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After graduating from the Department of Biology at New Mexico State University with a Ph.D. in theoretical biology in 2006, I have held three postdoctoral positions: (1) A postdoctoral fellowship with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, Ontario. (2) A postdoctoral fellowship with the Antiviral Research Center at the University of California, San Diego. (3) A postdoctoral fellowship with the Energy Research Laboratory at New Mexico State University. My most recent employment includes tutoring high school students in science and math in Santa Fe, New Mexico, teaching mathematics at New Mexico State University, a research assistant professor at Arizona State University's Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center, (MCMSC) and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics at New Mexico State University, where I taught college algebra and calculus.
Through my previous college and work experience, I have developed a strong understanding of the role that statistical and mathematical analysis plays in enabling one to find optimal solutions to problems in ecology and evolutionary biology.
For example, I have expertise in building discrete-time models, continuous-time differential equation models and spatial-temporal models and am well versed in the use of univariate and multivariate techniques in statistical analysis. In addition, I have a strong background in the application of regression analysis, permutation techniques, e.g. bootstrapping and Monte Carlo analysis, and time-series analysis to scientific problems. I am also well versed in the use of stochastic models in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Due to my extensive knowledge of, and experience with, multiple disciplines within biology, particularly with the application of qualitative and quantitative techniques to several problems in field and laboratory ecology and evolutionary biology, I would make an ideal candidate tutoring.
I am a theoretical biologist interested in population and community dynamics. My research areas encompass: (1) Developing statistical and mathematical models for estimating organismal occupancy, abundance, and density. ( 2) The temporal and spatio-temporal dynamics of nonlinear ecological systems for multitrophic interactions (predator-prey, host-parasite, and mutualist-host), particularly statistical and mathematical approaches to scale-up systems from small, individual, levels to population levels. (3) The response of nonlinear ecological systems to environmental variability and the application of nonlinear time series analysis to identify key environmental drivers and the response of individuals, populations and communities to these drivers. In particular, the nonlinear dynamics of bacterial, algal and fungal populations, diapausing insect populations, and arthropod-borne viruses to climate change, including aspects of evolutionary change in population and community structure. I am also interested in the nonlinear dynamics of infectious diseases in response to environmental variability. The main disease I have studied is influenza (H5N1 avian influenza), but work is also underway on the Dengue virus and HIV. (4) The relationship between structure and dynamics in large networks of ecological interactions (consumer-resource, mutualistic, and parasitic links).
Since obtaining my PhD in theoretical biology in 2006, I have had held three postdoctoral fellowships, and taught undergraduate and graduate level courses during each of these fellowships. In addition, I have taught college level courses as a College Professor (New Mexico State University), Assistant Research Professor (Arizona State University), and as a Visiting Assistant Professor (New Mexico State University. In addition to having taught undergraduate algebra and calculus at these institutions, I have also taught probability and statistics, and theoretical biology at the undergraduate and graduate level.
As a result of my experiences as an academic, I believe that a strong understanding of the ‘scientific method’ must play an important role in undergraduate and graduate education. One of a student’s first tasks in becoming a scientist is to understand how to properly construct hypotheses and test theories.
As a teacher and researcher in academia, I have found that the future scientists of today lack a solid grasp of how to apply the scientific method to test the kinds of questions they want to address. What I have found to be frustrating is that the student’s I have taught are not aware of the fact that scientific theories can only be falsified and are never 'proved' or 'disproved'. I believe that this misunderstanding stems from the fact that most science departments do not require an extensive discourse in the philosophy of science at either the undergraduate or graduate level. In order to convey to students how the scientific process works, it is critical that they have this knowledge at their disposal.
My minor as an undergraduate student at Colorado State University was anthropology. I took approximately 30 credits in cultural anthropology and archaeology, receiving an A in each class. In addition, I participated in a two month archaeology dig in the Badlands of South Dakota in the summer of 1993.
As a tutor, I have a breadth of knowledge related to anthropology, and would be able to convey this knowledge to a potential student who is interested in the subject.
Through my previous college and work experience, I have developed a strong understanding of the role that biostatistics plays in enabling one to find solutions to problems in ecology and evolutionary biology. I have taught undergraduate and graduate level biostatistics as an Assistant Research Professor at Arizona State University. In addition, my PhD dissertation and subsequent research as a Postdoctoral Fellow utilized the tools of biostatistics to understand mechanisms responsible for species extinction, HIV ecology, and how scientists can extract biofuel from algae.
I completed two semesters of differential equations and nonlinear dynamics with an A grade. I have written several peer-reviewed papers in excellent scientific journals that are based on models that utilize differential equations.
Given my background, I feel I can convey to a potential student the necessary skills to be successful in using differential equations inside and outside the classroom.
In my years as a teacher of mathematics I have come to find that discrete mathematics allows students to explore non-trivial "real world" problems, as opposed to other, more abstract fields of mathematics. As a scientist, I have used discrete mathematics to explore questions in theoretical biology (e.g. modelling patterns of species extinction). As a tutor, I believe I can use these real-world experiences to motivate and perpetuate a better understanding of this field of mathematics.
I have written several peer-reviewed paper on the subject of ecology that have been published in excellent journals. My main areas of focus have been understanding what causes species extinction, the spread of invasive species, the dynamics of predator-prey interactions, and several papers on the ecology of diseases ranging from HIV to Influenza. I have a Masters and PhD in ecology/theoretical biology, and the know the subject well.
As a PhD student, I taught introductory genetics to undergraduate students. As a scientist, I have utilized the tools of population genetics to understand the effects of metapopulation dynamics on species interactions and HIV ecology. Moreover, throughout my post-PhD career, I have collaborated with several scientists to understand virus phylogenetics, and how ecology shapes genetic patterns in nature.
I have used Matlab throughout my undergraduate and graduate education. In addition, I have used it extensively in my career as a professional scientist in academia and in the private sector. As a theoretical biologist, Matlab has been an ideal tool for developing and analyzing simple and complex statistical and mathematical models, both at the qualitative and quantitative level. For example, I have used Matlab to publish research based on the generation and analysis of mathematical models that explore patterns of species extinction, and to publish research based on a metapopulation model for predator-prey interactions.
I took two semesters of organic chemistry as an undergraduate student at Colorado State University, and received an A in both.
I have worked with sociologists as part of my Post-PhD research. This work extends from understanding the sociological ramifications of invasive species (work done at the University of Guelph), to understanding how HIV spreads through populations as a function of socioeconomic status (work done at the Antiviral Research Center). Lastly, I recently worked with a sociologist to publish a paper about the spread of religion on the internet, and its consequences for the social structure of internet-based religion.
Through my previous college and work experience, I have developed a strong understanding of the role that excellent writing skills play in enabling one to articulate complex information related to problems in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Due to my extensive knowledge of, and experience with, multiple disciplines within biology, particularly with the application of qualitative and quantitative techniques to several problems in field and laboratory ecology and evolutionary biology, I have published several peer-reviewed papers in highly rated scientific journals. I believe these qualifications make me an ideal candidate to tutor students writing about any subject.
While pursuing my PhD, I taught introductory zoology to undergraduate students. As a scientist I have studied how bird and swine ecology affects the spread of influenza (H5N1 avian influenza) in Africa. In addition, I have studied extensively, the relationship between structure and dynamics in large networks of interacting animals, including consumer-resource, mutualistic, and parasitic interactions.
Best tutor I have met of all time. — Absolutely an outstanding tutor, Michael was patient, reachable by phone and email at all times, and did great work. I will definitely recommend him to everyone and request more tutoring sessions in the coming weeks. ...
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