Teaching and Outreach


I have experience teaching lab sections and guest lectures in functional morphology, ichthyology and introductory biology courses at the University of Toronto and the University of Washington. Working with Shannon Refvik in the Lopez-Fernandez lab, I designed the lab activities, wrote the lab manual and developed the teaching collection for a new ichthyology course (EEB 382 “Diversity of Fishes”) at the University of Toronto in 2011. Through this lab section, we covered topics like fish systematics, evolution, anatomy, ecomorphology and the diversity of fishes in the Toronto area.

Results of the EEB 382 citizen science project on fish mislabelling.


During my time teaching EEB 382, I implemented a multi-year citizen science project on the mislabelling of fish in the Toronto fish trade. Students collected samples from restaurants and grocers and compared the label to the identity determined using DNA barcoding, and wrote a report analyzing the rate of mislabelling and conservation concerns from across the class dataset. This project gave the students hands-on experience with a real world problem in fish biology. Students were often shocked by the results for their sample (especially for mislabelled samples of escolar, the “ex-lax” fish). The results of several years of this project were recently highlighted in an issue of the ROM magazine.

Teaching Experience:

2017:              Guest Lecturer, Functional Morphology (BIOL 439), Department of Biology, University of Washington

2016:              Guest Lecturer, Biology of Fishes (FHL 305), Friday Harbour Laboratories, University of Washington

2011-2014:    Teaching Assistant, Diversity of Fishes (EEB 382), Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

2011:              Course and Lab Material Development, Diversity of Fishes (EEB 382), Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

2009-2010:    Teaching Assistant, Adaptation and Biodiversity (BIOL 120/150), Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto



I care deeply about connecting the public to the biological treasure trove of museum collections and in highlighting their use in scientific research. I have contributed to hands-on biodiversity activities for the Royal Ontario Museum and Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture featuring collections materials. During my time in the Santana lab at UW I have contributed to an outreach project to make 3D scans of bat specimens from collections accessible to the public and to the teaching community, called “Pocket Bats!”. “Pocket Bats!” feature free to download/share augmented-reality enable cards featuring bat skulls and musculature. When viewed through the iPhone/android app “Augment”, these cards illustrate a 3D model of a skull collected from CT scanning. Moving the card allows you to view the skull from different angles and also internal structures. These cards also include taxonomic and ecological information on the specimen. We featured “Pocket Bats!” at a temporary exhibit at the Burke Museum, but one of our primary goals has been to share this resource with teachers and develop classroom activities. See more information and download your own here.