Undergraduate Research and Education

The Forbes Lab is committed to undergraduate student success, including by training student researchers and promoting active learning.

If you are an undergraduate student looking for research opportunities, feel free to contact Dr. Forbes directly. In general, we look for students with one or more of the following traits: 1) a strong interest in evolution, 2) a love of nature (especially insects), 3) experience in - or a desire to learn - taxonomy, bioinformatics, population genetics and/or phylogenetics. Most of our students are University of Iowa Biology or Environmental Science students, but we also often have summer REU opportunities available, including through University of Iowa's Interdisciplinary Evolutionary Science REU program (please inquire!). 

In addition to involving students in our lab's research aims through independent research experiences, we are interested in exploring new ways to teach effectively in undergraduate courses. We (Dr. Forbes, postdocs and graduate students) design and teach active-learning style courses at the University of Iowa that utilize TILE classrooms. A short video explaining TILE classrooms (and featuring Dr. Forbes!) can be seen hereWe try to emphasize foundational concepts over memorization of facts, and encourage students to take a stronger role in their own learning. Because innovation in teaching does not automatically translate into successful teaching, we are also interested in assessing our teaching strategies.

Forbes lab PhD student Gaby Hamerlinck (standing) working with students in a UI TILE classroom
Forbes lab PhD student Gaby Hamerlinck (standing) working with students in a UI TILE classroom