2018 is off to a great start! Our latest paper on the evolutionary origin of insect wings is now published in PNAS (self-archived version here, and SI from here). By studying wing related tissues in the abdomen of beetles, we obtained further evidence supporting a dual evolutionary origin of insect wings. Hope you like it!
End-of-the-semester lab gathering!
Courtney presented her PhD work at the Biology Departmental Seminar. The seminar was beautifully delivered, followed by some good discussions. We celebrated the success of the seminar with beer and lavash :-)
We had a big event last week! Dr. Sean Carroll visited Miami as the speaker for the 43rd annual Hefner Lecture. We had a lot of fun interacting with him, and the two talks he gave (a technical talk on snake venoms, and the Hefner Lecture on his most recent book “THE SERENGETI RULES“) were both engaging and inspirational!
Still preprint, but the manuscript regarding our effort to establish a system to analyze enhancers in Tribolium is now available on bioRxiv (link).
We had a lot of struggles to make this work, but we also had a lot of fun collaborating with Dan, Marc, and Ezzat. This work was not possible at all without their help. No celebration yet, as we still need to find good home for this manuscript (fingers crossed), but hope this is a big step forward in insect evodevo!
We made all of our FAIRE data available (NCBI GEO link here), so you can take a look at your genes and hunt for your enhancers!
OK, the last recap. Courtney, Yoshi, and Taka (visitor from Kyoto) visited the Burgess Shale, thanks to the trip organized by the Pan-Am Evo-Devo! It was amazing to be able to visit such an iconic place for evolutionary biology. On top of that, the scenery from the Burgess Shale fossil site was beyond describable!
We attended several conferences during the summer.
Yoshi presented at the 4th Asian-Pasific Drosophila Conference in Osaka Japan, Indian Society for Developmental Biologists in Pune India, and Pan-American evo-devo conference in Calgary Canada.
Courtney presented her poster at Pan-American evo-devo conference in Calgary Canada. She was also the student representative of the Pan-Am evo-devo council, working hard to organize the meeting.
All conferences were amazing and stimulating!
Bonus: students from shashi’s lab (who kindly hosted me during the conference) took me to the historical mountain fort near Pune. Amazing place!
We had to amazing visitors in our lab this summer. Ana Fernández, a PhD student from Xavier Belles lab in Barcelona Spain, spent three months with us and worked on elucidating metamorphosis mechanism in the German cockroach, Blattella germanica. Taka Ohde, an assistant professor at Kyoto University, also visited us. We worked together on establishing a mayfly culture method and analyzing mayfly morphology. Thank you both so much for visiting us. It was fun!!
Jake Schultz, a sophomore undergrad researcher, spent the entire summer in the lab and conducted his USS-funded project on establishing mayflies as an evo-devo model system. Thanks to the hard work of Jake and Courtney, we now have some mayflies in the lab!