Biology is memorizing terms, dissecting animals, and analyzing abstract concepts. Sound familiar? If so, you are like the majority of individuals outside the sciences when considering biology. Not without reason—research suggests that an introductory biology class has more vocabulary than a first semester language class. However, a working knowledge of biology is increasingly critical as we as a society grapple with big questions regarding topics such as ethics and regulation of genetic technology, conservation, and health. This book is intended to bridge the gap between traditional biology classes and the practical biology knowledge needed in the real world. In each chapter, a different biological concept is examined and related to some real-world issue or experience in an effort to demonstrate why the science of life matters to your everyday experience. The content includes subjects typically covered in an introductory biology class like ecology and genetics, and also unique interdisciplinary topics such as the relationship between arts and biology. This book is specifically designed either for those who already love biology and biology education, or for those who have had prior poor experiences with biology learning and are willing to give it another try. Where have you experienced biology today? Dive in and take a look. What you find may surprise you!
Melanie earned both her undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She graduated cum laude with her B.S. in molecular biology (concentration in cell and developmental biology) in 2009. As an undergraduate, she worked with Dr. Beth Roman on vascular development in zebrafish. In 2014, Melanie graduated with her Ph.D. in molecular biology. She completed her doctoral training in just shy of four years and worked with Dr. Don DeFranco studying the impact of synthetic glucocorticoids on neural stem/progenitor cells on the developing brain.