I am teaching two courses at NDSU this Spring (2019): Evolution (BIOL 359) and one section of Antibiotic Discovery (BIOL 270).
At Evolution we are learning how species change through time, going over natural selection, phylogenetics, population genetics, quantitative genetics, etc. Also, the students are using Wisconsin Fast Plants to do a class experiment on artificial selection. Super cool.
Antibiotic Discovery is part of the Small World Initiative for crowdsourcing antibiotic discovery. After going through the general protocol for isolating bacteria from soil, the students get to develop and conduct their own research (see some photos below).
The last session of the Adaptation and Climate Change class of this year was at Sitting Bull College at Fort Yates, ND. About 20 students from surrounding high schools attended the lesson. We talked about how native plants might adapt to changing environments, learn about allele frequencies and extract DNA out of different varieties of onions.
This month the NATURE Academy class was at the Turtle Mountain Community College at Belcourt, ND. Below, pictures of one of the favorite activities: onion DNA extraction!
The NATURE Sunday Academy class this month was at the United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck. We had fun learning some core population genetics concepts, playing with allele frequencies and extracting DNA from onions.
I am super excited to have been involved in this project applying eDNA and metabarcoding to survey vertebrate diversity in Africa. This research was lead by Bastian Egeter and conducted as part of the EnvMetaGen project. The paper was published here.
I am super excited to be part of the NATURE (Nurturing American Tribal Undergraduate Research and Education) Sunday Academy! As part of this program, I am teaching a class on adaptation and climate change on plants at different tribal colleges in North Dakota from September 2018 to March 2019. Yesterday, I was at the Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College in New Town. The class included activities such as calculating allelle frequencies and DNA extraction from different varieties of onions!
I have just joined the Biological Sciences Department at NDSU as a postdoctoral fellow! I will be working on the role that whole genome duplication plays on diversification using the polyploid Geum triflorum (Rosaceae).
Our latest paper in Micromeria (Lamiaceae) diversification was published this month on Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. The paper is freely available for download using this link (until January 15th, 2018).
In this study, we developed a new RAD sequencing approach to improve the phylogenetic resolution of the species of Micromeria endemic to the Canary Islands. Special attention was given to disentangle the relationships within M. varia species complex. Our results support the latest species reclassification and also explain the role of introgression in this group's diversification.