First virtual conferences

Summers are always the time for academic conferences, but this year was a little different. I’ve participated in two conferences in the last few weeks: the Great Lakes Annual Meeting of Evolutionary Genomics and the North American Ornithological Conference VII. These were supposed to be held in Rochester, NY and San Jose, Puerto Rico, but due to COVID-19 they ended up being virtual. It was definitely interesting getting to connect with colleagues and present my work from the comfort of my own home. I can see both the positive and negative aspects of entirely virtual conferences, so I hope they can continue but don’t totally replace in-person conferences in the future!

I presented on the results from my recent bioRxiv preprint and got lots of useful feedback! I was even awarded an honorable mention for the Student Presentation Awards at NAOC, which is huge given they had 200+ presentations up for awards this year!


New paper out in CBE—Life Sciences Education!

My paper (with co-first author Gregor Siegmund) focused on classroom participation is now available in CBE—Life Sciences Education. We observed a large, introductory biology course and demonstrate that men participate more in the classroom than expected based on class composition. (We show this is also true across the different types of participation we observed.) Additionally, we use course surveys to show that women in the course report lower scientific self-efficacy and higher salience of gender identity than men.

The paper is open access and available here:


First interview as a “real” scientist!

I recently was interviewed as a “not involved in this study” scientific expert for the first time! Getting to read a soon-to-be released paper (Radchuk et al. 2019, Nature Communications) and discuss it with a journalist was a new and interesting experience for me!

Read the PBS NOVA coverage of the article (by Katherine Wu) here:


Large collaboration leads to a new paper in BioScience

I’m a co-author on a paper recently out in BioScience (led by Cissy Ballen) examining the influence of various aspects of the learning environment on participation by women in STEM courses. This was a large, multi-institutional collaboration and our extensive dataset allowed us to demonstrate that smaller class sizes encourage more participation by women students. This study was also highlighted on the home page of the Cornell Chronicle last week!

Read the paper here: