Marin L. M. Beaupré, Lecturer
Ph.D., University of California, 2008
Evolution, Behavioral Ecology, Biology Education
My graduate work investigated communication, mate choice, and parental care in budgerigars. I found that the similarity of the contact calls between potential mates at first meeting influenced mate choice and paternal care. In addition, I developed a novel methodology for exploring mate preferences in budgerigars, through training females to activate life-size video images of courting males. My work was published in Ethology.
I later worked with a professor at the University of California, Irvine, under her Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor program grant. We developed a strategy called “Learn Before Lecture”, to free up in-person class time for active learning. We also found that an assignment asking students to revisit missed exams questions significantly increases their performance on similar topics in later exams. These studies were published in CBE – Life Sciences Education.
However, for many years now, my focus has been in the classroom itself. I’ve applied what I learned in my research toward fostering student success in biology classes. I’ve taught mostly introductory biology courses at a few four-year institutions and community colleges. I also teach evolution, ecology, and environmental sciences. My goals are to facilitate student learning in biology, in the hopes of creating more scientifically literate citizens, who can think critically. I aim to engage students, help them find what excites them in biology, and send them off as better-informed citizens that will go on to inspire others.