Courtney Jensen – an undergraduate in our laboratory – received the School of Biological Sciences Herbert L. Eastlick scholarship. You can learn more about Herbert L. Eastlick here. Courtney also received the College of Arts and Sciences Minigrant to continue her research on brown bear hibernation during the summer! The award allows her to continue her investigation of genetic changes in genes that are differentially expressed between active season and hibernating bears. The award will also cover a portion of her research expenses.
The Society for the Study of the Evolution (http://www.evolutionsociety.org/) has awarded us a small grant to create an outreach workshop (and educator network) to promote evolution education in rural Idaho and Washington. We’ll be working directly with teachers (Grades 7-12) to learn how we (the research community) can support their efforts while also organizing visits by evolutionary biologists to their classrooms in the coming academic year.
Our paper describing the resequencing and comparison of 15 different mangrove rivulus Kryptolebias marmoratus lineages. The rivulus is preferentially self-fertilizing and yet we found a remarkable amount of genetic diversity across the species even in lineages that have been selfing in the lab for over 10 generations. Here’s some press about the article.
Lins, L.S.F, Trojahn, S., Sockell, A., Yee, M-C, Tatarenkov, A., Bustamante, C.D., Earley, R.L., Kelley, J.L. Whole-genome sequencing reveals the extent of heterozygosity in a preferentially self-fertilizing hermaphroditic vertebrate. Genome.
A paper Luana co-author was recently published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom titled: “Revisiting the genetic diversity and population structure of the critically endangered leatherback turtles in the South-west Atlantic Ocean: insights for species conservation” Congratulations Luana!
The worldwide population of the leatherback sea turtle is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. The study found that the Brazilian rookery has individuals from different areas in the world including turtles form the West Atlantic, despite recording low nest numbers per year. This study provides a baseline to understand population dynamics in the Atlantic, and to build comprehensive population assessments to support and develop management strategies. Additionally, this study highlights the importance of Brazilian in the conservation of the leatherback sea turtle. Brazil has both the only known regular rookery in the South-west Atlantic, and a mixed-origin foraging area for the species along its coast.
We are all very excited that Luana Lins, a postdoctoral researcher in our lab, has been selected to be part the NSF Advanced Training Program in Antarctica for Early Career Scientists (https://www.usfca.edu/arts-sciences/antarctic-biology-training-program).
She will spend a month in Antarctica as part of the program where researchers will get involved in research projects and will be more knowledgeable of the logistics of conducting studies in this unique environment. Luana Lins is following on the footsteps of our PI Joanna Kelley who participated in the same program in 2008, and her PI Willie Swanson who participated several years before that.
Our lab is very interested in adaptations to extreme environments and Luana is working in a project focused on the adaptations of fish to polar environments, Luana’s training will be great to the development of our polar adaptations project. She will be posting about her preparations and experiences in Antarctica at her blog (https://www.drluanalins.com/blog).
Here’s a nice write-up from WSU (https://news.wsu.edu/2018/03/09/visiting-antarctica/)
The lab (and many labs from WSU) are going to Evolution 2017! See you there? If you’re interested in finding out more about our research we have several talks and posters. You can find us at the following:
|Laura Helou (poster)
|Shawn Trojahn (poster)
|Inbreeding / conservation biology
|Sex / recombination 3
|Adaptation / genomics 4
|Carlie Harding (poster)
|Molecular ecology / genomics
|Molecular ecology / genomics
|SSE Symposium – The impact of stress on genetic variation 2
Note, I have added links to YouTube videos from the Evolution Meeting channel for the talks that were recorded, just click on the presenter’s name.
Just returned from Poeciliid 2017 in Norman, OK. It was a fantastic meeting! The organizers Ingo Schlupp and Edie Marsh-Matthews did a fantastic job planning the meeting. The meeting was small and intimate, with only one session at a time, which was the perfect opportunity to connect with other poeciliid biologists. The topics were varied and ranged from genomics to behavior to phylogenetics to nutrient transfer. The participants ranged from new graduate students to senior faculty members, which made for a great mix of experiences, ideas and knowledge. There was ample time for sharing ideas and, at least for me, it was one of the best meetings I have attended in a while! I will definitely attended the next meeting (likely 2019) and I encourage everyone who is tangentially involved in poeciliid research to attend too!
It has been an exciting spring in the lab! We wanted to acknowledge the awards that several students and postdocs received this spring.
Anthony Brown received the James R. King Graduate Fellowship from the School of Biological Sciences to fund his research and part of his stipend this summer!
Joanna Kelley received the College of Arts and Sciences Early Career Award!
Luana Lins received a scholarship to the Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics at University of Washington this summer and a travel award from the Society for the Study of Evolution to attend Evolution 2017!
Samantha Kallinen received the Undergraduate Summer Minigrant from the College of Arts and Sciences to support her research over the summer!
Allegra Sundstrom received the Youth Activity Fund award from the Explorer’s Club and a School of Biological Sciences research award to conduct research in Alaska this summer!