A very happy new year to all!
Undergrad Jason Pizzini graduated in Dec 2015, but will be returning (hopefully) to complete some left over lab work.
Undergrad Hamza Khan will be returning as well to continue his project on nutrition-micriobiome interactions in wild birds.
We are about to travel to Tennessee to bring back some Red Junglefowl (Richardson’s strain). This is a big moment for our program. Red Junglefowl are considered the principal ancestor to all domesticated chicken. In their native range in Asia they face decline due to shrinking habitat but also threats from another source – namely introgression with domesticated chicken. The Red Junglefowl we are getting come from a pure line of birds that were imported by the U.S. in the 1960s. These birds have many secrets to reveal about chicken domestication, avian health and generally about avian evolution.
It will be a busy semester as far as teaching goes. I am teaching POSC 414 – Avian Genetics, but also EEBL 605 – Population and Quantitative Genetics (shared with Michel Slotman).