Category Archives: Miscellaneous

A couple years of progress and fun: 2021-2022 whirlwind

What a whirlwind the past couple of years has been!  Check out what we’ve been up to in 2021 and 2022:

  • The lab had a lot of fun at GLAM EvoGen in Buffalo this year.
    Emiliano, Xiaolu, and Cecile enjoying a post-GLAM meal.

    Undergraduate Miraz Sadi gives a great lightning talk on centromere evolution at GLAM Evogen in Buffalo, NY.
  • Matt Lindsay passed his quals. Congratulations Matt!

    Matt passed his quals and is now a PhD candidate!
  • Emiliano Martí joined the lab and will be co-advised by Daven Presgraves.

    Emiliano, an E2G2 grad student, joined the Larracuente and Presgraves labs
  • In 2022 we’ve been busy with papers on Y chromosomes, drivers, and telomeres, oh my!
  • We said goodbye to amazing undergraduates who are moving on to bigger and better things! Congratulations, Tuan, Sherif, Vera, Eddyson, and Chuqin.

    Tuan Pham (left) and Sherif Negm (right) are off to PhD programs Brown University and the University of Chicago, respectively. Congratulations graduates!
  • Our NIH MIRA grant was renewed. We are excited to continue our work on satellite DNA functional and evolutionary genomics!
  • Xiaolu’s paper on satellite regulation came out in eLife.
  • Check out this blog from the NSF on our hackathon: Hacking is a broader impact activity

Firefly chromosomes

Photinus pyralis mitotic chromosomes Image: Isaac Wong

Firefly season is over. It only lasts a couple of months here in Rochester. We rear fireflies in the lab over the summer to study the chromosomal distributions of their repeats. This is challenging for a number of reasons, one being that Photinus pyralis chromosomes typically appear as amorphous little blobs under the microscope. We spend a few months of each summer trying to find good ways to image chromosomes in the short time that we have with the  fireflies. In the last week of this summer, Isaac Wong (an undergrad in the lab) optimized protocols to find chromosomes – and they don’t look like amorphous blobs! 

A few weeks later, UR wrote an article on fireflies that mentions our work. You can read it here:

Review on the ecology and evolutionary dynamics of meiotic drive

This summer, over 20 biologists studying meiotic drive in a variety of taxa (including flies, plants, mice, birds and fungi) gathered in the Swiss Alps for a workshop to discuss the outstanding questions on meiotic drive. We were thrilled to be a part of this group. One product of this workshop was a review on the ecology and evolutionary dynamics of drive. You can read the review here:

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