2015 UR Biology Department Retreat

Thanks to those who made this year’s retreat a success. We kicked off the retreat with a BBQ/bonfire party and a hilarious game of Bio-pictionary. The next day had two outstanding alumni speakers (Dr. Snow Shen and Dr. Rob Unckless), relaxation, hiking, wine tasting, games and a vibrant poster session. What great science and great company!

Retreat Group Shot

2015 UR Biology Department retreat group shot in Bristol Harbour, NY.

Annual Department of Biology retreat award winners

Congratulations to the 2015 Department of Biology retreat award winners:


“Team Cara” poses with the Golden Pipette

Golden Pipette Award: Sophea Chhim, Adil Khan, Chuck Hutti, Cara Brand (EEB), Jovany Martinez (pictured left to right).

Poster competition: Emerson Khost (EEB) and Matthew Johnson (CDM)

Spirit Award: Cara Brand (EEB), Vince Martinson (EEB), Jingyuan Zhang, Tian Zhang


Emerson Khost, EEB poster contest winner


Cara Brand (EEB) accepts the Spirit Award on behalf of her team.

Post Doc Position

If anyone is looking for a postdoctoral research position, check out this interesting research at Penn State:

The Baums lab at The Pennsylvania State University is looking for a postdoc to work on coral hybridization genomics, funded by the National Science Foundation. The only widely accepted coral hybrid system consists of the once dominant but now threatened Caribbean species, Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata. In the past, hybrid colonies originating from natural crosses between elkhorn and staghorn corals were rare, and evidence of hybrid reproduction was limited to infrequent matings with the staghorn coral. Recent field observations suggest that the hybrid is increasing and its ecological role is changing throughout the Caribbean. These hybrids appear to be less affected by the disease that led to the mass mortality of their parental species in recent decades. Research will address how the increase in hybridization and perhaps subsequent introgression will affect the current ecological role and the future evolutionary trajectory of Caribbean acroporids.

If interested, apply here!

Departmental Picnic

Please join us TODAY at the Department picnic on the Carlson Library veranda. Chef Hiram will be flipping hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs. There will also be a variety of salads, chips, desserts and drinks.

The Department will provide the food and drink…you bring the sunshine!! See you all there!

Tour de Franzia in honor of Dr. Anthony Geneva

We have a little tradition in the Biology Department where we hold a Tour de Franzia for graduate students who successfully defend their thesis. This past weekend we celebrated Dr. Geneva using brand new, big-wheel tricycles. The results were pretty stellar! Looking forward to many more defense parties in the future (including one tomorrow night at Nox in the Village Gate… come celebrate Yasir!!)

Congrats to Dr. Anthony Geneva

Congratulations to Anthony Geneva from the Glor and Garrigan Labs who successfully defended his dissertation about “Integrative analyses of speciation in Anolis lizards”. There will be cake and champagne to celebrate Dr. Geneva in the grad student lounge today at 2pm. Anthony will be heading off to Harvard to start a post-doc in Jonathan Losos lab.

There will also be a party tonight at Bob’s house to celebrate both Anthony’s successful defense and Yasir’s (impending) successful defense!

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Upcoming Thesis Defenses!

This summer has been quite productive for a few of our graduate students. Here are some upcoming thesis defenses happening this summer, hope to see you all there!

Anthony Geneva (Co-Advisors: Rich Glor and Dan Garrigan)
Friday, August 7, 10:00 AM, Hutch 473
“Integrative analyses of speciation in Anolis lizards”

Yasir Ahmed, (Advisor: Allen Orr)
Tuesday, August 11, 11:00 AM, Hutch 473
“The genetics of species differences in the Drosophila virilis group”