Annika received her undergraduate biology degree from Hendricks College in Arkansas before coming to the University of Minnesota to pursue a graduate degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. Interested in speciation, she studied the relationship between a group of fig plants with their wasp pollinators with George Weiblen in Papua New Guinea. Annika continued to study speciation—this time looking at the aphids, in a postdoctoral position at Syracuse University.
In addition to speciation research, Annika is also interested in science education. As HHMI posdoctoral teaching fellow, she has had the opportunity to pursue both of these interests.
Annika is working on an authentic research experience called Citizen Science in the Classroom. Designed for non-major students, it uses data from Craig Packer's Snapshot Serengeti project. Craig's project generates millions of images of Serengeti wildlife as they trip heat- and motion-activated cameras set up throughout Serengeti National Park. The photos are put on the Zooinverse website where 'citizen scientists' view them and help classify them. Students will use these images to research an ecological concept related to Serengeti wildlife.
This authentic research experience will be piloted in the fall of 2013, and the hope is to have it fully implemented into BIOL 1001 Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives and BIOL 1055 Our Global Environment: Science and Solution by the spring of 2014.
While Annika is working hard on her authentic research project, she also has found time to continue research speciation. She is currently studying speciation in two flowers of the Clarkia genus with her research mentor, Dave Moeller.
Annika's long-term goal is to teach at science at a college or university in the area, where she can continue to educate undergraduates by engaging them in research.
Teaching Mentor: Craig Packer
Research Mentor: Dave Moeller