Rebecca Receives British Ornithologists’ Union Research Grant

yellowWagtailCongratulations to Rebecca Harris for receiving a research grant from the BOU. The funds will support her dissertation work on the genomic structure of the Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava.

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Looks like a staged photo to me.

PIC BY ADITYA PERMANA / MERCURY PRESS / CATERS NEWS

PIC BY ADITYA PERMANA / MERCURY PRESS / CATERS NEWS

The Huffington Post recently contacted me about the authenticity of this photo that was circulating on the web. They wanted to get my opinion on whether or not a lizard could sit like this, and if the photo may have been staged. Contrary to popular belief, lizards do not “lounge” on their backs, and they certainly do not hold leaves and and play the leaf-guitar. You can find other funny lizard photos online if you search for terms like “lounge lizard”, or “funny lizard photo”. There seems to be some demand for photos of lizards doing funny things. This picture is a good example.

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Species delimitation paper is almost finished!

Itzue and Sima are almost finished with an exciting new species delimitation paper. They are submitting the paper in about one week. They already started blowing up balloons in anticipation of their celebration.

Getting ready for the party.

Getting ready for the party.

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Trip to a Patagonian Lizard Hybrid Zone

Jared Grummer recently returned from a field expedition to a Liolaemus lizard hybrid zone in Argentina. This is part of his dissertation research aimed at studying speciation in the group. You can read a full report on his field expedition at the Burke Museum blog. It contains a lot of photos of interesting looking lizards. Some of the lizards look suspiciously similar to Sceloporus. 

Liolaemus melanops relaxing in the shade. Photo by Jared Grummer

Liolaemus melanops relaxing in the shade. Photo by Jared Grummer

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NSF-Doctoral Dissertation Improvements Grants for Everyone!

We received some exciting news from NSF! Jared, Matt, and Rebecca each got their NSF-DDIG grants funded this year!  Matt and Jared applied to the Phylogenetic Systematics program, and they just heard the good news today. Rebecca submitted to the Evolutionary Genetics program, and she got the news last week. We are extremely grateful to NSF for their support!

NSF-DDIG grants:
Rebecca Harris: Investigating the genomic structure of speciation: a comparative approach using wagtails (Aves: Motacilla).

Matt McElroy: Comparative phylogeography and thermal ecology of Puerto Rican anoles.

Jared Grummer: Hybrid zone formation and comparative genomic divergences in South American lizards (Iguania: Liolaemidae).

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