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BioQUEST Evolution Modules Frank Price Scholar in Residence, Hamilton College (315) 853–5233 in collaboration with other members of the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium BioQUEST: Bio logy Q uality U ndergraduate E ducational S imulations & T ools

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BioQUEST Evolution Modules

Frank Price

Scholar in Residence, Hamilton College

(315) 853–5233

in collaboration with other members of the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

bioquest bio logy q uality u ndergraduate e ducational s imulations t ools
BioQUEST: Biology Quality Undergraduate Educational Simulations & Tools
  • Consortium of ≈150 active members & ≈5,000 fellow-travelers
  • Dedicated to Biology Curriculum Reform
bioquest philosophy
BioQUEST Philosophy
  • 3 Peas:
    • Problem Posing
    • Problem Solving
    • Peer Persuasion
  • Students need to do what professionals do:
    • Ask their own questions.
    • Find appropriate data.
    • Analyze data with appropriate professional tools.
    • Answer their questions.
    • Persuade peers of the value of their answers.
  • They need opportunities to work in the context of the discipline
bioquest philosophy4
BioQUEST Philosophy
  • Inquiry–oriented approach
    • Goals, assumptions, models, history become explicit
    • Promote interpretation of data
    • Effect-to-cause reasoning
    • Encourages multivariate approaches
  • Encourage collaboration
    • Advantages of collaborative learning
    • Multiple modes of learning,
    • Multiple skills
  • De-emphasize “content” relative to skills
  • Emphasize Information Technology as a tool
    • Supplement, not replace, actual lab/field work
bioquest funding

Howard Hughes Medical Institute,

National Science Foundation*, Division of Undergraduate Education

Partnership for Advanced Computing Infrastructure

Previous :


Foundation for Microbiology

Beloit College

University of Chicago

Center for Biology Education, UW - Madison

Apple Computer

Pew Midstates Science & Mathematics Consortium

BioQUEST Funding

* 24 Funded NSF grants cite BioQUEST Library resources

bioquest modules disciplines
Background & Pedagogy




Cell Biology




General Biology



Molecular Biology

Molecular Visualization







BioQUEST Modules: Disciplines
the problems with evolution educaton
The Problems With Evolution Educaton:
  • Evolution is widely misunderstood

– We don’t teach it well

  • Lack of Labs

– Time and space

– Variety of data & methods

– Pedagogical models

  • Lack of Data
key pedagogical points goals for students
Key Pedagogical Points:Goals for Students
  • Understanding of products of evolutionary biology (state of the art)
    • Theory
    • History
  • Learn assumptions that frame thinking
  • Practice methods
key pedagogical points evolutionary biology
Key Pedagogical Points: Evolutionary Biology
  • Goals of Evolutionary Inquiry
    • Theory: models of processes/phenomena
    • History: phylogenies as historical hypotheses
  • Shared assumptions, e.g.:
    • Species as gene pool w/ genetic variation
    • New variation continuous, random
    • Evolution: statistical change of population
    • Historical contingency
  • Methodologies & Tools
    • Various
bioquest modules evolution
BIRDDDataLibrary (Mac, Win)

EVOLVESimulation: microevolution (Mac)

Biology Student WorkbenchAnalytical tool (Mac, Win)

MacClade 2.1Analytical tool (Mac)

Phylogenetic InvestigatorInstructional tool (Mac)

BeeVisitSimulation: pollination (Win)

BGuILE: Galapagos FinchesSimulation: ecology, selection (Mac)

BGuILE: TB LabSimulation : antibiotic selection (Mac)

Bumpus Numeric Dataset (Mac, Win)

Caminicules Visual dataset (Mac, Win)

Dendrograminaceae Visual dataset (Mac, Win)

BioQUEST Modules: Evolution
on line info
On–Line Info:
  • BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium:
  • BioQUEST Liberary purchase: Press)
our solution birdd
Our Solution: BIRDD
  • Digital library of raw data:

– Realistic

– Accessible

– Exportable

  • Open–ended
  • Instructional Support:

