If your college or university has participated in the SEA-PHAGES program, you can use the SEA Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (SEA CURE) pre-course and post-course surveys to assess student learning outcomes.
The surveys, created by SEA-PHAGES assessment expert David Lopatto, can be found at:
Other assessment activities may include grades in the lecture portion of the corresponding course (e.g., general biology) and retention of students in science.
Students acquire early, meaningful research experiences that make them feel a part of the scientific community. They are more productive, competitive, and prepared for advanced research opportunities and graduate school later in their undergraduate careers.
To date, of the mycobacteriophage genome submissions on GenBank, 87% are from the SEA-PHAGES project. New clusters of phages that infect M. smegmatis have been discovered, which helps scientists begin to understand the diversity of one of the most populous organisms on the planet. Phage genomes are a rich source of novel genes that could be useful to advances in biotechnology and medicine.
List of Student Publications
Mageeney C, Pope WH, Harrison M, Moran D, Cross T, Jacobs-Sera D, Hendrix RW, Dunbar D, Hatfull GF. (2012) Mycobacteriophage Marvin: a New Singleton Phage with an Unusual Genome Organization, J. Virol, 86(9):4762. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00075-12
Harrison M, Dunbar D, Ratmansky L, Boyd K, Lopatto D. Classroom-Based Science Research at the Introductory Level: Changes in Career Choices and Attitude, (2011) CBE—Life Sciences Education, 10: 279-286, doi:10.1187/cbe.10-12-0151
Pope WH, Ferreira CM, Jacobs-Sera D, Benjamin RC, Davis AJ, et al. (2011) Cluster K Mycobacteriophages: Insights into the Evolutionary Origins of Mycobacteriophage TM4. PLoS ONE 6(10): e26750. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026750
Pope WH, Jacobs-Sera D, Russell DA, Peebles CL, Al-Atrache Z, et al. (2011) Expanding the Diversity of Mycobacteriophages: Insights into Genome Architecture and Evolution. PLoS ONE 6(1): e16329. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016329
Temple L, Cresawn S, Monroe J. Genomics and Bioinformatics in Undergraduate Curricula: Contexts for Hybrid Laboratory/Lecture Courses for Entering and Advanced Science Students. (2010) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 38(1): 23–28. doi:10.1002/bmb.20359
Caruso S, Sandoz J, Kelsey J. Non-STEM Undergraduates Become Enthusiastic Phage-Hunters. (2009) CBE—Life Sciences Education, 8: 278–282. doi:10.1187/cbe.09–07–0052
"When I take a moment to pause and think, about Phage Hunting and life in general, I find myself amazed. I’ve only been on this earth for eighteen short years, and yet I’m doing actual research." Allyson Roberts, Johns Hopkins University