Molecular ecologists — and molecular ecology — at Evolution 2019

The Providence skyline. (Flickr: Timothy Burling)

June means summer is well underway in the northern hemisphere, and those of us tied to the academic calendar are off to fieldwork, buckling down for summer teaching or grant-writing or just writing — and planning for conferences. Evolution, the joint annual meeting of the American Society of Naturalists, Society of Systematic Biologists, and Society for the Study of Evolution, is a big one for molecular ecology and molecular ecologists, and as in many years multiple contributors to this very blog will be present and presenting in Providence, Rhode Island. Here’s a quick rundown of which TME contributors and alumni will be speaking at Evolution 2019, and what events on the program schedule have us excited. Look for our coverage of the conference itself when we converge on the [checks Wikipedia] "Ocean State" on Friday, June 21.

Friday, 21 June

The annual Stephen Jay Gould Prize Lecture will be given by 2019 prizewinner Mohammed Noor, who will draw on his recent book Live Long and Evolve: What Star Trek Can Teach Us about Evolution, Genetics, and Life on Other Worlds. to explain why it actually makes sense that every alien in the Star Trek galaxy looks like a human being in latex prosthetics. Of course we’re into it. — 1905h, Exhibit Hall A

Saturday, 22 June

In a change from past years, the society presidential addresses are now the first item on the schedule for three days of the conference. Saturday opens with ASN President Michael Whitlock, speaking on "The science of doubt". — 0820h, Exhibit Hall A

Wilson Guillory will present "A new approach to estimating historical distributions with ecological niche modelling and ancestral state reconstruction" — 1000h, Room 553

Ruth Rivkin will present about the effects of urbanization on the strength of plant-pollinator interactions — 1200h, Evolution Ecology 2, Room 554

Rob Denton is co-organizing the SSE Symposium on the evolution of sex chromosomes and sex determination1430h, Exhibit Hall D

Daniel Schrider will explain how "Background selection does not mimic the patterns of genetic diversity produced by selective sweeps" — 1530h, Room 552

A honeybee visiting (bilaterally symmetrical) Salvia flowers (jby)

Sunday, 23 June

Start the day with the address by SSB President Susana Magallón, "The timing of angiosperm evolution, and the complex science behind ‘including fossils’". — 0820h, Exhibit Hall A

Meghan Duffy and Carl Zimmer will be speaking in the morning session of the ASN Vice Presidential Symposium, "Politics, the public, and science", with talks titled "Preaching to the choir, composing new verses, and recruiting new members" and "Science reporting in the age of Fake News," respectively. — 0930h, Exhibit Hall D

In the same time slot, Heath Blackmon will present on "Drivers of chromosome evolution across the tree of life" — 930h, Ballroom A

Reid Brennan will be presenting in the third Adaptation session, with a talk titled "Experimental evolution reveals a loss of physiological plasticity following rapid adaptation to greenhouse conditions". — 0945h, Ballroom DE

Jeremy Yoder will open the ASN Spotlight Session on the ecology and evolution of mutualism (which he organized) with a new study of "Floral symmetry and the structure of pollination networks". — 1430h, Ballroom A

Kathryn Turner will be presenting on the "Herbarium genomics of a plant invasion" in an afternoon session on invasive species. — 1515h, Room 555

Roberto Marquez will present "The genetic origin and evolutionary history of aposematic coloration in Phyllobates poison frogs" — 1615h, Room 554

Phyllobates bicolor, the black-legged poison dart frog. (Wikimedia Commons: Johann Fredericksson)

Monday, 24 June

The final presidential address will be by SSE President Mark Rausher, speaking on the "Manifold effects of secondary contact". — 0820h, Exhibit Hall A

In the first Bioinformatics session, Brandon Lind will present on "Combining exome capture and pool-seq," which sounds very methodologically interesting. — 0930h, Room 553

Patricia Lang will present "Tracking plant phenology and genetic diversity during environmental change using contemporary and historical samples" — 1000h, Room 533

Ben Blackman will present "Revealing the dynamics of sunflower domestication with archaeological DNA" — 1500h, Ballroom DE

Melissa DeBiasse will present "The genome of Corella inflata and tunicate phylogenomics: progress towards reconstructing the ancestral Enterogona" in the evening poster session. — Poster 86, 1730h, Exhibit Hall BC

The LGBTQ and Allies mixer will be held adjacent to the Monday evening poster session — meet in the conference center rotunda for an extra drink ticket and some mingling before adjourning to one of several friendly bars close to the conference center. — 1900h, relocating at 2000h

Tuesday, 25 June

Tuesday morning will feature talks by the recipient of SSE’s Theodosius Dobzhansky Prize, Matt Pennell, and the ASN’s Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigators Awardees Eleanor Caves, Jean Phillipe Gilbert, Ambika Kamath, and Stilianos Louca. — 0900h and 1100h, Exhibit Hall D

Jiaqi Tan will demonstrate that "Rapid evolution in microorganisms drives plant-microbiome interactions" — 0915h, Room 555

Arun Sethuraman will present "The effects of unsampled ‘ghost’ populations on estimation of evolutionary history" in the first population genetics theory — 0930h, Ballroom BC

Andrew Whitehead will present a really cool new result in the ongoing story of killifish adapting to toxic organic pollutants in the Contemporary Evolution Session — 1630h, Room 554

Brook Moyers will present on "MAGIC and complexity in rice under stress" — 1715h, Room 557

The conference concludes with the now-traditional Super Social, to be held at Skyline at Waterplace, which looks pretty swanky. — 1830h to midnight

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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