The first of the Teaching Tools Competition winning entries has been published. The latest in this series, “Rhythms of Life: The Plant Circadian Clock” was written by Katharine Hubbard (Lecturer in Biological Science, University of Hull) and Antony Dodd (Royal Society University Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer, University of Bristol).
This teaching tool explores circadian rhythms in plants. The topic is presented as a series of concepts illustrated by examples, including the architecture of circadian clocks and the connections between the oscillator and circadian-regulated processes such as metabolism and flowering. The Teaching Tool introduces some of the techniques used to investigate circadian biology and explores how understanding circadian rhythms could lead to crop improvement.
Importantly, to bring this topic to life for inexperienced students, they
“do not describe each component of the circadian oscillator; there are so many genes and mechanisms involved that this resource would become unintelligible and not be useful to an undergraduate audience. Instead, we consider it more important to think in terms of the overall organization and principles, rather
than becoming lost in the details of individual components.”
(I suspect that undergraduates are not the only scientists who will appreciate this approach!)
Although entirely prepared by Drs. Hubbard and Dodd, this Teaching Tool fits seemlessly into this ongoing series, and includes a set of PowerPoint slides, and Abridged set of slides that cover just the key ideas, a review-style article appropriate for undergraduates, and a Teaching Guide that features a shorter overview of the topic, a concept guide and suggestions and links for student engagement.
Thanks again to Katharine and Ant for creating this outstanding and timely teaching resource to the plant science community!
Are you interested in creating a Teaching Tool resources? Submissions are welcomed at any time, contact Mary Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details. We’ve added another cycle to the Teaching Tools compeition; pre-proposals submitted by August 31, 2016 will be considered. More info here.