Summer Abroad Ireland - Instructor

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Bio Sci 2B in Dublin

This unique Summer Abroad program will be taught by several University College Dublin faculty members with expertise in each key area/module of the course. A UC Davis faculty member will provide oversight and act as the faculty of record.

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Dr. Joanna Kacprzyk

Lead Instructor, University College Dublin

School of Biology & Environmental Science - Genetics Module

joanna.kacprzyk@ucd.ie

Dr. Joanna Kacprzyk is an Assistant Professor in cell biology and genetics at University College Dublin. She studied biotechnology at the International Faculty of Engineering, Technical University of Lodz in her homeland of Poland. After graduating with a first-class honours MSc degree, she moved to Ireland, and in 2012 was awarded a PhD in Plant Science at University College Dublin. Her research focuses on cellular stress responses for programmed cell death and survival, and she is engaged in multidisciplinary projects involving both plant and animal systems. She teaches cell biology and genetics to students from first-year to postgraduate level, including courses popular among international students. She is also the Programme Director of MSc in Biological and Biomolecular Science by Negotiated Learning and contributes to an online MSc programme in Environmental Sustainability. She is keen to acknowledge that teaching is one of the most inspiring and rewarding aspects of her career and believes that passionate teachers create passionate learners. Her teaching strategy is student-centred, with an emphasis on active learning, transferrable skills development and student engagement in cutting-edge biological research. Students consistently rank her teaching style, enthusiasm and approachability very highly, such that she was nominated for a UCD Teaching and Learning Award in 2017. She is looking forward to using her own experience of studying abroad to assist the BIS 2B students during their adventure in Ireland.

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Dr. Pat Randolph

Faculty of Record, UC Davis

Department of Evolution & Ecology

rprandolph@ucdavis.edu

Dr. Pat Randolph has been managing and teaching BIS2B, Introduction to Evolution and Ecology, since the inception of the course at the University of California, Davis. He earned a BS in zoology from UC Davis, then subsequently an MS and PhD in entomology from Purdue University, with an emphasis on the taxonomy and biogeography of the aquatic insect group, mayflies. While in graduate school, he developed a strong interest in undergraduate education in the biological sciences, especially in the diversity of animals without backbones. He first discovered his love of teaching while working with students in entomology courses at Purdue University. His mentors during his time there shared their passion for teaching, showing Dr. Randolph that creative approaches to education are not only fun (not only for him but the students), but can be instrumental in helping students learn complicated biological conceptsDr. Randolph strives to provide individual support to all students and demonstrate the real world implications of their academic pursuits.

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Dr. Fiona Bracken

Program Instructor, University College Dublin

School of Biology and Environmental Science – Genetics Module

Dr. Fiona Bracken is a postdoctoral research fellow at University College Dublin where she originally undertook her undergraduate degree in Zoology. After graduating with first class honours, she spent a few years working at Inland Fisheries Ireland before moving to the UK to complete her PhD in Biological Sciences in 2014. Since then, Dr. Bracken has been focusing primarily on conservation genetics and using techniques such as environmental DNA and next generation sequencing to learn more about rare or endangered aquatic species. She enjoys using molecular (and other non-invasive) methods in assessing population status and structure of conservation species and has an interest in community-based approaches to address conservation needs. Dr. Bracken’s research has employed a range of laboratory and field endeavours to investigate these topics as well as stakeholder-orientated approaches (including Citizen Science) to conservation. She has wide-ranging experience working with various species as well as NGO, community based, and governmental conservation initiatives around the world including Crocodile and pygmy hippo conservation in West Africa (Rare species Conservatory Foundation), Whale Shark conservation in Mozambique (Eyes on the Horizon), Primate conservation in Kenya (Colobus Conservation), Rizzo's Dolphins in the Azores (Nova Atlantis), and Lemon Sharks in the Bahamas (Bimini Biological Field Station).

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Dr. Paul Brooks

Program Instructor, University College Dublin

School of Biology & Environmental Science – Marine Ecology Module

Dr. Paul Brooks is a marine ecologist working as postdoctoral teaching fellow in the School of Biology and Environmental Science in University College Dublin (UCD). He graduated in 2009 with a first class honours degree in Environmental Science from UCD and continue his studies to earn his PhD in Marine Ecology from UCD.  Dr. Brooks’ research interests are broad and cover the empirical testing of a wide range of human impacts on the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of coastal marine ecosystems, ranging from testing how different contaminants and pollutants interact with each other to produce effects on species at varying levels of biological organisation (from cellular to ecosystem level responses). He is also interested in how technology can allow us to measure those responses with innovative methods, for example through the use of sensors to detect behavioural changes or using chambers to measure impacts on the functioning of species in situ in ecosystems. He teaches on a range of modules covering subjects such as ecosystems ecology, biodiversity ecosystem functioning, marine community ecology, diversity of invertebrates, biogeography and field biology.

