Difference between revisions of "Andrew Frank"

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[[Category:EEB Graduate Students|Frank]]
[[Category:EEB People|Frank]]
[[Image:Andrew Frank Snake.png|thumb|300px|right|Andrew holding the extremely dangerous ''Thamnophis sirtalis'', which promptly musked him]]
[[Image:AndrewHeadScales.png|thumb|300px|right|Head scales of <i>Plestiodon skiltonianus</i>, illustration by Andrew Frank]]
[[Image:Andrew_Frank_Caving.jpg|thumb|300px|right|Andrew caving in the karst landscape of West Virginia]]
==Contact Information==
'''Email:''' andrew.frank@uconn.edu
'''Phone:''' (845) 728-6551
'''Office:''' BPB 322
'''Mailing Address:''' Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology<br/>
University of Connecticut<br/>
75 N. Eagleville Road Unit 3043<br/>
Storrs, CT 06269
'''PhD Student''', [http://www.uconn.edu University of Connecticut], [http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/eebwww/ Ecology and Evolutionary Biology]  2013-present <br/>
Major Advisor: [http://jockusch.eeb.uconn.edu/ Elizabeth Jockusch, Ph.D.]
'''Bachelor of Science''', [http://www.american.edu/ American University], [http://www.american.edu/cas/biology/index.cfm Department of Biology] 2007-2011 <br/>
Thesis Advisor: [http://www.american.edu/cas/faculty/carlini.cfm David Carlini, Ph.D.]
===Current Interests===
I am interested in answering evolutionary questions by leveraging molecular data in novel ways. My current graduate work focuses on three core interests: speciation and population genetics, systematics and taxonomy, and deep-level phylogenetics.  Broadly speaking, I am interested in...
* [http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2014/04/three-graduate-students-awarded-nsf-research-fellowships/ The development of coalescent methods to detect parallel speciation in North American ''Plestiodon'' skinks]
* [http://www.american.edu/cas/news/Gammarus-Minus-Capstones.cfm Phenotypic changes in relation to processes of speciation, e.g. those associated with a transition to a cave-dwelling phenotype]
* Testing support for root placements in the squamate molecular data set of Wiens et al. 2012 to resolve differences between morphological and molecular phylogenies of Squamata
* [https://github.com/andrewfrank/Decatenater Decatenater] - An R pipeline that accepts a nexus format concatenated nucleotide alignment as input, and outputs a number of useful files for each gene alignment that makes up the input concatenated alignment. These files include nexus and phylip alignments for the individual genes, a nexus file containing a PAUP block that executes PAUP's basefreqs function per gene per codon position, and PartitionFinder configuration files for each gene. Decatenater also allows the user to exclude multiple sets of taxa from the input concatenated nexus file and outputs files that lack indicated taxa. Additional pipeline steps for Decatenater are currently in development, including automation of PartitionFinder, garli, RAxML, and BEAST analyses.
* '''2015:''' Herpetologists' League EE Williams Research Grant Award - 2nd place; honorable mention
* '''2014:''' SSAR Grants in Herpetology, Laboratory category - $500
* '''2014:''' [http://www.evolutionsociety.org/index.php?module=content&type=user&func=view&pid=16#RG2014 Society for the Study of Evolution Rosemary Grant Award] - $2461
* '''2014:''' University of Connecticut Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and CT Museum of Natural History, Ralph M. Wetzel Vertebrate Research Award - $400
* '''2014:''' [http://www.nsfgrfp.org/about_the_program National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow] <br/>
* '''2011:''' University Honors in Biology, ''magna cum laude'' <br/>
* '''2010:''' [http://www.american.edu/cas/src/awards-2010.cfm Best natural science poster by a junior/senior], [http://www.american.edu/cas/src/ American University Mathias Student Research Conference] <br/>
* '''2008:''' [http://www.american.edu/cas/about/scholarships-undergraduate.cfm Stephen J. Grebe Award for undergraduate summer research]
==About Me==
My initial interest in biology took root in the incredible complexity of the very small. As an undergraduate at American University, I explored changes in morphology in the freshwater amphipod ''Gammarus minus'' as it invaded cave environments in West Virginia. Caving in the valleys of West Virginia, doing faunal surveys, and collecting amphipods created a passion and sense of discovery in biological work.
My amphipod research experience helped me continue my scientific work as an undergraduate at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. There, I worked with Dr. Jon Norenburg to differentiate two species of marine Nemertean worms, ''Lineus ruber'' and ''Lineus viridus'', using the molecular barcode gene, COI. Working at the Smithsonian created a burgeoning attraction to molecular systematics, and strongly influenced my desire to pursue graduate work in this field.
In my senior year at American, I applied and was accepted to Teach for America. For the next two years of my life, I became dedicated to the scientific education of 240 high school freshman. I taught a freshman level science and engineering course at the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology (AoEGT) in Hartford, CT. At AoEGT, I became invested in producing a hands-on curriculum that drove curiosity and captured interest, and started creating projects using under-used resources in the school.
After my two-year commitment to Teach for America, I enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, where I am currently pursuing research on parallel speciation and the molecular systematics of lizards.
Frank, A., and Carlini, D. Isolating Microsatellite Sequences for Development of Microsatellite Primers
for Cave and Surface Amphipod ''Gammarus minus''. Oral presentation. American University Mathias
Student Research Conference. Washington, DC. May, 2011 [[:File:AndrewFrankUndergraduateThesisPresentation.pdf|PDF]]
Frank, A., and Norenburg, J. Species delimitation of two nemertean worms: effective application of
DNA barcoding. Poster presentation. American University Mathias Student Research Conference. Washington, DC. May, 2010 [[:File:AndrewFrankUndergradPoster.pdf|PDF]]
'''Fall 2014'''
* Guest Lecture in Bioinformatics and Genomic Applications: "R applications in phylogenetics"
'''Fall 2013 - Spring 2014:''' Teaching Assistant, Foundations of Biology - University of Connecticut <br/>
'''Fall 2011 - Spring 2013:''' Secondary Science Teacher - Hartford Public High School, Hartford, CT
* Taught the two years, as a Teach for America corps member, of a pilot freshman level science and technology course in the economically deprived Hartford Public Schools.
* Designed and instituted a summer bridge program for middle school students transitioning into high school, resulting in a 15% improvement in participating student scores in freshman level science and technology.
==Society Memberships==
* [http://systbiol.org/ Society of Systematic Biologists]
* [http://www.evolutionsociety.org/ Society for the Study of Evolution]
* [http://www.ssarherps.org/ Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles]

Revision as of 17:17, 7 November 2017