Training Tutorial for Students Taking Research Methods Course

Professional Bio:

I received my PhD in Zoology from North Carolina State University and my BA in Psychobiology from Claremont McKenna College. I am currently an Associate Professor in the Biology Department and have taught at the University of Redlands since 2008. I'm broadly interested in physiology with specific focuses on endocrinology, neurobiology and reproduction. The courses I offer include: Principles of Biology, Human Physiology and Research Methods. Prior to working at Redlands, I held research positions at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the US Environmental Protection Agency I am interested in research aimed at improving human health. My current research projects focus on using mouse behavior as a model for human health. Using this approach, I am currently focused on establishing a mouse model of autistic-like behavior.

Project Summary:

Training Tutorial for Students Taking Research Methods Courses Students earning a BS in biology are required to complete a year-long course entitled Research Methods in Biology. This course allows the students to work under the close mentorship of a single faculty member conducting research in that faculty member's area of expertise. One significant hurdle my students face every year is the initial training they must complete before starting their research. All students working in my lab must complete basic animal husbandry and handling training before they can be taught the specifics of the behavioral assays they will be using for their research. These two levels of required training comprise a significant amount of work both for the students and for myself. Recently, our lab was contacted by an editor at the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) and invited to submit a manuscript for publication. JoVE is much like other scientific journals in that all submitted articles are peer reviewed prior to publication and all published papers are indexed in subject-relevant indexing sites like PubMed. However, JoVE is unique in that all published papers also include a narrated video that accompanies the print publication. In my case, we were invited to submit a methods-based article describing behavioral assays used to measure autistic-like behavior in mice. As part of the publication process, the journal sends out a professional videographer to film in our lab. The resulting videos would be edited and narrated professionally by the journal and the resulting tutorial on our behavioral assays would be included online with the publication. The use of a professionally produced training video specific to my research will provide a consistently excellent level of training to all of my future research students beyond what I can provide currently. I will involve my current BIOL 460 students in the submission, peer review and videotaping process.