News Catch-up

It’s been way too long since the last post, so it’s catch-up time! The last year (OK, the last 13 months) has flown by but has been action-packed.


First, I want to welcome some new personnel to the lab. Angela Hornsby joined us as a postdoc in January after defending her Ph.D. at the University of Nevada, Reno last December. Angela has been working on our project on voltage-gated sodium channel evolution. She brings some important new skills to the lab, including expertise in building bioinformatics pipelines and DNA sequencing by target enrichment.

Kerry Gendreau joined the lab as a new Ph.D. student last month. Kerry earned her master’s degree at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and has since been working at Virginia Tech as a technician in the Kojima Lab. She’ll initially be working on the sodium channel project, but she is currently hard at work developing her own ideas for a thesis project. Kerry is also a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change program.

The lab welcomed three new undergraduate researchers. Maeghan Klinker started in the spring semester and continued as a summer REU student. (Unfortunately, she’s off studying abroad in Scotland this semester, but she’ll be back next spring.) Rob Hadad and Madison Thammavong just joined the lab this fall.

We also said goodbye to some McGlothlin Lab members this past year. Former graduate student Julie Wiemerslage decided to leave the program last fall to pursue a master’s degree in sports management at the University of South Carolina. Lab manager (and former McGlothlin Lab undergraduate researcher) Thomas Wood left the lab this summer to pursue training in information technology. Finally, five of our undergraduate researchers, Arin Davis, Mackenzie Huber, Emily Meeks, Blake Spiers, and Emily Watts graduated this past year. All of them have some exciting post-graduation plans. I’m particularly thrilled to report that Emily Watts has decided to continue her studies in evolutionary biology and has started as a Ph.D. student in Shawn Kuchta’s lab at Ohio University. We wish everyone the best!


Sarah, Tamara, and Emily Watts attended the SICB meeting in New Orleans in January. Emily presented a poster on some of her undergraduate research, which was the subject of a post on Anole Annals, and Tamara presented a talk on her work on egg-laying rate and incubation time in invasive brown anoles. (Tamara’s work was just accepted for publication, so stay tuned!)

Angela and I both attended the Evolution meeting in Portland in June. Angela presented hot-off-the-Illumina results from our sodium channel project, and I presented some older (but still unpublished!) results from a study of Anolis G-matrix evolution. Here’s a write-up from Anole Annals. (That manuscript is ever-so-close to being ready to submit, so I hope to be able to report on it here soon.) Bob Cox was also there presenting some of our collaborative work on brown anole quantitative genetics.


Speaking of Bob Cox, he and I have published two papers from our collaborative work in the past year. First, our study integrating quantitative genetics and sexually dimorphic gene expression was published in American Naturalist. Bob wrote up a nice post on the paper for Anole Annals, so read all about it there. A second paper on dewlap quantitative genetics was published in Journal of Evolutionary Biology and selected for the cover.


I talked to Jim Metzner for a two-part story on newts and snakes for the public radio program Pulse of the Planet.

I was interviewed for the Molecular Ecologist’s series on “How Molecular Ecologists Work.” Read it to find out what takes up all my time so that I wait 13 months between news posts. (Spoiler: It’s email.)

I spent a lot of all my time this summer writing grant proposals, and I just turned in my tenure application a few weeks ago. All my fingers are crossed.

Phew! That’s it, unless I forgot something. Back in less than a year, I promise!

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