Conservation research can be key to making effective conservation policies, but only when the policymakers are trained to understand and critically analyse its findings. In this article, Andrea D. Phillott highlights numerous resources that can help educators train students – future conservationists – in the use of evidence-based conservation. Phillott is a Professor in Environmental Studies and teaches Conservation Biology, Ecology, and Environmental Studies at FLAME University, Pune.
N. Latha is a scientist and an award-winning educator in the area of bioinformatics & computational biology at Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi. The bioinformatics training facility that she has set up and been coordinating in her college has benefitted not only students but also several school and college teachers. Her work has won her many laurels, including the Excellence Award for Teacher in Service by the University of Delhi in 2019 and, more recently, the INSA Teachers Award 2020. In this interview, she shares with IndiaBioscience her reflections on education in the 21st century and the importance of conducting undergraduate research.
Undergraduate students of biochemistry may know the sequence of reactions in different pathways of energy metabolism. But how well do they understand the interconnections between these pathways? Maya Murdeshwar, an educator from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, uses a quiz featuring cheetahs, triathlons and monozygotic twins to test her students and uncover their misconceptions around these pathways. She explains her approach in this article.
A lot of emphasis is given on introducing research in undergraduate curricula. On the other hand, there is little to no discussion about how to introduce the students to reading primary literature critically, or how to assess their understanding of it. Can there be a structured way of getting a regular undergraduate, who may or may not be interested in a research career, enthused about reading a research paper? How to test whether they have understood what they have read? These were the questions dealt by the educators of the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai, while developing a three-day module for reading research papers. In this article, one of the facilitators of the module walks us through their process.
What’s the measure of species diversity of a habitat? Is it the number of inhabitants? Is it the number of species? Or is it the presence of a rare species? In this article, field biologist Abhijeet Bayani throws light on how he approaches this question of species ‘diversity’ in his classroom (a.k.a nature), while ensuring that his undergraduate students do not confuse it with a very related concept of species ‘richness’.