Chickadees can smell! Alex’s new paper out in Ecology and Evolution

Visual and auditory signals have been well studied in songbirds and often play important roles in premating reproductive isolation, but olfaction has received much less attention. Alex’s new paper shows that olfactory cues also have the potential to act in premating reproductive isolation. He found that preen oils from black-capped and Carolina chickadees have different chemical profiles, and that males and females of both species prefer to associate with odors from individuals of their own species. Check out his paper here!

Alex awarded Thorne Fellowship for Spring 2019

Congratulations, Alex! Alex was awarded a Gordon C. Thorne Fellowship from the Department of Biological Sciences in recognition of his research accomplishments. This fellowship will allow Alex to take some longer sampling trips for the last aim of his thesis investigating olfactory communication as a component of reproductive isolation. It is much appreciated. Way to go, Alex!

Mike now a postdoc with Dr. Sarah Tishkoff at UPenn!

We are all so excited for Mike as he moves on to a postdoc position with Dr. Sarah Tishkoff at the University of Pennsylvania! Mike’s new position started July 2. He will be working with Dr. Tishkoff’s group on human evolutionary genomics. What a fantastic opportunity! We can’t wait to hear more about what he learns and the projects he works on.¬†Congratulations and best wishes, Mike!

Introducing Dr. McQuillan!

We are all very proud of Mike, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation on Monday, April 16! Mike’s dissertation is entitled Ecological causes and evolutionary consequences of hybridization in chickadees.¬†He has done some really exciting research, and we look forward to great things yet to come from Dr. McQuillan. Way to go, Mike!

Celebratory champagne with the new Dr. McQuillan. (Photo credit: Maria Brace)

Mike and three members of his dissertation committee. L to R: Murray Itzkowitz, Amber Rice, Mike McQuillan, Greg Lang. Committee member not pictured: Dr. Michael Braun, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. (Photo credit: Maria Brace)

Congratulatory decorations from a Rice Lab undergraduate. (Photo credit: Maria Brace)

Mike wins “best talk” awards

A belated congratulations to Mike for receiving the Best Graduate Student Talk award at the 2017 Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium at DeSales University…AND for receiving 3rd Best Graduate Student Talk at the Evolution in Philadelphia Conference at the University of Pennsylvania, both in April.