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.
Congratulations to Leonard Jones, CJ Battey, and Dave Slager for receiving NSF grants to support their dissertation research! Their research projects are listed below. We can expect to see some great results from all of these dissertation projects.
Leonard Jones: Investigating the joint effects of phylogeny and adaptation on phenotypic variation at a continental scale (Serpentes: Thamnophis).
CJ Battey: Investigating genomic signatures of range shifts and demographic change in migratory hummingbirds.
Dave Slager: Investigating patterns, processes, and the role of mimicry in the phenotypic evolution of Tyrannini flycatchers.
I recently traveled to Argentina to visit Dr. Mariana Morando and Dr. Luciano Avila, two herpetologists at Centro Nacional Patagonico (CENPAT-CONICET) in Puerto Madryn. Dr. Morando has visited our lab a few times in the past couple of years to collect SNP data. It was great to get a chance to visit her on her home turf. Aside from giving a research talk at CENPAT, I was able to do some fieldwork. UW Biology PhD student Jared Grummer is living in Puerto Madryn for six month doing fieldwork for his dissertation work on Liolaemus lizards. We found some really amazing lizards, including lots of Liolaemus, some Phymaturus, Leiosaurus, and even some amphisbaena! Jared posted some stories and photos about the trip on his travel site.
This month we hosted Perry Wood Jr. from Brigham Young University. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Jack Sites lab. His goal was to collect sequence capture data for two separate projects, and a ddRADseq dataset for a third project. This is more lab work than we typically see people attempt in such a short amount of time. Not surprisingly, he pulled it off, and he was able to use every pipette in the process (pictured below). You can read more about his research on the systematics, evolution, and biogeography of Southeast Asian reptiles and amphibians at his website.