Evolution 2017: Portland, OR

The 2017 Evolution meeting in Portland, Oregon just wrapped up! It was my first opportunity to attend one of the large US Evolution meetings, so it was a bit daunting at first! It was great to reconnect with friends and meet new people, all while exploring beautiful Portland!

I presented a poster on preliminary work using ddRAD sequencing to assess genetic differentiation between different northern flicker sub-groups. I experimented with using a fabric poster and I think it was a success! I would definitely recommend this option to others, but it does require a bit of extra time for shipping. This is the first chapter of my dissertation and I’ll be spending the summer writing it up for publication – stay tuned!




Teaching as Research Conference

Cornell recently hosted the first annual Teaching as Research National Conference and I was able to participate through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Program. I participated in SOTL in collaboration with Gregor Siegmend (a fellow Cornell EEB grad student) during the Fall and Spring semesters. We’re interested in how gender influences social dynamics in the classroom and conducted a small project to better understand the social dynamics in Cornell’s Intro Evolution (BioEE 1780), an active-learning (“flipped”) course.

One of the primary take-aways from our project: male and female students interact differently in the classroom, with female students interacting more with the instructors during small group work and male students more often by volunteering during lecture. Because instructors determine the types of interactions that can occur in the classroom, they can influence whether female or male students are more likely to participate in class.  




Galápagos Curriculum 2017

During the Spring 2017 semester I was honored to teach the First-Year Writing Seminar (FWS) component of the Galápagos Curriculum. We had a wonderful group of 10 Cornell biology undergraduates and took an amazing trip to the Galápagos Islands during Spring Break. Teaching an FWS was a great opportunity for me to get more teaching experience, as I designed and implemented all aspects of the course.


NAOC VI: Washington, D.C.

I’ve just returned from a great time in Washington D.C. for the 2016 North American Ornithological Conference. It was my first opportunity to present preliminary work from my dissertation on genomics and hybridization in the northern flicker. It was amazing to see so many ornithologists in the same place – I was able to meet many new people and to catch up with old friends.


Cornell Lab of Ornithology members past and present



First field season

I have recently returned from my first field season in Nebraska and Colorado working on northern flickers. I was performing a transect across the hybrid zone following the Platte River. I had the great pleasure of working with Brianna Mims, a Cornell undergraduate and former student in the Galapagos course. For a portion of our time we stayed at University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Cedar Point Biological Station and had a great experience!

View some more photos from our trip here!