Skip Navigation


Home Browse Resources Submission Instructions About Help Advanced Search
The Inquiry-based learning tools presented here uses the Onezoom Tree of Life (onezoom) platform as an easy-to-use teaching tool that allows student to access curated data sources such as the National Center for Biological Inventory (NCBI), the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and Open Tree of Life (OToL). Through these data-platforms students learn that multiple approaches are used in data collection when conducting studies in taxonomy. In short, students learn the science used to build the tree of life presented in onezoom. All activities provided in this exercise are based on a family of Digenetic trematodes known as zombie snail parasites. These parasites have a complex life cycle with terrestrial snails and songbirds as obligate hosts. Videos showing how the parasites induce ‘mind control’ of snails to entice songbird predators helps to engage students in sleuthing the taxonomy of these poorly studied animals. In addition, this group is ideal for instructors interested in showing that many lineages still have major data gaps on taxonomy, distributions, ecological interactions, and evolutionary relationships. These exercises can be used in series throughout a semester in their current form or modified to meet learning objectives set by the instructor. This approach allows project-based learning of systematics in a general evolution or diversity (lower or upper level) course in synchronous or asynchronous learning environments.
Associated files
Temporal and geographic description None
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords taxonomy, evolution, opensource integrative resources
Key taxa digenetic trematodes, snails, song birds
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description These inquiry-driven exercises are designed for students to understand the scientific process of taxonomy used to describe the diversity of life. Specifically, students will understand the concepts and definitions of taxonomic classification, distributions, species interactions, and phylogenies. Detailed exercises are provided to guide students through the collection and interpretation of data available through curated, open-source databases linked to OneZoom. Based on this approach, students will understand that the visualization of the tree of life elegantly displayed on OneZoom is built from the integration of data-driven science.
Uniqueness This resource is unique in that it combines the use of multiple open-source databases that are all linked to each other. This approach shows students the importance of well-curated, accruate databases in communicating the science of taxonomy.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Lori Tolley-Jordan
Primary Author Affiliation Department of Biology
Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville, AL 36265
Primary Author email
Added By Id
  • tolle004
Submitter Name Lori Tolley-Jordan
Submitter Email
Rights Copyright is retained by author.
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 0000-00-00
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use Yes
Date Of Record Release 2024-06-10 12:44:18
Last Modified By Id
  • tmourad
Date Last Modified 2024-06-12 06:09:34
Release Flag Published

Resource Comments

(no comments available yet for this resource)