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Think and Do The Extraordinary
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Erin McKenney

Assistant Professor

Director – Undergraduate Programs

DCL 126



Ph.D., Duke University
M.S., North Carolina State University

Teaching Statement

Download Erin’s philosophy here.

Research Interests

My research incorporates microbial ecology, nutrition, and comparative gut morphology to investigate novel questions using perfect, unusual systems. For over a decade I have investigated evolutionary adaptation across scales and species, between non-human primates and rogue (herbivorous) carnivores and their gut microbes.  More recently, I have engaged the public, particularly students, to study the microbes in sourdough starters and other fermented foods.

In the classroom, I cultivate critical thinking through active learning. Millennial students are not limited by access to content; I focus, instead, on practicing current techniques to collect and analyze novel datasets. By designing my courses around authentic research experiences, I encourage student autonomy and foster practicing scientists. 


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