– Getting Started

– Classroom Examples

– Teaching Evolutionary Biology

  • For students
    • Senior Projects
    • Database development (possible summer stipend)
    • Student teaching
  • For faculty
    • Material for labs
      • Evolution, Ecology, Intro. Biol., animal morphology, Statistics, etc.
    • Opportunities for student projects
      • In courses
      • Database development
    • “Publish” your data
birdd has been tested at
BIRDD Has Been Tested At:
  • Beloit College (small, liberal arts):
    • Zoology: non–major’s intro. (Paul Whittaker)
    • Biological Issues, Making Sense of Evolutionary Explanations: non–major’s (Sam Donovan)
    • Evolution: major’s (John Jungck)
  • U. WI, Madison
    • Introductory Zoology: major’s intro., > 800 students/semester (Jean Heitz)
jean heitz approach to using birdd grant proposals used in introductory zoology uwi madison
Jean Heitz’ Approach to Using BIRDD: Grant Proposals ( Used in Introductory Zoology, UWI, Madison)
  • Week 1:
    • Acquaint students w/ BIRDD, Galapagos, finches
    • Find some preliminary questions
  • Week 2:
    • Present ideas to whole lab for critique
    • Revise, develop preliminary answers
    • More thorough analysis of data,
  • Week 3:
    • Present 2nd proposal draft to whole lab for critique
    • Write final propsal
  • Week 4: Turn in proposal
  • BioQUEST Library CD–ROMindiv: $99* ISBN: 0-12-099470-4 Site: $650 U/C*
  • Macintosh: $350 HS – System 7, System 7.1+ suggested, 4 MB available RAM
  • Windows: Windows 3.1+, Windows 95 + suggested, 8 MB available RAM.
  • Both: 180 MB of free hard disk space, color monitor with 800 x 600+ resolution, QuickTime® 3+ to play panorama & sound files.
data resources islands
Data Resources:Islands

• Area

• Max. Elevation

• Age

• Vegetation zones

• Topographic map

• Breeding status of each finch species

Number of species of:


• Ferns

• Flowering plants

• Land birds

• Darwin’s finches

Archipelago maps & displays of island information.

data resources darwin s finch species information
Data Resources:Darwin’s Finch Species Information

• Pictures

• Plumage descriptions

• Foraging method

• Foraging habitat

• Breeding habitat

• Breeding status on islands

Diagrams of


• Lateral view of skull, musculature

• Ventral views of skull, musculature

• Hard palate

• Beak cross–section

Display of a species’ information.

data resources molecular sequences
Data Resources:Molecular Sequences

Display of a GenBank sequence.

Sequence Name No. Sequences

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------

• 16S Ribosomal RNA gene (partial) 16

• Mitochondrial Control Region (short) 12

• Microsatellite Repeat Region 16

• Cytochrome b protein 33

• Cytochrome b gene (partial) 40

• Mitochondrial Control Region (partial) 56

• Major Histocompatibility C Class II gene 40

data resources specimen morphology
Data Resources:Specimen Morphology

Help screen showing measurements.


Lack & Heller Sulloway Swarth

----------------------- ------------------------------------- ---------------------------------- -----------------------------

No. specimens 6,758 549 51 75

Island, sex, orig. &

modern taxon name 

Plumage  

Beak height 

Beak width 

Upper beak length  

data resources specimen morphology cont
Data Resources:Specimen Morphology(cont.)

Display of measurements.


Lack & Heller Sulloway Swarth

----------------------- ------------------------------------- ---------------------------------- -----------------------------

Nostril–upper beak l.  

Lower beak length  

Body length 

Tail length 

Wing length

Tarsus length 

Middle toe & claw l. 

data resources vocalizations
Data Resources:Vocalizations

Help screen describing graphic display of a vocalization

13 vocalizations


• Playable sounds

• Sonograms

• Waveform diagrams

• Species descriptions

Display of a vocalization (upper left),

with expanded views of its components.

data resources weather
Data Resources:Weather

Monthly weather data were exported to a statistics program to produce these graphs of rainfall over time and rainfall per month. El Nino events are readily visible..

• Island, station location • Elevation

Monthly Averages (11 stations)


• Precipitation • Temperature

• Maximum temperature • Minimum temperature

• Sea temperature • Hours of sunlight

Monthly Data (one station, 1950–1989)


• Year • Month

• Total precipitation

data resources bibliography
Data Resources:Bibliography

• 320 References, searchable by

• Author

• Title

• Citation

• Type of reference (8 types)

data resources pictures panoramas
Data Resources:Pictures & Panoramas

Image of an organism.

• 12 Habitat panoramas (all major habitat types)

• 16 Organisms/scenes

Panorama of a habitat.

Help screen describing panorama displays and their controls.

data resources tourist visits 1979 1997
Data Resources:Tourist Visits (1979–1997)

• Year

• Month

• Number of tourists

birdd s main table of contents
BIRDD’s Main Table of Contents

This is one of BIRDD’s help screen and describes the main table of contents.

example of exported data
Example of Exported Data

Opened with a Statistics Program

example of exported data33
Example of Exported Data

Scatterplot Matrix: All Species, All Islands

example of exported data36
Example of Exported Data

G. difficilis: Density Contour Plot for each Island

Darwin, Wolf

Santiago, St. Cruz

Pinta, Genoveas

example of exported data37
Example of Exported Data

G. difficilis: Density Contour Plot for Samples

All Islands

example of exported data38
Example of Exported Data

G. fuliginosa: Morphology Measures by Number of Species per Island