Lectures

I am available to be hired for lectures. Below are lists of potential titles, but a free topic can be requested within my knowledge limits (consult the lists and the site). E-mail me at marcsrour@gmail.com to discuss details. Virtual lectures by Skype or other streaming service also doable. I have …

Scientists are regular stupid people!

Two years ago, I took 20 teenagers from a school out on a natural history fieldtrip. They were 13-14 years old, and had never experienced the outdoors. They were all very happy to be out of school but, as is typical, they took more to running around than to actually …

How I Teach Biology

The trickiest challenge a biology teacher faces is having to balance the need to develop an intuitive, integrative understanding of biology in the student with the sheer amount of foundational rote memorisation needed in biology. A student who can memorise everything but can’t solve an unknown will not be a …

Frankenstein: A novel every biologist should read

A conversation among colleagues somehow turned to the question of what novel every biologist should read at least once in their lives. I was severely disappointed that nobody thought of my immediate first choice, Mary Shelley‘s horror sci fi classic, Frankenstein. I recommend reading Ruston’s Shelley and Vitality after finishing …

Mitosis and Meiosis

A back-to-the-fundamentals question that landed in my inbox: what is the difference between mitosis and meiosis? I will answer it in the most basic way possible, to avoid getting into niggly details and processes. Mitosis is a part of the standard cell cycle, which goes through the following stages: Interphase, …

Using fiction to teach biology

I am by no means an outstanding teacher. Student evaluations are generally favourable, but my ranting, meandering style, and messy chalkboard use does require students to keep a higher level of concentration than ideally necessary. Plus, I make my exams extra-hard with only essay and “think for yourself” questions, leading …