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Showing posts from January, 2015

Grad Publications: Dave Slager, C.J. Battey

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As those who attended the Klicka lab talks at last year's GSS might remember, the family Vireonidae encompasses about 52 species of birds distributed throughout the tropical and temperate Americas.Vireonids are small- to medium-sized arboreal songbirds with a thick and slightly hooked bill.Many species are omnivorous with a predominantly greenish or yellowish plumage.The family has traditionally been divided into 4 genera:Peppershrikes (genus Cyclarhis), Shrike-Vireos (Vireolanius), Vireos (Vireo), and Greenlets (Hylophilus).
With the exception of its starkly colored irides, the White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus) is a rather typical vireonid.It breeds in scrubby forest edge and understory in the eastern United States and northeastern Mexico and winters on the Gulf Coast and Caribbean Islands. © David L. Slager, 6 May 2013, Lucas County, Ohio, USA.

Until now, the few molecular phylogenetic studies examining the history of Vireonidae have sampled only a small number of taxa, preventing…

Grad Publication: Elli Theobald and Lauren DeBey

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Earth is in the middle of one of the largest biodiversity crises in history. Scientists not only have an obligation to document and understand the consequences of this loss, but also address these global changes with new and sustainable solutions. However, this research requires large quantities of data on how the genetic, taxonomic and functional composition of communities is changing over space and time. For example, accurately observing and understanding climate change-induced latitudinal shifts in species distributions may require collecting data across thousands of kilometers. Citizen science has been proposed as a mechanism to gather large volumes of spatio-temporally extensive biodiversity data while simultaneously integrating public outreach into research. Consequently, there has been a proliferation of citizen science programs and similar partnerships between scientists and non-scientists; however, the efficacy of these programs in quantifying biodiversity has not been evalu…

Fresh Insights into UW Biology: Part 1, 2015 edition!

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These blurbs are meant to better introduce our department’s newest members. the 1st year grads, and allow them to share their thoughts on the Biology Department and UW so far. Thanks to everyone for helping me with this post! – Chris Wells (fellow 1st year grad and blogger).

Ethan Linck is interested in avian phylogenetics and the biogeography of sky island systems, mountains isolated by drastically different lowlands. He chose to come to UW because he had spent two summers doing fieldwork for UW Biology graduate students, who spoke incredibly high of the department and did “cool stuff”. He also wanted to work with John Klicka, whose interests were a close match to his own, all while being affiliated with an active natural history museum (the Burke). He says “no other school could match UW for the enthusiasm, friendliness, and well-adjustedness of its graduate students or replicate the general warm-and-fuzzies” he felt on reflection. Another bonus: The North Cascades. Ethan finds the d…

Matt McElroy: Notes from the field

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“Hola!” from Mt. Guilarte, Adjuntas, Puerto Rico I’m up here in the central mountains of Puerto Rico rocking my Darwinners T-shirt and Seahawks beanie for the start of the Seattle Seahawks playoff run. It just started pouring rain – so work is on hold! I just returned to Puerto Rico from the SICB conference in Palm Springs, where I presented a chapter from my dissertation and whooped on Hilary Hayford, Leith Miller, and Matt George in dice. Repeatedly. Now I’m working with Prof. Paul Hertz (Barnard University), graduate students Luisa Otero (Univ. Puerto Rico) and Sophia Prado-Irwin (SF State University), as well as undergraduate students Richard Portilla (Hunter College, CUNY), Ashley Brown (Barnard), and Hannah Dale (Barnard).
Paul Hertz worked on the thermal biology of Puerto Rican anoles for his dissertation in the 70’s and is a legit Professor of Lizard Proctology. Together with Paul, we are resurveying three species at some of his former study sites to look for changes in therma…