Teaching and Outreach

I have many years of international teaching experience in a wide variety of formats. I have lectured in front of large groups of students, led laboratory practicals and small-group tutorials, and developed new teaching materials. I can comfortably teach introductory courses in ecology and evolutionary biology, as well as upper year courses in evolutionary genetics and social evolution.


Uppsala UniversityFJTc970WUAIH1M7

In the spring of 2022, I’m running a graduate seminar on the origins of theoretical population genetics.

Cornell University 

In the spring of 2018 I solo-taught my own course, a first-year seminar called Mendelian Outlaws: The Biology of Selfish Genetic Elements.


In the past, I have also been a guest lecturer for the upper year course on human genomics.

University of Toronto

At U of T, I worked as a Teaching Assistant for a variety of lower and upper year courses offered by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology as well as the sister department, the Department of Cell and Systems Biology.

Lanterna Education Biology

During many years I have worked with Lanterna Education tutoring upper year students of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in biology and mathematics. I have also co-authored the first version of the biology course for the online courses offered by Lanterna.


As Junior Fellow I tutored local high school students in biology and chemistry through the Massey College Mentor and Tutoring Programme. On several occasions I have also been a judge at the Toronto Science Fair and participated in Skype a Scientist.


Popular Science Essays and Talks


In English

Arvid Ågren. 2022. Why it’s okay for biologists to anthropomorphize. Institute for Arts and Ideas. 

Arvid Ågren. 2021. An idea with bite The ‘selfish gene’ persists for the reason all good scientific metaphors do: it remains a sharp tool for clear thinkingAeon.

Arvid Ågren. 2014. Are aggressive sperm a barrier to cross species sex? The Seeds of Science

Arvid Ågren. 2013.  A book that changed me: The Selfish Gene. GuardianWitness

Arvid Ågren. 2012. An ambitious take on human nature, a review of EO Wilson’s The Social Conquest of EarthChirograph, Toronto Review of Books
Arvid Ågren. 2012- Sci-lenced: A PEN Canada evening on scientists’ freedom of expressionChirograph, The Toronto Review of Books
Arvid Ågren. 2011. Genomics helps us allThe Varsity
Arvid Ågren. 2011. Play Nice, A review of Martin Nowak and Roger Highfield’s Supercooperators, The Varsity
Arvid Ågren and Chris White. 2011. What’s in a Name? Searching for a species concept EUSci

In Swedish

Arvid Ågren. 2010. Själviska gener, Bi-lagan
Arvid Ågren. 2010. Ännu ett kapitel i evolutionens historiebok, evolutionsteori.se


2018. Mitochondria, sex, and the mother’s curse. Harvard Postdoc Science Café, Cambridge

2015. Transposable elements and the evolution of conflict and cooperation. iBiology Young Scientist Series

2014. Jumping genes and other Mendelian outlaws. Treehouse Lecture Series, Toronto

2013. The Society of Genes. Massey College Junior Fellow Lecture Series

2012. Genetic conflicts: a persistent hangover from sex? Massey WIDEN
2012. Internal conflicts: The biology of selfish genetic elements. Nerdnite Toronto, 2012
2010. Did selfish genes drive salamanders stupid? Massey College Junior Fellow Lecture Series,
2010. Why hasn’t natural selection made us immortal? Workshops for Interdisciplinary Exchange and Novelty, 2010
2009. A war within us – The biology of selfish genes and intragenomic conflict. EUSci seminar series, 2009 (This talk is commented upon at the blog Ninenty Nine Percent Scientist)