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Lessons offered by Erin
  • Individual
The lessons will be held
Taught subjects
  • Biology
  • Genetics
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular biology
  • Botany
  • All Levels

I add the knowledge and inspiration for your success! Focused on Biology and based in Christchurch


My teaching method is interactive and discussion based with a focus on building creative thinking and problem solving skills. I also work to navigate testing anxiety and related challenges that can impact performance. I used evidence-based methods that have demonstrated benefits for learners including techniques like flipped-classroom and enquiry-based learning.


With a PhD in Agricultural Ecology I have a long history of education on scientific subjects. Throughout my education I have been passionate about mentorship and teaching and invested in learning pedagogies to improve student experience and outcomes. I am passionate about the subject material and seek to inspire that in my students.


Rate for online lessons : $14/h
Lessons offered by Erin
The lessons will be held
At the tutor's house
Taught subjects
  • Biology
  • Genetics
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular biology
  • Botany
  • All Levels

Erin's CV

SUMMARY: Passionate agro-ecology scholar with five years of experience teaching, mentoring and advising both graduate and undergraduate students at UC Davis, USA and a masters student at The University of Queensland, Australia. Experienced in developing, implementing and assessing curriculum with faculty for program development. A well-rounded researcher and practitioner with over 7 years of experience in on risk and trade-off analyses, bridging components of ecological food systems including agronomy, plant breeding, farming systems modeling, human nutrition, conservation ecology, marketing and policy analysis.


Doctor of Philosophy in Evolution and Ecology with Emphasis in Agroecology and Plant Breeding
University of California Davis, September 2016
Master of Science in International Agricultural Development
University of California Davis, May 2013
Bachelor of Arts in Biology with Emphasis in Ecology
Reed College, Portland Oregon, May 2010
Education Abroad with Emphasis in Conservation Biology
Organization of Tropical Studies South Africa, Duke University Extension, Fall 2008


IAD Course Developer, Measuring Development (IAD 103), IAD Program, UC Davis (December 2014)
Collaborating staff member: Theresa Costa
● Initiated the creation and incorporation of IAD 103 into the IAD curriculum
● Led curriculum design and introduced a focus on methods and indexes for measuring development
● Independently designed, managed and implemented course materials using SmartSite

Teaching Assistant, Introduction to International Agricultural Development (IAD 010), IAD Undergraduate Program, UC Davis (January - March 2013)
Instructor of Record: Amanda Crump and Patrick Brown
● Co-created curriculum, led weekly 1-hour discussions, lectured components of 3-hour weekly lectures
● Developed classroom based activities and group assessments and graded 33 students
● Provided up to 2 hours of individual support including mentoring and advising to each undergraduate student each week
● Evaluated student project proposals and final papers, book reports, personal reflections and oral group finals

Teaching Assistant, Program Development for International Agriculture (IAD 170), IAD Master’s Program, UC Davis (March - May 2012)
Instructor of Record: David Miller
● Co-created course curriculum with faculty and staff in the Department of Plant Sciences
● Designed, implemented and selected reading materials for course.
● Managed assignments submission, online chat and uploaded reading materials to SmartSite for class of 27 students.
● Lectured weekly and held weekly 2-hour long office hours
● Designed and evaluated the “Program Development” assignment, in which students applied project management tools to design a projects based on a USAID project proposal.
Evaluated and assessed course success based on student feedback and performance. Recommendations from students were implemented and suggested to faculty and TA teaching course for next quarter.

Principal Advisor, Agribusiness Department, University of Queensland (February 2018- Present)
● Takes primary responsibility (60%) for the overall program of research
● Meets weekly with a Masters student to provide supervision and feedback on tasks in preparation for talks and thesis

Career Discovery Fellow, SAS Career Discovery Exploratory Group (SAS 098), Science and Society, UC Davis (September – June 2015)
Instructor of Record: Diane Ullman, PhD
● Mentored 26 students on academic success and careers in a classroom group setting and during one-on-one individual advisement
● Developed weekly classroom-based discussions on student academic plans, course registration, skills, values, and career exploration and outside-of-classroom activities that established student access to campus resources for academic success
● Committed 1-2 hours per week to engage with each individual student in active reflections on life experiences, academic goals, and career objectives, and assisted in resume writing and student networking

Mentor, Foundations for University Success for International Students (EDU 098), School and Education and Services for International Students and Scholars, UC Davis (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)
Instructor of Record: Sally Teaford Alexander
● Mentored and advised approximately 25 first-year international students each quarter, providing guidance on practical activities to support academic success
● Facilitated student self-reflection on issues surrounding culture shock and academic goals
● Designed, lectured and directed weekly classroom-based discussion activities and campus trips to support student assimilation of the academic quarter themes:
○ Fall- “American Culture and the University Experience” – Developed and led activities focused on understanding and navigating American culture and university resources and practicing college study skills
○ Winter- “Further Developing Your Academic Skills” – Introduced research resources and developed assignments in research methods for students to practice basic research, writing, group projects, and presentation skills
○ Spring – “Beyond the University” – Developed networking assignments and panel discussions to introduce students to the American employment process and graduate schools. Students created a resume, application, and cover letter; practiced interviews, and were introduced to resources to find and apply for volunteer opportunities, internships and on-campus jobs

