Meet the new molecular ecologists

With the new year, we’re bringing on some new contributors to the blog, as promised. Please give a warm Molecular Ecologist welcome to Sabrinha Gita Aninta and Rishi De-Kayne, introducing themselves below. Keep an eye out for their first posts soon!

Rishi De-Kayne

Rishi De-Kayne

Who are you?

Hi! I’m Rishi, a 26 year old postdoc from the UK.

Where are you?

A few months ago I finished my PhD (which I did in Switzerland) and have now moved to Scotland where I’m starting a postdoc in Simon Martin’s Lab at the University of Edinburgh.

What do you study?

My main interests are to do with the genomic basis of adaptation and speciation. In the past I have investigated these questions by using metagenomics to study plant-microbe associations and how these might facilitate speciation, and during my PhD I used genomic techniques to study the Alpine whitefish radiation. As part of my new project my work will focus on understanding the origin, evolution, and maintenance of a wing pattern supergene in the African monarch butterfly.

What do you do when you’re not studying it?

I enjoy spending time outdoors, especially walking and cycling. At the moment this mostly consists of exploring the areas around my new flat, including the beautiful Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve. I love the coast so being near the beach after four years in a landlocked country has been fantastic. In the evenings you can usually find me listening to music and playing my guitar. During my PhD I also spent a lot of time interviewing over 100 biology PhD students for my blog PhDetails (https://phdetails.blogspot.com/), which I’m hoping to start again soon in addition to writing for The Molecular Ecologist!

Sabrhina Gita Aninta

Sabhrina Gita Aninta

Who are you?

My name is Sabhrina Gita Aninta. I love to call myself a biodiversity informatician. It means that I am working on how best using all information regarding our biodiversity, starting from organizing it up so that other people that are not involved in its collection can easily use it for further research, to getting insights from it by combining it with other types of information. I am an evolutionary biologist by training.

Where are you?

I am currently based on London for my PhD at Queen Mary University of London but I originally come from Indonesia. You can also find me on the internet at my Twitter @sagitaninta.

What do you study?

I study conservation genomics of anoa and babirusa, two endemic ungulates from the Wallacea, a biodiversity hotpot in Indonesia. I’d like to understand more about how genomic information can benefit conservation efforts. Other than analysing whole genome sequences of these two taxa, I am currently working on getting genetic information from museum specimens, working on demographic analysis, population genetics of deleterious mutations, and figuring out how to use species distribution modelling to predict future genetic diversity.

What do you do when you’re not studying it?

Figuring out parenting, brewing coffee, baking brownies, and watching animes.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Assistant 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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