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Society for Developmental Biology

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The Society for Developmental Biology (SDB), founded in 1939, promotes the field of developmental biology by fostering excellence in research and education, providing advice and resources on careers and providing information for the public on relevant topics in developmental biology.


Yolanda Cruz
Editor Degrees: 

B.S., University of the Philippines

M.S., University of the Philippines      

Ph.D., University of California

About Teaching and Course Source: 

In my 27 years at Oberlin College, I have taught at all levels of the biology curriculum, including general biology, cell biology, developmental biology, epigenetics and bioethics. I have also personally trained over 100 undergraduates in research, some of whom have been my co-authors on peer-reviewed publications. My goal is to teach the subject matter, but also to teach students how to train themselves to learn.  I emphasize organization and context while being mindful of how different students learn and what techniques work best both inside and outside of contact hours, in the classroom or in the lab. I have received several teaching awards at Oberlin College, including one in 2013 for “Sustained Excellence in Mentorship and Teaching.” In the same year, I was selected by Princeton Review as one of the US’s “Three Hundred Best Professors” (

William J. Anderson
Editor Degrees: 

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Harvard University 

B.A. and M.S. in Biology, Rutgers University

About Teaching and Course Source: 

I have taught at the undergraduate and graduate level at Rutgers University, Swarthmore College, and Harvard University. I am lucky to have had many excellent teachers mold me through the years. Teaching is a privilege and so I try to practice teaching the most effective way I can so as to optimize student learning. I enjoy designing curricula that train students to learn science by doing science, both in terms of hands-on research activities and courses that emphasize formulating research questions, critical analysis of data, and drawing meaningful conclusions. 

I was part of a cohort from the Society for Developmental Biology that helped develop the learning framework for the developmental biology course. In learning about the goals of CourseSource, I immediately became deeply interested. It is an invaluable journal for teaching, with resources archived and cataloged in a variety of useful ways, most notably by learning goals established by scientific societies. I like the level of detail provided in each article that really helps to ensure others can replicate the activity. As a contributing author, I also greatly appreciate the thoughtfulness and positivity of the editors and reviewers. I want to pay it forward and help others to share their classroom creativity with colleagues.

Mary S. Tyler
Editor Degrees: 

Ph.D. in Zoology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

M.S. in Zoology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

B.A. in Biology, Swarthmore College

About Teaching and Course Source: 

I have been enjoying teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels for the past 40+ years. My educational philosophy includes two cardinal rules: you must do science to learn science; and study your organism—it is telling you something—listen. In support of this philosophy, I have created and published a number of educational materials for introductory biology and developmental biology courses, focusing on inquiry-based labs. I also spearheaded the transformation of my department’s large introductory biology laboratories from a traditional to an inquiry-based format. My research and educational work has been funded through NIH and NSF, and I have received several awards, including the UMaine Distinguished Professor Award, Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize from the Society for Developmental Biology.

At a time when science is becoming ever more critical for solving global problems, it is imperative that students learn science as a process and understand its possibilities by participating in it as scientists. Inquiry-based labs are an essential element in this goal. However, I have been witnessing a dangerous trend lately of eliminating labs to save money. As educators, we must fight this. CourseSource is an ideal tool to help in that fight. By providing inquiry-based learning materials for lecture and lab, it is a valuable resource that our educational community needs to help us train students as scientists, and I am excited to be part of this effort.


Announcements and opprotunities from the Society for Developmental Biology will be here.