A) Course organizer: designed and presented a course for graduate students

2016 – 2017: “Ecology of Atlantic Forest”, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

During four weeks, grad students are trained by a diverse group of researchers with the fundamentals of the scientific method applied to ecological questions, in a course divided into three phases. The first phase consists of short workshops on the basics of the scientific method, sampling design, statistical analyses and scientific writing that provide the foundations that all other activities rely on, in a combination of lectures, exercises, and practice lessons in the field. Although some students are familiar with the concepts presented in the workshops, their goal is to equalize and provide the basic tool package that the students will use and practice over and over again in the following activities.

In the second phase, the students are teamed in groups and conduct 2-day long projects. They are mentored by more experienced scientists, who present a particular problem to them and lead the group discussion until they formalize a working hypothesis. They conduct fieldwork, analyze the data, and discuss the results in the light of their a priori hypotheses, generating a scientific report and a 12-15 minutes talk about their project. After each presentation, other students and mentors inquiry about the project, promoting additional discussion on the work conducted. These activities are repeated four times, so that each student conducts research with different organisms, questions, and team members, and presents once. Each report is reviewed by two researchers, who provide constructive feedback to the authors for revision.

In the third phase, each student conducts independent individual final projects. Because they can dedicate up to four days to collect data, they are expected to conduct more elaborate projects. We promote meetings between each student and the more experienced scientists to discuss the idea and its implementation. At the end, each student writes a report the project, which is again peer-reviewed, and they all present their project in a symposium to communicate their findings to the other students. Due to the great diversity of researchers that serve as mentors, this intensive field course offers training for theoretical, empirical and analytical questions in different areas of ecology, promoting the application of the scientific method into practice. In fact, students commonly evaluate this course as a turning point in their career, when they learn for the first time how to systematically organize their ideas, establish clear objectives, manage their research, and think critically beyond their field.

2015: “Behavioral Ecology”, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

Cross-departmental graduate course, where students in Ecology, Forestry, Veterinary, and Zoology were taught the conceptual, empirical and theoretical foundations of animal behavior, in a mixture of lectures and practice lessons. We used an evolutionary approach to present general principles in each topic of animal behavior, instead of a collection of examples. Moreover, the practice lessons aimed to promote the students’ engagement, when they always had to collect some data and interpret their results in the light of what they have learned. Following the format of the field course described above, we also taught the students the basics of the scientific method and sampling design, and intensively discussed their ideas for a behavioral ecology project, which they put in practice collecting data for two weeks. They were evaluated based on their performance on short tests applied at the end of each lecture, discussion reports applied at the end of each practice lesson, two exams, and the individual project.


B) Workshop organizer: design and presented a short-term course for undergraduate students

2015: “Bibliographic Search Engines”, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

2015: “Topics in Statistics for Ecologists”, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

2008: Sex war: a sexual selection and parental care approach”, Universidade Federal de Goiás (Brazil)


C) Instructor in graduate field-course: mentored, discussed projects, and reviewed projects and essays

2015: “Ecology of Amazon Forest”, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (Brazil)

2008 to 2012, 2015: “Ecology of Atlantic Forest”, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)


D) Guest lecturer on population ecology, behavioral ecology and philosophy of science

2015: Graduate course “Evolutionary Ecology”, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

2015: Graduate course “Population Ecology”, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

2013: Undergraduate course “Animal Behavior”, Yale University (USA)

2013: Undergraduate course “School of International Training”, Barro Colorado Island (Panama)

2008 & 2009: Undergraduate course “Plant Ecology”, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

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