Field work in Mexico!

I just returned from a three week collecting trip in the deserts of Mexico. The trip was a huge success, here’s just a few of the species that were collected, clockwise from the upper left Pituophis deppei, Coluber flagellum, Crotalus atrox, Boa constrictor, Rhinocheilus lecontei, and Salvadora deserticola:


DDIG Funded!!

I was recently awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for my work in the desert southwest! That means Rad-seq data for population level sampling across 13 co-disributed snake species!! The below figure is from my proposal and although the trees are based on a single locus they illustrate the deep genetic divergences between populations in the Sonoran vs. the Chihuahuan deserts. A great system for studying the process of speciation!


North American Snake Communities

A new paper by my advisor and me show that there is a modal snake body size at the community, biome, region, and phylogenetic grouping, however speciation rates are not highest at this modal size. This suggests that trait driven diversification does not account for a regional pool of body sizes from which local communities are formed, however we suggest that the persistence of a modal size could still produce regional body size frequency distributions that we observed. Read all about it!