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:


AOS 2019: Anchorage, AK

I’ve just returned from visiting the perpetual summer sunshine in Alaska for the annual AOS meeting! In collaboration with Jen Walsh and Gemma Clucas, I organized a symposium focused on avian hybrid zone research. We had a great set of speakers and had great attendance throughout the two sessions!

I presented on the second chapter of my dissertation where I use whole-genome sequencing of northern flickers to (finally!) identify differentiated regions of the genome and identify associations between genotype and phenotypic differences. Converting this project into a manuscript has been slow going for me, but I hope to have it written up and submitted for review in the next few months!


Connecting Research and Teaching Conference

Gregor Siegmund and I presented a talk on a study examining gender differences in participation in Cornell’s introductory evolution course (a project that was started as a result of our participation in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Program).

We show that men participate disproportionately across all interaction categories we observed, and use survey data to understand how men and women view the course. The corresponding paper is currently in the review process and hopefully will be out soon!


Readings on Diversity in Science

I’ve added a new website tab (Diversity in STEM), so I thought it would be a good time to highlight one of the resources that I’ve been collating. Over the past few years, I’ve been keeping track of news articles, blog posts, and peer reviewed literature that discuss various issues related to diversity in STEM and academia. Feel free to peruse the Readings on Diversity in Science list for use in courses, websites, or just for personal interest!


Evolution 2018: Montpellier, France

I’m just returning from my first trip to Europe to attend the 2018 Evolution meeting in Montpellier, France. I presented a poster on the second chapter of my dissertation, which focuses on using whole genome re-sequencing in northern flickers to identify regions of the genome associated with phenotypic differences. With some luck, this chapter will be submitted for review by the end of the semester!


New paper examining the influence of class sizes is out in BioScience

I’m a co-author on a new paper out today in BioScience! We examine the influence of class sizes on the performance of women and URM undergraduates in biology courses. We found that women underperformed on high stakes exams as class sizes increased, but that they outperformed men on non-exam assessments regardless of class size. URM students underperformed at all class sizes, suggesting other aspects of the educational environment influence their performance or learning. Read the paper here:

This was the result of a collaboration between many institutions and was led by Cissy Ballen.

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