NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants

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.

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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.


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Pass a pipette, please?

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.


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The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles has established a new endowment in honor of Dr. Margarita Metallinou, a herpetologist who had just finished the first year of her postdoc when her life was cut short in a wildlife accident. The endowment will support one or more postdocs (of any nationality) to attend the annual SSAR meeting. Please consider dropping by the fundraising site and making a donation!

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Dr. Margarita Metallinou

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2015 Lab Retreat

We had our annual lab retreat to UW Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Islands at the end of September. A few out of town visitors joined us for a “Biodiversity Genomics” workshop, including Dr. Matt Fujita (University of Texas, Arlington), Dr. Caleb Ofori-Boateng (Forestry Research Institute of Ghana), and Dan Portik (University of California, Berkeley). The four undergraduate summer interns  presented their research results on the phylogeography of various reptiles and amphibians in West and Central Africa.


People: Front row: Gianni Aranoff, Ricardo Sevilla, Abigail Tyrell, Sneha Krishna. Second row: Sima Bouzid, Peter Miller, Caleb Ofori-Boateng, Adam Leaché. Third row-ish: Leonard Jones, Jamie Oaks, Dan Portik, Matt McElroy, Jared Grummer. Photo by Matt Fujita

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