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Dr. Tasman Crowe

Program Instructor, University College Dublin

School of Biology & Environmental Science – Marine Ecology Module

Dr. Tasman Crowe was born in Australia, but grew up in the UK, where he completed a BSc in Zoology in 1990.  He returned to Australia for his PhD in marine ecology, graduating in 1995 from the University of Sydney.  He studied dispersal of intertidal snails across complex mosaics of habitat in mangrove forests and sheltered rocky shores.  As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Crowe worked in northern Australia, Indonesia and Vanuatu on stock enhancement of tropical snails on coral reefs before returning to the UK to work on responses of mussels and their associated fauna to pollution.  He joined the staff at University College Dublin in 2001 and developed a research group focussed on impacts of a range of stressors on marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services.  He collaborate widely and engage with stakeholders and wider society to enable application of his findings to environmental management and policy development.  Dr. Crowe has been teaching undergraduate and graduate students for more than 20 years and loves that aspect of his job.  Dr. Crowe has served as the Associate Dean of Science, responsible for oversight of all taught programmes, he chairs the programme board of the Liberal Arts and Science Programme and is currently Director of the UCD Earth Institute, which fosters interdisciplinary environmental research.

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Dr. John Finarelli

Program Instructor, University College Dublin

School of Biology & Environmental Science – Macroecology Module

Dr. John Finarelli is a quantitative paleobiologist and evolutionary biologist by training, earning an MS in geology from the University of New Hampshire in 2001 and a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Chicago in 2007. His research focuses on integrating palaeontological and neontological data sets in an effort to understand the biology and ecology of extinct organisms. He combines specimen-based research in museum collections (both palaeontological and zoological) with database mining and fieldwork to test macroevolutionary hypotheses of the origin and maintenance of morphological diversity through time and across clades. Subjects that he is interested in are varied and cover a wide range: from total evidence phylogenetics, comparative anatomy and description, to biometry, morphometrics, and macroecology/macroevolutionary processes. Dr. Finarelli pursues research in several mammalian groups, including carnivores, rodents, artiodactyls, and primates. In addition, he is interested in the origin of gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates), specifically with respect to the early diversification of body plans in living and extinct groups. He currently works with several Palaeozoic groups, including chondrichthyans (sharks and their relatives), and two extinct grades of jawed fish: placoderms and acanthodians.

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Dr. Adam Kane

Program Instructor, University College Dublin

School of Biology & Environmental Science – Macroecology Module

Dr. Adam Kane went to college with the intention of studying palaeontology and started off by completing a bachelor’s degree in zoology at University College Dublin in 2007. During this time, his interests broadened which resulted in him spending time in Uganda and Swaziland working on birds and bats. He returned to college and received a master’s degree in science communication from Dublin City University in 2010. He then went on to study vulture biology at Trinity College Dublin for his PhD. Dr. Kane had several field trips to Southern and East Africa during this time. For his postdoctoral work, he moved to University College Cork where he researched the movement ecology of seabirds off the Irish coast and the evolution of migration in trout. Dr. Kane recently returned to University College Dublin as a lecturer. He has many interests owing to the various animal groups he’s worked on, covering scavenging, population dynamics, movement ecology and conservation across the animal kingdom.

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Dr. Sónia Negrão

Program Instructor, University College Dublin

School of Biology & Environmental Science – Plant Biology, Biodiversity Module

Dr. Sónia Negrão obtained her MSc. in “Agronomy- Crop Breeding” at Instituto Superior de Agronomia (Portugal). She obtained her PhD degree at Instituto Tecnologia Química e Biológica- Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ITQB-NOVA) in Portugal, in 2008. Sónia’s PhD was in rice breeding using marker-assisted selection, and undertaken in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines (under the supervision of Prof. David Mackill), and she was a founder member of the Portuguese National Rice Breeding Program. During her time as a post-doctoral fellow, at ITQB-NOVA, she characterized rice genetic variation in response to salinity. Sónia then moved to Saudi Arabia where she worked five years as a research scientist on salinity tolerance at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (in the group led by Prof. Mark Tester). Currently, Sonia is an Assistant Professor at University College Dublin (Ireland), and PI of the “Crop Stress Interaction lab- CSI-Dublin”. Her research interests are related to abiotic stress tolerance, high-throughput phenotyping, crop genomics and association mapping. Sónia uses genomics to accelerate breeding and address problems related to climate change, and is focused on high quality science that will ultimately lead to sustainable crop improvement. Sónia has been teaching and supervising students since 2008 and has teaching experience in several Plant Sciences’ related courses in different countries such as Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Ireland.

A Message to Students and Parents

Biological Sciences 2B is a key introduction to basic principles of ecology and evolutionary biology. The topics of BIS2B focus on the fundamental mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity ranging from genes, populations, species, to global processes and patterns. The general principles of evolution and ecology not only are of interest in their own right, but have practical applications in agriculture and the health sciences. Students taking BIS2B in Dublin will have the advantage of taking this class with a very small group of students and will receive the type of personal attention that is not possible in the big lecture format offered on the UC Davis campus. In addition, the students will be able to complete a course required for most majors in the biological sciences in a wonderful setting like Ireland. I am looking forward to interacting with the students who choose to enroll in this unique study abroad experience.