Teaching

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I teach basic and advanced courses on evolutionary biology and genetics at Ashoka University. I am also designing diverse teaching modules on evolution, animal behavior and bio-statistics as part of a course on introductory biology for incoming students. This will cover broad concepts rather than the details of each topic. In addition, I am developing an advanced course on evolutionary immunology for graduate students to encourage ecological and evolutionary thinking while addressing biology of disease and infection.

For liberal arts students, I will be happy to present a broad conceptual and historical introduction to scientific theories of evolution and their relevance in the wider culture and philosophical context. Evolutionary biology is one discipline that actually straddles the domains of science and humanities easily: it is an explicitly historical subject and often has to grapple with the challenge of having to derive logical inferences from natural experiments (what actually happened) without the luxury of replication, as is the case in history. Also, principles of ecology and evolution give a very different perspective on issues like rise and fall of societies and empires, cultural evolution, gene-culture co-evolution (e.g. yam farming-malaria-sickle cell; lactose tolerance-cattle herding), evolution of sociality, nepotism, despotism vs egalitarian animal societies (socio-ecological theory), evolutionary psychology as well as Darwinian medicine. I hope to discuss them by reviewing key texts, re-analyzing key debates and through separate classrooms presentations.