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Neurobiology

Moving and Grooving: Exploring Behavioral Multitasking in Drosophila Courtship

Success in life, for humans and all animals, requires multitasking. Multitasking — the simultaneous execution of two or more behaviors by a single agent — may at times seem effortless and safe, such as walking and talking, or challenging and potentially fatal, such as driving and texting. Performance differences between different multitasking contexts are likely reflected in the cognitive demands of the constituent behaviors, yet the neural substrates that facilitate or constrain multitasking remain unknown.

Humanizing biology to promote equitable classrooms

Recent innovations in biology education research focus on promoting equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by humanizing biology. Research from my lab on this topic can be split into two broad avenues of inquiry, including the impacts of (1) promoting counter-stereotypical role models on student outcomes and (2) contextualizing societal and ethical considerations into biology curricula with ideological awareness.

"Oh, that makes sense!": Metacognitive Regulation in Individual and Collaborative Problem-Solving

Stronger metacognition, or knowledge and regulation of thinking, is linked to increased learning, problem solving, and academic achievement. Metacognition has primarily been studied using retrospective methods, but these methods limit access to students’ in-the-moment thoughts and actions. Using in-the-moment methods of think aloud interviews and discourse analysis, we investigated first year life science students’ individual metacognition while they solved challenging problems and upper-division biology students’ social metacognition during small-group problem solving.

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