MicrobialEvolution.org is a Go!

Today – Darwin’s 204th birthday – we are happy to “launch” in a more public way MicrobialEvolution.org.  Thanks to the excellent work of Chris Engles, the site has been up and running, and I have finally managed to take the time to gather enough material from pestering a few colleagues that the point of the site will hopefully be somewhat clear.  We have recently added some new syllabi (from Jonathan ArnoldJohn McCutcheonPaul Turner, and Joshua Weitz) and a project designed by Joshua to use a models to study population dynamics that ensue due to CRISPR-mediated host-phage interactions.  We have also begun to expand our list of “Investigators” that we hope will give interested students (and PIs) a clearer view of who is in the field.  If you are missing please let us know; we have only made it part way through our list from an initial brainstorming.  So I hope you enjoy seeing what your other colleagues have put into place, and please consider sharing some of your own.  Cheers,

Starting MicrobialEvolution.org

Welcome. Thanks to the excellent work of the site’s web master, Chris Engles, we now have a functional structure in place to begin hosting resources and discussions related to teaching in microbial evolution. As we state on our ‘About’ page, a few of us realized that we were all grasping for materials to be used for teaching in our field, and have thus each invented the wheel in terms of courses covering the intersection of microbiology and evolution.

As of today, I have posted some of my own information as a test case, Ben and Vaughn will soon do the same, and then we’ll begin reaching out to ever larger communities of researchers to add more and more. If you are an educator and would like to contribute, please go to our ‘Submit Material’ page. Or if you simply have ideas and comments upon what we have started please go to our soon-to-be-added category, ‘Feedback/contact’.

As for this aspect of the page, our blog, we hope to use it in two ways. One will be for myself, Ben or Vaughn to broadcast news re: the site itself. Second, we are going to try to round-up some reflections from some of our colleagues/students about how they came into this field, how they developed their courses, where they feel the content and resources of microbial evolution courses should be going, etc. So stay tuned, hopefully we can move in this direction early in the new year.

In the meantime, I’ll simply say that as much as I love teaching I am very relieved that my own teaching of Microbial Evolution day and night (literally, a daytime Harvard course and one through our Extension School) has come to the end of term and my grades are all submitted. I hope that those of you who also just finished teaching or taking classes have a well-deserved break, and happy holidays to all. Cheers!

(On behalf of MicrobialEvolution.org founders: Christopher Marx, Ben Kerr, Vaughn Cooper)