Here are the topics I suggest that you read up on to prepare for your exams.
· Peppered Moths or Bombardier Beetles. Evaluate the status of either or both of these prominent stories, including recent findings. This includes both primary scientific literature, popular writing, and creationist screeds. The goal here is to bolster your content knowledge in a specific area or two, and achieve a very deep understanding that will help you understand how complicated systems evolve and how the public perceives them.
· Misconceptions. Some educators feel that identifying misconceptions and dealing with them directly can be one of the most powerful ways to improve teaching. Read up on this idea and critically evaluate it. Here are some fairly haphazard references that might be a good place for you to start your reading, but explore well beyond these specific articles. Think about both misconceptions in your areas of interest, and the utility of the general topic of misconceptions as a way to organize education and communication.
o Stamp, N., et al. (2006). "Ecological misconceptions, Survey III: the challenge of identifying sophisticated understanding." Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 87(2): 168-175.
o Nehm, R. H. and L. Reilly (2007). "Biology Majors' Knowledge and Misconceptions of Natural Selection." BioScience 57(3): 263-272.
· Current literature in your field. Read the titles and some abstracts of current issues (through the last year or two) of journals in your fields. To my mind your topics include Education, Evolution, and Scientific communication. But you know better than me - read widely in areas that are related to your research! In particular, Look at the last few years (at least) of articles in these journals
o Evolution: Education and Outreach
o American Naturalist
For these journals, you should read all titles and most abstracts from at least 2014 to the present. You will probably find some articles you feel compelled to read as well. But if you find a better journal, or prefer a smorgasbord, that's ok too. In general, be prepared to provide a summary/criticism/evaluation of the state of the literature on this topic and/or on the topic of your research..
· Keep up with the hot topics in the broader literature. This is a degree in Integrated Bioscience, and it is important that you have at least some awareness of the breadth and depth of science beyond just biology and your thesis topic. You can’t know everything, but you can be aware of a lot, and from that awareness can come new ideas, combinations, and inspiration.
o Browse Science and Nature each week from now until the exam.
o Skim popular science magazines and investigate items of interest