A new coalescent simulator called CoMuS 2.0 is available from Dr. Pavlos Pavlidis and his colleagues at the Institute of Computer Science (ICS) in Crete, Greece. With CoMuS you can simulate DNA sequences or protein sequences for multiple species or populations. The program implements the infinite and finite sites models, and includes substitution rate heterogeneity among sites. The user can invoke complex demographic scenarios within each species (for example, population size changes), including gradual isolation of species after divergence (similar to an isolation-migration model). The program should be useful for testing species delimitation software with challenging datasets that include population size changes, partial population subdivision, or ghost populations.
Congratulations to Leonard Jones, a new member of the “Husky 100”. The Husky 100 recognizes 100 UW undergraduate and graduate students who are making the most of their time at the UW by knowing that education happens inside and outside of the classroom. They are making a difference on campus, in their communities and for the future.
Itzue has a new publication in Journal of Herpetology on the discovery of a species of arboreal alligator lizard (genus Abronia) from the Sierra Madre del Sur of Oaxaca, Mexico. The new species, Abronia cuetzpali, is very secretive and is only known from three specimens. The full publication is available at the publishers website.
Campbell JA, Solano-Zavaleta I, Flores-Villela O, Caviedes-Solis IW, Frost DR. 2016. A new species of Abronia (Squamata: Anguidae) from the Sierra Madre del Sur of Oaxaca, Mexico. Journal of Herpetology 50:149-156.
New species of Abronia (Campbell et al. 2016)
Congratulations Sima for winning a Rosemary Grant Award for Gradate Student Research from the Society for the Study of Evolution. These prestigious grants aim to identify and support innovative and potentially high impact research by beginning graduate students. Sima’s dissertation research will use natural populations of fence lizards along steep elevational gradients in mountains to study the implications of phenotypic plasticity, selection, and gene flow on trait variation and population-level responses to climate change.
Our friend and colleague Dr. Andrew Storfer is on sabbatical in our lab for the next 6 months. Dr. Storfer is an expert on landscape genetics and genomics, and he is currently applying those skills to several interesting study systems at the interface of ecology, evolution, and infectious diseases. His lab is studying the coevolutionary genomics of Tasmanian Devils and Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), and Tiger Salamander-Ranavirus coevolution (to name a few). Check out the Storfer Lab for more information on their current research projects.
Dr. Andrew Storfer