Instructor Spotlight: Nick Dorian
Nick Dorian (he/him) is a doctoral student and researcher in the Biology department at Tufts, and one of the ExCollege's Robyn Gittleman Graduate Teaching Fellows. He is all about bees. He is teaching EXP-0026: Bees: Ecology & Conservation at the ExCollege this semester, wherein students study the diversity, ecology, and conservation of bees through a mix of field work, in-class discussions, and student presentations. His course is for both scientists and non-scientists, and it explores bees in myriad ways, including science, economics, food systems, society, and sustainability.
What inspired you to teach this topic at the ExCollege?
Honey bees are the face of the "Save the bees!" campaign, but most people don’t know that honey bees are not and have never been threatened with extinction. I was inspired to teach students about all the other 4000 species of bees that live in North America. These other bees are pollinators of important crops like alfalfa and tomatoes, but are threatened by habitat loss and pesticides. Now, more than ever, wild bees deserve our attention.
What is one thing you hope students take away from your class?
Most bees don’t live in hives! Over 70% of the 4000 species of wild bees in North America are solitary, meaning each nest is built by just one female. She does all the foraging, egg laying, and guarding by herself. She is her own queen.
What song would play when you walk into a room?
Walden Pond by Atta Boy.
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