This photo was taken by NASA during a launch on September 6, 2013 from the Wallops/Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.
Apparently, the launchpad has a pool for the high-volume water deluge system that activates during launches to protect the pad from damage and for noise suppression. This might be a nice spot for a frog to hang out, or this is a terrestrial toad that was just caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Full story.
Rocket frog launch at Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia on September 6, 2013. Credit NASA/Wallops/Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.
Our new paper on the impacts of gene flow on species tree estimation is in press at Systematic Biology. Gene flow can cause gene trees to conflict with one another, and therefore we typically try to shelter our species tree analyses from anything other than incomplete lineage sorting. What happens if some gene flow sneaks into the analysis?
We use simulations to characterize estimation errors that result from various models of gene flow. Even in cases where the topology of the species tree is estimated with high accuracy, we find that gene flow can still result in overestimates of population sizes (species tree dilation) and underestimates of divergence times (species tree compression).
Species tree distortion is illustrated below using species trees and Homer Simpson.
Figure 1. Species tree distortions caused by gene flow. Dashed lines illustrate species tree (and Homer) compression, and the widening of branches (and Homer) illustrates species tree dilation.
Leaché, A. D., R. B. Harris, B. Rannala, and Z. Yang. The influence of gene flow on species tree estimation: A simulation study. Systematic Biology, In Press.
Picking the perfect t-shirt to showcase your taxonomic proclivities is an extremely important decision. With so many different options out there, choosing the one to best-fit your personal biases can be an intimidating and difficult decision. Some aspects to consider are fabric quality, t-shirt fit, sizing and colors. I scored this epic t-shirt at the annual herpetology meetings in Albuquerque. The shirt is a must-have for anyone that has blind hatred for any and all taxonomic changes in squamate phylogeny.
Phylogenetic analyses can take a long time to finish. Instead of starting over from scratch after crashing your computer try to resume your MCMC analysis where you left off. Here’s how it works in BEAST2.0/SNAPP:
>BEAST2.0 -threads 4 -resume -seed 1373461217289 -statefile /Users/leache/SNAPP/phryno.xml.state phryno.xml
The Burke Herpetology website is new and improved thanks to the help of Cathy Britt (Digital Communications Specialist at the Burke). One of the many cool new additions is an Amphibian Q&A section, which includes answers to important questions like “what happens if you kiss a frog?” Thanks to Heidi Rockney for writing all of the Q&A’s.