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Jill Ayala

Past Nelson Lab Members

Research lab group or TA: Lab group

Lab Narrative: I met Dr. Nelson in his Animal Diversity class in 2000 and he accepted me to work as a research assistant in his lab to create an electronic aquatic identification guide to be used as a supplement for BYU’s Principles of Biology course. I helped create a photo-illustrated dichotomous key to aid students in identifying Utah’s aquatic insects to genus level. My primary focus was photographing Coleoptera, Trichoptera, Ephemeroptera, Diptera and Odonata using light microscopy. I cherish that lab work experience! I left the Nelson laboratory in 2003. My husband and I have three boys, one of whom has autism. I have worked in several jobs as a Science Educator. Currently, I teach Applied Sciences, including 7th and 8th-grade courses, as well as Earth Science, Biology, and Environmental Science at Spectrum Academy Middle School and High School in Pleasant Grove, Utah. To make complex scientific concepts relatable to my students, I heavily incorporate visuals, multimedia, and storytelling into my teaching methods, techniques that I learned during my college years from professors like Dr. Nelson.

Started in the lab: January 2001