Category Archives: natural history

Phenotypes in Comparative Phylogeography

Earlier this week, The Molecular Ecologist contributor Bryan McLean posted about the current state of comparative phylogeography (Riddle 2016). He listed several exciting directions that comparative phylogeography is heading, including more research that includes trait data. As a followup to … Continue reading

Posted in comparative phylogeography, natural history, phylogeography, population genetics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A tale of mammoths and a disappearing lake

A wonderful study revealed a sad story of the St. Paul Island population of woolly mammoths. Using a creative and diverse set of analytical approaches, scientists identified freshwater shortage as the likely cause of their extinction. A cross-disciplinary collaboration of … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, evolution, natural history | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What do dolphins, bivalves and algae have in common?

Collaboration as it turns out, between three scientists interested in vertebrates, invertebrates and algae! A few days before we left for Evolution 2016 in Austin, one of my collaborators, Eric Pante, came to Charleston as the final stop in a North American … Continue reading

Posted in bioinformatics, blogging, career, conferences, DNA barcoding, haploid-diploid, natural history, phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genetics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The final nail in the coffin of Patagonian megafaunal extinctions

Are our ancestors responsible for Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions? Were the Ice Age giants doomed to extinction because they couldn’t adapt or is it human fault that there is no woolly rhino, giant deer and cave bear today? A new … Continue reading

Posted in evolution, natural history, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

New World snakes are “mimics until proven otherwise”

Henry Walter Bates spent more than a decade living in the Amazon, having the sort of adventures that inspired generations of naturalists. His most famous and lasting contributions to natural history are his foundational descriptions of mimicry among species. The type … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, evolution, natural history, phylogenetics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Personal narrative of a journey from zoos to academia

Back in February, the South Carolina Aquarium and The Center for Humans and Nature hosted the finale in the Holland Lifelong Learning series of “Why do zoos and aquariums matter?” in Charleston. I’ll admit, at first, the main reason I … Continue reading

Posted in blogging, book review, career, community, conservation, evolution, natural history | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The not so singular process of hybridization

What, if anything, are hybrids? Zach Gompert and Alex Buerkle ask this question in a special issue in Evolutionary Applications. Hybrids occur when unrelated individuals mate, but how distant do the taxa need to be to constitute a cross? The varied … Continue reading

Posted in bioinformatics, conservation, domestication, evolution, genomics, natural history, next generation sequencing, plants | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment