J Microbiol Biol Educ. 2016 May; 17(2): 252–260.
Published online 2016 May 4. doi: 10.1128/jmbe.v17i2.988
Evolution across the Curriculum: Microbiology
Alita R. Burmeister1,2,3,* and James J. Smith2,3,4,5,6
1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
2Program in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
3BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
4Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48825
5Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
6Department of Integrative Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
*Corresponding author. Mailing address: 567 Wilson Road, 6176, East Lansing, MI 48824. Phone: 517-884-5396. E-mail: ude.usm@atila.
An integrated understanding of microbiology and evolutionary biology is essential for students pursuing careers in microbiology and healthcare fields. In this Perspective, we discuss the usefulness of evolutionary concepts and an overall evolutionary framework for students enrolled in microbiology courses. Further, we propose a set of learning goals for students studying microbial evolution concepts. We then describe some barriers to microbial evolution teaching and learning and encourage the continued incorporation of evidence-based teaching practices into microbiology courses at all levels. Next, we review the current status of microbial evolution assessment tools and describe some education resources available for teaching microbial evolution. Successful microbial evolution education will require that evolution be taught across the undergraduate biology curriculum, with a continued focus on applications and applied careers, while aligning with national biology education reform initiatives.
Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
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