Posts made in January, 2023

Fall 2022

Posted by on Jan 24, 2023 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fall 2022

The Karubian lab wrapped up 2022 on a high note, with students Katie Rompf and Kat Perkins successfully defending their MS theses. Here is an overview of what lab members have been up to!

Therese Lamperty moved from the University of Washington in Seattle to Tulane where she started a fellowship with the American Association of University Women to focus on finishing up a project with Jordan that they began during her PhD. The project involves investigating potential genetic consequences for trees that might follow the loss of primates and other fruit-eating and seed-dispersing animals in the Amazon. In addition, she spent a lot of time getting reacquainted with New Orleans life and getting settled. She also gave workshops to elementary and middle schools to teach children about pollinators and how to identify them. Lastly, she published a paper with her PI at the University of Washington, Berry Brosi, called “Loss of endangered frugivores from seed dispersal networks generates severe mutualism disruption” in Proceedings of the Royal Society B and had another paper accepted in the journal Conservation Science and Practice, which is a project examining the rewilding of Singapore with her previous PIs at Nanyang Technological University (Matthew Luskin and David Wardle).

Kaushik Narasimhan is finishing up with a defense date at the end of April. He is working to resubmit his first chapter and is applying for jobs. The next semester will be a busy one!

Annelise Blanchette has been busy this semester (still) writing the manuscript for the first chapter of her dissertation, and she hopes to submit it for review early next semester. She has also been learning how to preprocess transcriptomic data so she can jump into differential gene expression analysis early next semester. She’ll hopefully start the manuscript for that chapter over the winter break, but we’ll see about that. She’s made some changes to her third chapter and will spend winter break planning out the methods so everything goes smoothly in the spring. Per usual, she ran a half marathon this semester and it was just okay.

Mike Ellis returned from his year in Ecuador and, tragically, missed crawdad season entirely. He has been honing his R skills while delving deeper into the contentious debate around beta diversity analyses and their partitioning for his first chapter. He had another paper on hummingbird diversity in forest fragments accepted to Biotropica that he co-authored with previous honors student Kyu Min Huh.

Luke Anderson spent the semester as a TA for the Molecular and Evolutionary Genetics course at Tulane and contributed to various ongoing projects in the lab. He received a student presentation award for his talk about manakins at the Society of Canadian Ornithologists conference in September. In addition, he has been preparing for his upcoming stint at the Braun Lab at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where he will be investigating the effects of sexual selection on Z-chromosome genetic diversity across the manakin phylogeny.

Judith Santano is now in her 2nd year and is working hard to solidify her research ideas. This past field season, she spent 3 months at FCAT in Ecuador. She built up her mist netting skills by co-leading a field team of 7 undergraduate students to survey the plots in FCAT’s ongoing reforestation project. She caught and banded over 100 hummingbirds!!! A major win for her grad school journey. She also taught the Tropical Biology Field Course with Luke and Sarah where they led the bird team. However, the summer was not all work. Judith and other Karubian lab members went to ATBC (her first conference as a graduate student) in Cartegena, Colombia, where she got to meet some incredible scientists. She also had the opportunity to visit the Galapagos for this first (but DEFINITELY not last) time for a post-field work vacation! This semester she’s focused on teaching for the first time, continuing with her outreach work, applying to grants, and reading as much as possible. Next field season is already on her mind, but she’s enjoying her big life here in New Orleans.

Jordan was on sabbatical in Fall 2022 but still found ways to keep busy. In addition to kayaking the Louisiana bayous, he visited Ecuador several times as part of his Fulbright Fellowship, and helped to set up the TIERA Program at Tulane.

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