New Position and Moving On

I’m very excited to have accepted a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor! I’ll be working with Stephen Smith on bioinformatic and genomic methods for phylogenetics with a strong focus on angiosperms. This is a great opportunity for me to expand my computational skills and learn new approaches to generating large genomic datasets!

Go Wolverines! 

Evolution Meeting!

I spent five incredible days in Portland, Oregon, at the Evolution Meeting. This is one of  the largest evolutionary meetings in the world, and my brain was overloaded with information!

I gave a talk on the phylogenomic work I’ve been doing on Burmeistera using all the genomic data that we’ve generated. I really enjoyed my time in Portland, getting inspired by cool science and hanging out with friends from across the country!

My talk was recorded and you can watch it here:

My latest and first paper as a postdoc!

My latest paper on Burmeistera was just published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution! In this paper, we investigated the best approach to combine complete plastome data generated with high-throughout sequencing and traditional Sanger sequences. This is really important because there are many publicly available Sanger data that people tend to forget about, and it would be a waste not to use them. We also produced the largest Burmeistera phylogeny to date, laying a foundation for a future taxonomic revision of the group.

You can find the article in the “Publications” tab on my website or here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790316304158

Department Seminar at OSU!

simon-at-osu I was invited to give my first Department Seminar at Oklahoma State University! I presented (September 14th, 2016) work from my dissertation on Neobartsia as well as current and future work on speciation and the accumulation of species properties. I spent two days in Stillwater and everything went really well. My host, Mark Fishbein, and his students were great and I had many good and stimulating conversations with them and other people in the department.

What a fantastic experience! 🙂

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Botany Conference in Savannah

Oh the Botany Conference, one of my favorite events of the year… Every year, 1000 or so botanists take over a city for three days to talk about all things plants: evolution,systematics, taxonomy, seeds, etc. It was my first ever international conference in 2010 and I’ve made so many friends and colleagues that it seems strange when I can’t attend.

This year we met in beautiful Savannah, GA, and spend the days going from seminar to seminar, talking science, and interacting with friends and colleagues. It was also a great venue to present my preliminary results on Burmeistera and an approach to incorporate Sanger with high-throughout sequencing data.

My talk was recorded and you can watch it here:

New paper on Neobartsia

Bartsia_Mosaique_SmallMy latest paper on Neobartsia was published today in Systematic Botany! 🙂

This paper is the culmination of five years of hard work during my Ph.D., summarizing results from many analyses and types of data. The main result of this publication is the creation of Neobartsia, a new genus containing every Andean species (47) of the former genus Bartsia. I couldn’t be more excited and proud of this paper, besides, it’s really cool to name a genus! 😉

You can read the publication here: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1600/036364416X692299

New Paper on Genomics and Phylogenomics!

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Our paper on target enrichment and high-throughput sequencing was publish today! 🙂

We developed a method to amplify multiple loci using microfluidic PCR from both the chloroplast and nuclear genome. The enriched loci can then be sequenced using a high-throughput sequencing platform, in our case Illumina. The paper also includes a pipeline to process the raw reads, recover alleles, and asses ploidy levels of the samples—exciting!

Check it out here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0148203

New publication on Biogeography and Diversification!

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Great news, my latest Ph.D. paper with Dave Tank was recently published in the American Journal of Botany!

The paper is focused on the biogeographic history and diversification patterns of the high Andean plant genus Bartsia (Orobanchaceae). We hypothesized that the movement into a new geographic region, namely the páramos, triggered an increase in the rate of net diversification in Bartsia. This pattern of “Dispersification” (dispersion and diversification) has been identified in other groups of plants and it might be more common than we previously thought.

To know more about it, you can download the paper here: http://www.amjbot.org/content/102/11/1854.abstract doi:10.3732/ ajb.1500229