Dr. Hawkins teaches Genomics 420/620 every fall semester. This course is one of two courses that are required for Biology majors that wish to graduate within the Genomics Area of Emphasis. Students begin by learning about an array of genomics techniques, then spend the remainder of the semester discussing examples of genomics-assisted research in areas from medical, agricultural, anthropological, and forensic disciplines. See the syllabus for a more detailed description of the course. All other course materials have been moved to eCampus (access for currently enrolled students only).
During the spring semester (even years), Dr. Hawkins coordinates the genomics-oriented biology capstone (BIOL 320 - The Total Science Experience, genomics emphasis). In this course, students get the unique opportunity to design their own project, write a proposal, conduct the experiment, analyze the results, and present their work as a poster during the annual symposium. Student typically focus on the response of soil or water microbial communities to various pollutants. Microbial samples are sequenced on the MiSeq, located in the WVU Genomics and Bioinformatics Core Facility. Past project have included the study of MCHM contamination on microbiota in the Monongahela river, the disruption of native soil microbiota by invasive plants, cigarette and degreaser pollution, and the impact of roundup runoff on aquatic microbiota.