland in stable isotope analysis and geometric morphometrics. Laura has went on to be a successful graduate student.
Additionally, I mentored Brazilian doctoral student Karine Orlandi Bonato during her internship in the Armbruster lab. While visiting from the Universidad Federal Rio Grande Do Sul, Karine learned how to collect and process samples, analyze, and interpret isotopic data.
Read more about Karine's research here.
Biodiversity Museum Day at UC Davis
The Wainwright Lab volunteered at the annual Biodiversity Museum Day at the University of California, Davis. This event was about a month after I started my postdoc at UC Davis and it was a joy to show local kids some fishes that have extreme body plans, locomotion, and feeding adaptations. The lumpsucker, Remora, and flying fish seemed to be fan favorites.
I participated in similar activities during my Ph.D. (see below) and I'm always amazed at kids curiosity and excitement about nature.
Photo courtesy of my labmate Katherine Corn.
AUMNH - AU Explore and Open House
At the Auburn University Museum of Natural History we have two annual outreach events: AU Explore and Open House.
AU Explore is a science and math festival sponsored by the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics, which provides activities for students grades 5-8 from across Alabama with the purpose of fostering interest in sciences and mathematics. Activities include workshops, expos, and face to face contact with live animals. In the Ichthyology collection, we expose students to the amazing world of fishes with particular emphasis on their morphological diversity.
The annual AUMNH Open House provides opportunities for the public to meet the curators, graduate students, and experience the many collections housed in the museum, which include extensive fish, mammal, bird, fossil, invertebrate, and plant collections, among others. This is an important opportunity to engage the public, communicate what we do in the museum, and increase interest in the natural world.
Photo courtesy of fellow AU student Sammi Smoot.
I strive to foster a collaborative research environment and actively seek to utilize team-oriented approaches to achieve goals.