Teaching Assistant, Evolution of Crop Plants (PLB143), Plant Science Department, UC Davis (March - May 2015)
Instructor of Record: Paul Gepts
● Designed and facilitated weekly discussion activities, teaching materials, assignments and lectures
● Lectured to over 100 students on topics related to the social, environmental and genetic components of plant and animal domestication processes drawing from historical, anthological, morphological and molecular forms of evidence
● Evaluated exams (short answers and essays) and term papers using SmartSite

Agribusiness Instructor, Japanese Agricultural Training Program, UC Davis Extension (July - September 2014)
Instructor of Record: Sandy Montross
● Developed agribusiness curriculum focused on history and theory of business models and applications of business planning, implementation and evaluation tools
● Implemented course with the assistance of a Japanese translator
● Lectured, arranged class field trips and graded for approximately 60 international Japanese visiting scholars
● Developed class dropbox and provided lecture materials, course assignment examples and required and supplemental reading materials
● Guided students to develop and present their own business plans using business-planning tools and ran a business plan ‘competition’ where students presented business plans in 5 minutes and winners were selected based on their application of business planning tools, identified need for the business service or product, creativity, feasibility and presentation
● Assessed course success based on student feedback and performance


Methods for Social Analysis and Statistics (MFSAS), Gathering Qualitative Data 2-day short course, The University of Queensland ISSR Institute for Social Science Research (July 2017)
● Honed qualitative data collection techniques
● Trained in newly developed qualitative data analysis tools (Nvivo and Leximancer)

Teaching Methods in Science and Society (SAS 390), 8-week Pedagogy course, UC Davis (October – December 2015)
● Evaluated mentorship models and practical mentorship skills and classroom strategies
● Gained practical experience in methods and problems related to teaching Science and Society courses
● Assessed pedagogies specific to teaching of science-societal issues
● Designed and implemented discussion sessions, activities, assignments and exams

Teaching Creative Thinking, 8-week Pedagogy course, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, UC Davis (October – December, 2013)
● Investigated the role of creative thinking in different academic disciplines
● Discussed pedagogical research on creativity
● Practiced techniques and teaching tools for stimulating creative thinking, problem solving, and innovation for the classroom setting
● Developed a course curriculum that incorporated student creativity
● Taught a lesson plan to pedagogy course participants


Postdoctoral Research Associate, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), University of Queensland, Australia, (January 2017 - Present)
Principal Research Fellow: Daniel Rodriguez, PhD Crop Science Wageningen University
Project: Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Farming Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA)
● Synthesized the results of 10 years of data from surveys, spanning 3,437 households from five countries in eastern and southern Africa
● Developed household typologies and livelihood analyses, and supported the generation of R script for future analyses based on household survey data
● Communicated science through the designed and implemented the SIMLESA communication strategy and generation of articles, policy briefs, and formats designed for household producers and private sector stakeholders
● Authored a theoretical and practical review of the SIMLESA development model entitled “Understanding Household Diversity in Eastern and Southern Africa”

Visiting Scholar, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – Uganda, (March 2015 - February 2016)
Principal Research Fellow: Nicola Francesconi, PhD Development Economics Wageningen University
Project 1: Supply and demand constraints in common bean markets under Value Chains for Nutrition in the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
● Developed and implemented participatory action plan for data collection and led and coordinated market surveys
● Supervised two interns on data management and development of STATA dataset
● Conducted value-chain analysis and designed market-chain intervention program
● Presented analysis results to researchers and representatives from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Legume Innovation Lab, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) at the Joint Pan-African Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference in Livingstone, Zambia

Project 2: Impact assessments of the Pan-African Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) - CIAT Participatory Varietal Selection Trials
● Conducted 100 household interviews and developed and distributed 200 household surveys
● Identified and assessed household demographics and use of key seed management strategies covering 200 smallholder farmer households
● Conducted a study and published econometric impact assessment of participatory varietal selection activity outcomes


● Analysis and Determinants of Farming Systems (IAD202)
● Student-led seminar (IAD290)
● Principles of Agronomic Crop Production in Temperate and Tropical Systems (PLS110)
● Biological Applications in Fruit Tree Management (PLS113)
● Biological Applications in Fruit Tree Production (PLS114)
● Public Health and Nutrition Program Design (NUT 298)
● Ecology and Agriculture (ECL216)


Wilkus, E.L., Berny-Mier y Teran, J., Mukankusi C.M., Gepts, P. In Press. “Genetic patterns of common bean acquisition and early stage adoption among farmer groups in western Uganda” Frontiers in Plant Science
Wilkus, E.L., Roxburgh, C.W., Rodriguez, D. In Press. “Understanding Household Diversity in Eastern and Southern Africa”, ACIAR Monograph Series
Wilkus, E.L., Francesconi, G.N., Mattias, J. 2017.“Rural seed sector development though participatory varietal selection: Synergies and trade-offs in seed provision services and market participation among smallholder bean producers in Western Uganda”, Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, Vol. 7 No. 2


Secretary, Early Career Researcher (ECR)- Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) group (March 2017 – Present)
Secretary, Davis Botanical Society, The Center for Plant Diversity (March 2015 – September 2017)
Grant recipient, BLUM Center for Developing Economies Poverty Alleviation through Sustainable Solutions $15,000, UC Davis (December 2013 – December 2014)
Research Fellow, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, UC Davis (September 2012 – December
Co-chair, Ecology Graduate Group Student Association, UC Davis (September 2012 – December 2013)
Grant recipient, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship of $10,000, UC Davis (September 2012 – December 2013)
Grant recipient, Davis Project of Peace Award of $10,000, Reed College (May 2010 – September 2010)
Commendation for Excellence in Scholarship, Reed College (May, 2010)

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