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Awards & Recognition


J. Phil Gibson
Department of Biology and Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology
University of Oklahoma


We are a recipient of a 2004 National Dissemination grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education and has been cited as a source for model case studies by the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science



Keywords: 2004 National Dissemination grant, National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education, NSF, National Science Digital Library, NSDL, American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS, National Research Council, NRC, Biology2010
Topical Area: web20
Educational Level: web20
Formats: web20
Type/Method: web20
Language: web20
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Botany / Plant Science   Ecology   Evolutionary Biology   Genetics / Heredity  
Date Posted: 3/5/2010
Date Modified:
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes

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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

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The following video(s) are recommended for use in association with this case study.

  Don’t Eat the Plants
This video shows actual examples of adaptations against herbivory in different plants growing at the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden. The video is particularly useful in that it provides specific examples of defenses in plants with which students are likely to be familiar. Running time: 6:35 min. Produced by Cambridge University. Uploaded to YouTube May 19, 2011.

  Mediterranean Vegetation—How Plants Survive
This excerpt from the Kingdom of Plants, a natural history documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, provides a brief overview of the important abiotic features of the Mediterranean region, which is the native habitat of thyme, the focal species of the case study. Students should watch this video to learn about abiotic and biotic forces in the environment that can influence plant adaptations. Running time: 2:12 min. Produced by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 2012.

  Plant Defenses Against Herbivory
This video, created by the author of this case study, examines the ecological niche plants fill as producers and then describes different categories of defenses that plants utilize against herbivores. Students should be advised to take notes from the video, specifically regarding the different physical and chemical defense strategies plants use. Running time: 8:01 min. Created by Phil J. Gibson for the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, 2015.

  Solving Genetics Problems
This optional video provides an overview of how to calculate probabilities in monohybrid, dihybrid, and trihybrid crosses (note however that detailed knowledge of inheritance is not essential to completing the case study). Running time: 13:35 min. Produced by ThePenguinProf, 2012.

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