Phylogenomics: This is a new course that is planned for Spring 2014, through the Dept. of Biology. The course is for upper-level undergrads and graduate students. The course is being taught with Emily Sessa and Jesse Breinholt.
Phylogenetic Systematics Seminar (BOT6935/0332): The goal of this 1-credit seminar is to engage faculty and students and discuss recent papers in systematics/evolutionary biology. Faculty affiliated with the course come from a diverse background, a the format of the course includes the discussion of current papers of high interest/impact (e.g., Nature, Science, PNAS), papers on previously chosen topics (e.g., phylogeography; large phylogenetic trees; phylogenetics and climate change; systematics and conservation), or short research presentations by students. Additional information on the course can be found here.
Invertebrate Field Biology (ENY3163/5164): This 3-credit course is offered during Summer Session B, through the Dept. of Entomology and Nematology. The course is for both undergrads and grad students, and focused on learning the invertebrate diversity of Florida. We will have many fun field trips to different collecting localities during the course. We will end the course by learning the marine inverts on a boat at Cedar Key. Click here for the 2012 course flier.
Spider Biology (ENY4905/ZOO4926): This 2-credit course was offered Fall, 2013, through the Dept. of Biology and Dept. of Entomology and Nematology. The course is for undergrads only, but if there are grad students interested, they should contact me. The class was focused on learning the everything about spiders. We will covered functional anatomy, senses and perception, behavior, webs, classification, relationships, and ecology. This class is planned to be offered again in Fall 2015.
Additional courses will be listed as they become available.
As part of the FLMNH and McGuire Center, outreach in the Kawahara Lab focuses primarily on educating the general public about the importance of natural history.
An area of interest has been to educate the American public about entomology. Insects are adored in Japan, and often kept as pets in people’s homes. Insects are sold as pets in Japanese department stores, and some beetle pets have sold for more than $90,000. There are also videogames that are based on insects. Some are on fighting stag beetles, and others are on collecting insects and studying them.
In order to get the word out to the American public, we have published papers on the importance of insect collecting and natural history education (e.g., Kawahara, 2007; Kawahara and Pyle, 2012).
The paper was based on a talk that was given at the Smithsonian Institution, University of Alberta, University of Maryland, and the ESA annual meeting. The talk focuses on how we need to change the misconceptions made by the public that frequently surround insects.
With a goal to change such beliefs in our country, we teamed with film director Jessica Oreck in New York and co-produced a documentary called Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo. The film debuted at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas, won the prestigious Special Documentary Prize at the Cinevegas film festival in Las Vegas, and the Cinema Eye Spotlight Award in New York City. For a YouTube trailer of the film click here.
Our lab also conducts citizen science projects to include local residents in our research. Click here for details on current citizen science projects.