Congratulations to Jamie Oaks on his recent NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Jamie is joining our lab later this Summer after he finishes up his doctoral work at the University of Kansas. Jamie plans to continue his work on comparative phylogeography. One of the main products of his postdoctoral work will be a new computer program for testing whether multiple species share similar divergence times. He’s also planning to make some exciting new contributions to existing computer programs, like incorporating SNP data. We’re all looking forward to his arrival.
Try to describe your research using only the 1000 most common words using the “UP-GOER FIVE TEXT EDITOR”
We study animals and how they came to be from the same animals and then changed over time into different ones. Some of them disappear through time, but others break into two or more over many, many years. When we figure out the order of the past situation we call it a tree of life. The tree helps us place the animals of the past into the places that they came from. It also tells us what they might have looked like and how they acted. We think that it’s very cool to know how and why animals are the way that they are! There is no doubt that living things are part of the tree of life, but understanding how the parts fit together takes a lot of hard work, and that’s what we do. We use the stuff inside animal cells as building blocks for putting the tree together, and that takes a lot of training and computer time.
Congratulations to undergraduate researcher Heidi Rockney – she was recently awarded a Mary Gates Research Scholarship for her work on African frogs.
Way to go Heidi!
The Burke Museum Behind the Scenes Night was a big success. Herpetology had a few things to offer this year in honor of the “Year of the Snake”. Jared and Matt helped with a “Snakes of Washington” table, Erin and Natsuko skinned a huge yellow anaconda in the prep. room (that was really popular), and Shane manned the reticulated python assembly table. People had a good time trying to link together vertebrae and line up the ribs.
Reticulated python ready for assembly. Burke Museum 2013.
Check out “Head Like an Orange” to see lots of cool reptile-related animated GIFs.