I will be presenting at this year's virtual Evolution conference, as part of the Sensory Systems session on Wednesday, June 23 at 4:30-6pm EST. Publication of this work is currently in review at Molecular Ecology Resources!
I am pleased to announce that our 2019 publication "A Phylogenomic Supertree of Birds," was awarded a 2020 best paper award from the journal Diversity. The paper is available here.
I was very pleased to receive a 2019 National Eye Institute Director's Award for Scientific/Medical Innovation in the Neurobiology, Neurodegeneration & Repair Laboratory :)
So pleased to see this paper out! It represents my very best effort at trying to resolve the phylogeny of the nightbirds (superorder Strisores), using a novel genome-scale marker (ultraconserved elements). I initially uncovered some conflicting signal pertaining to the relationship between the potoos and oilbird, and subsequently designed a series of analyses to try and tease that signal apart. It wasn't easy, but in the end I've uncovered significant support for the topology seen below. Now I can proceed with further analyzing the visual adaptations to nocturnality in this group, in order to unravel their evolutionary history. See my PUBS page for the paper, published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Thanks to friend and colleague Daniel J. Field for use of the beautiful photos.
I recently coauthored a paper that conducted a combined molecular, morphological and fossil analysis of the nightbirds (Strisores) phylogeny. Strisores continues to be an elusive group to characterize, but in this study we find evidence that many of the unique adaptations of the subclades were acquired early in their evolutionary history. We also provide support for aerial foraging as the ancestral ecological state of Strisores. See my PUBS page for the paper, published in the journal Diversity.
I am very excited to share that I placed 3rd in the 2019 NIH-wide Three Minute Talk (3MT) competition! My talk was entitled "An Evolutionary Perspective on Visual Disease." I advanced to the NIH-wide competition after winning the National Eye Institute's competition last fall.
I am excited to share some work I was a part of that was recently accepted at PNAS and of which I am very proud, "Earth history and the passerine superradiation." We’ve generated a phylogeny of all passerines--by far the largest order of birds, containing more than half of all living bird species. We incorporated bird fossils into our analyses and were thus able to place a time on diversification events, and analyze the evolution of the order in the context of Earth’s history.
This was a pan-institutional and pan-museum-collection effort to generate and analyze data at an unprecedented scale for phylogenomics, and we are excited to finally share it. Below you will see the image that will be the PNAS cover for this issue--it is a lovely green-headed tanager taken by co-author Daniel Field in Brazil. You can see more of his photography here. See my PUBS page for the paper.
New ideas, events and opportunities.