Billie Swalla - UW Education & Outreach
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Billie Swalla - UW Education & Outreach






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Billie Swalla - UW Education & Outreach Billie Swalla - UW Education & Outreach Presentation Transcript

  • University of Washington BEACON Education & Outreach Initiatives Billie J. Swalla University of Washington
  • UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON • Research highlights - Evolution of 3D printed flowers under hawkmoth foraging - Genes underlying aggregation in natural and evolved yeast isolates - Timing of gene expression affects evolution of ascidian development - Evolution of an engineered genetic circuit with a suicidal public good • Education/outreach highlights - Citizen science via Seattle Aquarium monitoring evolution in Puget Sound - Field/comp courses at Friday Harbor - Undergrad research in UW labs on experimental evolution - Outreach: K-12 classroom visits, science fair judging, town hall talk • A few statistics from this past year - 7 publications, 8 grants/fellowships, 17 presentations, 2 faculty jobs - 39 trainees: 51% female & 23% URM Autolysis Growth A Altruist Consumer Cellulose Cellobiose
  • One of the goals of the Seattle Aquarium Citizen Science (CS) / BEACON partnership was to provide summer STEM internships for high-school students motivated and inspired by their previous participation in aquarium outreach programs. Three BEACON graduates conceived the intern projects and mentored two interns each. The interns are presenting their results in a symposium at the end of August. The interns size-fractionated plankton communities by filtering water samples through meshes and membrane filters with successive pore sizes. Robert excises a filter membrane. Metagenomic DNA was extracted from the membrane. Etilet’s project involved measuring physiological and transcriptomic responses to environmental stressors in the Pacific Oyster. Interns used 18S rRNA sequences to reconstruct the genetic diversity of plankton communities. At one oyster farm, they deteced the presence of the dinoflagellate responsible for paralytic shellfish poisioning!
  • Interns conduct biodiversity surveys on a beach near Hood Canal. They used their data to calculate and compare biodiversity indices at beach sites around Puget Sound. The interns used settlement plates to study ecological succession of larval communities. Citizen science and open science go hand in hand. Notebooks from the intern projects are online at
  • Louise Mead (BEACON) and teacher Michael Kenney (Lake Quinalt HS) question the adaptive advantages of orange versus purple varieties of Pisaster (seastar) on 2nd Beach, La Push, WA. Teachers practice making phylogenetic trees from pipe cleaners in “the Great Clade Race” The CS / BEACON partnership also enabled a teacher workshop (Aug 5th-9th) impacting Puget Sound regional, as well as rural and tribal communities in coastal Washington. Guest speakers included professional scientists and academics who drew connections between the effects of climate change and evolution in action. Teachers were introduced to many curricular resources that will help them present the evidence for both controversial topics in their classrooms. They were also taught to relate observations in the field to evolutionary science. The impacts are expected to disseminate through classroom education as well as through the Aquarium’s Citizen Science beach monitoring programs.
  • BEACON graduate mentor Lauren Vandepas examining Bubble Snail eggs with intern Maddy. Interns Maddy and Maighread at their microscopes.
  • Undergraduate Initiatives Billie J. Swalla University of Washington Providing undergraduate students with the thrill of discovery…
  • COLLABORATION & INNOVATION Evolution in Action • Modules to be developed and exchanged from existing courses and undergraduate research in experimental evolution. Ben Kerr – NSF Career Grant UW - Experimental Evolutionary Ecology - designing a new module each summer and putting them up on the BEACON UW site.
  • COLLABORATION & INNOVATION Evolution in Action • UW BERG (Biology Education Research Group) • 2011 Presentation by Charles Ofria on Avida Ed • 2012 Presentation by Louise Mead
  • Over 100 years of Excellence in Marine Biology Located in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island (80 miles N of Seattle) U.W. College of the Environment
  • Friday Harbor Labs - San Juan Island Beautiful setting, amazing biological diversity, all students doing research in the course, few distractions for them.
  • New Computer Lab for teaching Computational Methods Bioinformatics/Modelling/Phylogenetics/Genomics
  • Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Genome Biology • Undergraduate students engaged in field activities • Enhance computational skills • Clone genes and examine gene expression to study evolution of nerve networks with marine invertebrates as a collaborative research experience. • Instructors and/or themes vary from year to year • FHL has housing, dining facilities & a computer classroom • Students are recruited from UW and other universities
  • Swalla Undergraduates & FHL Apprentices 2008 Hee Sun Kim (2005-2006) Dental Student at Temple University 2008 Brock Roberts (2002-2004) Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology Department at the University of California at Berkeley. 2011 M.D. Dr. Lauren May (FHL 2005) Thomas Jefferson U. Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 2011 M.D./Ph.D. Dr. Helen Chea(2003-2005) Mount Sinai School of Medicine; NY, NY 2011 M.D. Dr. Monique Mayo (FHL 2001) University of Washington Medical School 2011 Peter Conlin (FHL 2010) BEACON Biology Department, University of Washington 2012 KellenAndrilenas(2008-2010) Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology Department at Boston University. 2012 Shawn Luttrell (FHL 2010) BEACON Biology Department, University of Washington 2013 Rebecca Bruders(FHL 2012) Graduate Student in Biology Department, U. of Utah 2013 Zander Fodor (FHL 2012) BEACON Biology Department, University of Washington 2013 Joshua Swore (FHL 2012) BEACON Biology Department, University of Washington 2013 Ph.D. Tom White (FHL 2005) UW Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program
  • Acknowledgements • Professors: Dr. Andrea Kohn,Dr. LenoidMoroz, Dr. Billie Swalla • Amazing TAs: Gabrielle Winters, Caleb Bostwick, Emily Dabe, and Kevin Kocot. • The Best Bioinformaticians: Mat Citarella and David Girardo. • Funding: FHL, NIH, and NSF.