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! ūüôā

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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! ūüôā

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! ūüėČ

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! ūüôā

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‚ÄĒexciting!

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 p√°ramos, 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

My first talk as a postdoc

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I gave my first talk as a postdoc today ūüôā

It was at BioLunch, a weekly department wide seminar at the University of Missouri-St.Louis Biology Department. I presented my work on Bartsia and people really liked it.

I was honored by the presence of eminent scientists like Bob Ricklefs, Peter Stevens, Bob Marquis, and of course my current postdoctoral advisor Nathan Muchhala, Ivan Jimenez, Eric Knox, all my lab mates, and students from across the department!

It was a great experience and a great way to start this new stage in my life.

First day at UMSL

Today is my first day as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri-St. Louis! I’m very excited to start working with Nathan on a super cool project involving genomics, phylogenomics, pollination experiments, and speciation in¬†Burmeistera (Campanulaceae)!

My office is not too shabby either ūüėČ

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New Position!

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I’m very excited to have accepted a postdoctoral position with Dr. Nathan Muchhala at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. I’ll start on October 1st 2015, working on the phylogenomics of the plant genus¬†Burmeistera (Campanulaceae). We’ll then use those¬†results to investigate¬†pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation in the group. Pretty cool!