Vince Fasanello treated us yesterday to an amazing overview of his research at the Botero Lab, using experimental evolution and biogeography to investigate Janzen's mountain pass hypothesis. His talk was part of the Living Earth Collaborative and the Ecology, Evolution and Population Biology seminar series at Washington University. It can be watched any time, at your own convenience using this link. Great job Vince!
Huge congrats to Vincent Fasanello for pushing through a long review process and getting our recent paper through the finish line. The paper describes a new system for experimental evolution in yeast that will set us up for many exciting studies! Shout out to our awesome collaborator Justin Fay. Without him, none of this would have been possible. Thanks to Ping Liu as well for her hard work. Very proud of all...
As a long time fan of STL public radio and a frequent listener of Saint Louis on the Air, I was delighted to be Sarah Fenske's guest today and to talk about our study on avian brood parasites. My connection faltered but interview somehow came through... thank you to the professionals at STL public radio for making this happen!
Please follow this link to read an excerpt of the coverage and listen to the piece and do consider donating to your public radio station!
Thanks to Nick Antonson, Dustin Rubenstein and Mark Hauber for a great collaboration!
Check it out at: https://rdcu.be/b6oEM
I recently visited the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis to give an invited talk on the origin and spread of human agriculture. Thank you to Dr. Sergey Gavrilets for being an amazing host and to all the wonderful colleagues that I met during this visit. The recorded talk is available below:
Thomas Haaland and I recently wrote a paper that investigates potential vulnerabilities in natural populations to changes in the intensity, duration and frequency of extreme weather events. The paper is open access so feel free to download it from my publications link or directly from the publisher's URL. Although it took some time to get covered, the press and more importantly, the institutions that can really use this information are beginning to pay attention. Here's an example of our coverage so far...
Are you interested in a largely independent postdoctoral fellowship that will allow you to advance your research agenda, expand your network of mentors and colleagues and make a difference in the world? If so, then please consider the following opportunity from the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University. Please contact me for details if you are interested in submitting an application...
I am happy to announce that two of our newest products have been published in Nature Communications and Ecology and Evolution. Kudos to Trevor Fristoe and Thomas Haaland for their hard work and brilliance... Trevor's paper explores the atypical distribution of brain sizes in temperate environments (spoiler alert: it is bimodal) and how it may be related to alternative ecological strategies to deal with massive temperate swings. Thomas' paper investigates the phenomenon of extreme weather events and proposes a framework for understanding how organisms may adapt or not to current changes in the intensity, frequency and scope of these events. Press summaries of our work are found here:
Big Brains or Big Guts? | Brave New World
Necessity or surplus? Eco-evolutionary modeling tools provide new perspectives on the ecological drivers of human agriculture...
Our new paper on the origins of human agriculture is out today in Nature Human Behavior. By modeling how the potential density of hunter-gatherer societies changed both around the world and in regions where agriculture originated, our study evaluated the support for alternative hypotheses related to why agriculture evolved when it did. Our analyses indicate that the carrying capacity of hunter-gatherer habitats in these areas of origin was generally improving during the times in which agriculture evolved, supporting the idea that surplus may have enabled early humans to develop this costly new mode of subsistence (possibly by allowing them to allocate time and energy into the domestication of plants and animals and the development of new techniques to derive sustenance from their environment).
Stay tuned for the next few months for more exciting products of our collaboration with linguists, social scientists, and other eco-evolutionary biologists on this topic.
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