Last week, Amanda Lyons (left) and Bianca Brown (right) braved the rainy weather to kick off our terrapin field season. Diamondback terrapins are the only "critically imperiled" reptile in Rhode Island, and a major conservation priority for the state. Amanda and Bianca were joined by our collaborators from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and The Roger Williams Park Zoo. Our research goal is to understand how genetically interconnected are the remaining few terrapin populations in the state, and relatedness to populations from neighboring states. This research is supported in part by a 2019 Voss Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Environmental Science and Communication to Amanda Lyons. Congratulations Amanda, and thanks IBES for supporting this research.
Congratulations to Courtney Reed for winning big -- two awards in one week! Courtney won first place in the flash talk competition at the IBES Blue Sky event. She also won an IBES Graduate Student Research Training and Travel Award. These awards highlight he importance of Courtney's research on how defaunation impacts ecosystems in Kenya. Thanks to IBES for supporting our work and helping amplify our research -- and way to go Courtney!
As we kick off the new academic year, we extend the warmest welcome to Dr. Brian Gill, inaugural IBES postdoc in the lab. Brian's doctoral research fused a cutting-edge molecular tool kit with some extremely rugged field research to test important ideas in ecology and evolution. For example, Brian used DNA barcoding to identify a huge diversity of mayflies from tropical and temperate streams, revealing that their elevational ranges are narrower in the tropics, where species may be more sensitive to the effects of climate change -- a result that may not have been so clearcut in the absence of molecular data, due to the prevalence of cryptic species. We all look forward to benefiting from Brian's leadership and skills as we study how species are respond to environmental changes in New England, in East Africa, and around the world.