Jonathan Richmond's research focuses on ecological speciation in North American scincid lizards of the Plestiodon skiltonianus species complex. Specifically, he is interested in understanding how divergent natural selection has influenced the evolution of reproductive incompatibility among clades that differ in their ecology. Although most classic theories of speciation incorporate a role for natural selection in species formation, remarkably few cases of ecological speciation have been demonstrated in natural systems, and the importance and prevalence of natural selection in the speciation process remains an open ended question.
Juvenile Plestiodon skiltonianus
- Sign up to meet with Steven Phillips, creator of Maxent, on Monday, March 21 or Tuesday, March 22 here.  Please consider joining us for dinner Monday night at the brewing company. Contact John Silander or Cory Merow if you're interested.
- Molly Letsch won the NEAS (Northeast Algal Society) Wilce Award April 17, 2010, for her presentation on chloroplast gene order in trebouxiophyte algae. The Wilce Award is given for the best graduate student presentation at the annual NEAS conference, which this year was held at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI.
- EEB majors Kevin Burgio, Anne Ewert, Kaitlin Heenehan, and Nicole Stubbs are new initiates to Phi Beta Kappa for 2009-2010.
- EEB Undergraduate Colin Carlson co-authored his first scientific publication with Tobias Landberg describing a giant jawless snapping turtle
- Greenhouse staff member Dr. Matt Opel was recently elected to serve as President of the Connecticut Cactus and Succulent Society.
- Juan Carlos Villarreal has been awarded the Michael J. Hogan Graduate Summer Research Award.
- Kathryn Theiss has been awarded a fellowship from the Switzer Foundation.
- Jessica Budke received an award from the Botanical Society of America for graduate student research.
- Chris Owen won a graduate student research grant from the Society of Systematic Biologists to partially fund his May-July research stay in Australia working with Max Moulds on a monograph of the Australian Cicada genus Pauropsalta.
- Congratulations to Don Les, who was presented with the first CLAS Research Award in the Life Sciences at the CLAS graduation ceremony on May 10, 2009.
- Jessica Budke received a Stanley Greene award from the International Association of Bryologists for $1,100 to complete her dissertation research. She also received a $700 award from the American Microscopy Society allowing her to pursue her studies. A single award for a graduate student is given every year by the Society.
- April Lynn Rodd is a new initiate to Phi Beta Kappa. She is an EEB Major working in David Wagner's lab.
- Alejandro Rico Guevara won one of the best presentation awards at last week's joint meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Society and the Association of Field Ornithologists. The other presentation award went to Jason Hill '08 for a talk on his MS work.
- David Wagner was named a finalist for UConn's 2008-2009 Environmental Leadership Award. The awards are given to faculty, staff, students, organizations and teams for their proven dedication and outstanding contributions to a more environmentally aware and sustainable campus. Provost Peter Nicholls will present the awards to the winners on April 20th.
- Kevin Burgio, who is a University Scholar pursuing his honors thesis work in Margaret Rubega's lab, has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship. "The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by the United States Congress in 1986 in honor of former United States Senator and 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, a Republican from Arizona. Its goal is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.
The Scholarship is awarded to about 300 college sophomores and juniors nationwide a maximum of $7500 per academic year (for their senior year, or junior and senior years). The scholarship is awarded based on merit, the actual amount given is based on financial need.
Competition for the Scholarship is exceedingly intense. Universities are allowed to nominate only four undergraduate students per year to receive the final Scholarship. As a result, the Scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the U.S. conferred upon undergraduates studying the sciences. Through March 2006, Princeton University has had the most Goldwater Scholars with 64, followed by Harvard University (60), Duke University (58), Kansas State University (57), and the University of Chicago (53)."
- Kentwood Wells' book on The Ecology and Behavior of Amphibians, published by the University of Chicago Press, has been named one of Choice magazine’s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2008. There are 575 titles on the list in all fields, but only 12 in zoology. Choice magazine is used by many libraries to identify books to be added to their collections.
- Suegene Noh won a Student Competition for the President's Prize at the recent national meeting of the Entomological Society of America, in Reno. The award was for her talk at the session entitled Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity: Behavior and Communication. The presentation she gave was "The inheritance of song and preference in hybrids between Chrysoperla carnea and C. agilis green lacewings."
- Joel R. Duff, JUAN CARLOS VILLARREAL, D.C. Cargill, & K.S. Renzaglia received the Sullivant award (recognizing the best paper in bryology published in the Bryologist) from the American Bryological and Lichenological Society for their paper entitled "Progress and challenges toward developing a phylogeny and classification of the hornworts" (2007; The Bryologist 110:214-243)
- Jang Kim received the First Place - Student Oral Presentation Award for his presentation titled "DESICCATION OF THE ECONOMICALLY IMPORTANT GENUS Porphyra (=NORI) ALTERS NITROGEN METABOLISM IN A NOVEL WAY" at World Aquaculture 2008 in Busan, Korea.
- Leslie J. Mehrhoff was awarded the Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society "for eminent horticultural accomplishments in the horticulture industry,or for outstanding service to the Society" during a black tie dinner on June 12, 2008.
- Nanci Ross, Ph.D. student of Greg Anderson from the Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, won the Edmund H. Fulling Award for best student contributed oral paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Economic Botany. This, the 49th annual meeting of the Society, was held during the week of 2 June at Duke University. The title of Ms Ross' presentation was: "Impacts of ancient Maya forest gardens on Mesoamerican tree species composition".
- A paper by Rahbek, C., N. Gotelli, R. K. Colwell, G. L. Entsminger, T. F. L. V. B. Rangel, and G. R. Graves. 2007. Predicting continental-scale patterns of bird species richness with spatially explicit models. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 274:165-174 has won The Smithsonian Institution's "2007 National Museum of Natural History Science Achievement Award," which is given to the best 3-5 papers authored by staff in the NMNH.