After multiple failed attempts at shipping frozen tissue, Jaime traveled to the Galápagos Islands to hand-carry back the precious samples of the brown sea cucumber, which we will use for a high-quality reference genome assembly. More details about the sample collection by our collaborators here.
We're thrilled that Ph.D. student Azwad Iqbal has been awarded the prestigious NSF GRFP Fellowship to support his graduate research on the genomic basis of adaptation in American shad across its invasive range on the US west coast. Congrats Azwad!
We are horrified by the continued and systemic violence and racism facing Black people and other groups. Today we are taking a pause from our normal activities to listen, learn, reflect, and plan for how we can contribute to a positive change.
Graphic designed by PhD student Maria Akopyan
We are very excited to welcome Dr. Jon Velotta to the lab! Jon is joining us as a postdoc to examine genome-wide patterns of variation in American shad.
Former postdoc Dr. Diana Baetscher has moved to California to start a postdoc with Ken Smith and the Pelagic-Benthic Coupling group at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Congratulations Diana! We will miss you!
A reference transcriptome for the Atlantic silverside is now available here.
Maria wins the best student talk award at Cornell's Annual Ecology and Evolutionary Biology December Symposium
PhD student Maria (shown to the right) gave a beautiful presentation about her work on the genomic architecture of adaptation in silversides, and was awarded best student talk at Cornell's Annual Ecology and Evolutionary Biology December Symposium. Congratulations, Maria! Well done!
PhD students Nicolas and Carl also presented their research at the symposium. Nicolas discussed the genomic patterns underlying adaptive divergence in cod. Carl (co-advised by Nina and Pete McIntyre) shared his plans to use genomic tools for species delimitation in suckers. We are very proud of you all!
The Center for Vertebrate Genomics (CVG) at Cornell has selected Nicolas as one of two 2020 Distinguished Genomics Scholars for his exciting work looking at the genomic underpinnings of fisheries- and climate-induced evolution in a natural population. Congratulations, Nicolas!
The lab gathered at Nina's for DIY holiday decorations, dinner, drinks, and dessert! We each made festive centerpieces with candles by adding greens and cones we collected from the yard. We ended the evening with Nina's homemade æbleskiver, a delicious Danish sweet treat.
Our lab was lucky to be part of the inaugural cohort of the awesome Openscapes champions program, which helped our lab embark on transitioning our workflows to more efficient and readily reproducible open science practices. Today, Nature's Career Column published a piece co-authored by Nina titled "Supercharge your research: a ten-week plan for open data science", which summarizes the key lessons that emerged over the course of the semester-long Openscapes program. Check it out here.
Screenshot from one of our Openscapes calls, including Maria, Nicolas, Arne and Nina
New paper out in Evolutionary Applications - showing the power of our low-coverage whole genome sequencing approach
The first results from our collaboration with Gemma Glucas and Adrienne Kovach at the University of New Hampshire has just come out in Evolutionary Applications. See the paper here. We used our very cost-effective low-coverage whole genome sequencing approach to scan for patterns of variation among Atlantic cod sampled from major spawning grounds in the Gulf of Maine and adjacent areas. We saw highly elevated levels of differentiation at four well-characterized large inversions in the cod genome, but our whole-genome dataset also identified multiple narrow peaks of differentiation, the most striking of which differentiate groups of cod that spawn in the same area, but at different times of year (winter vs. spring). Earlier studies based on SNP chips or other more sparse genome sampling would likely have missed these signatures, highlighting a key advantage to sacrificing genotype certainty for the higher resolution afforded by scanning the entire genome through low-coverage sequencing.
.The findings of this study clearly show that the current management structure for Atlantic cod does not account for the diversity and population structure in this species, providing important input for Nina's work as part of the NOAA Atlantic Cod Stock Structure Working Group tasked with providing updated scientific advice to managers.
We are very excited to welcome new members to our lab. Postdoc Diana Baetscher and lab technician Nick Locatelli are working with Nina and Pete McIntyre on the genetic tracing of marine fish sources for aquaculture feed. Welcome Diana and Nick!
Today, our paper on the genomic basis of fisheries-induced evolution came out in Science. We had returned to a seminal experiment in which fishing pressure had driven striking evolutionary shifts in growth rate of Atlantic silversides in only four generations. We sequenced the genomes of the fish from the experiment to examine the underlying genomic basis. Check out our surprising findings in the paper:
Therkildsen, N. O., Wilder, A. P., Conover, D. O., Munch, S. B., Baumann, H., & Palumbi, S. R. (2019). Contrasting genomic shifts underlie parallel phenotypic evolution in response to fishing. Science, 365(6452), 487–490.
Arne attended the Great Lakes Evolutionary Genomics Symposium at the University at Buffalo and gave an award winning poster presentation on his recent silverside work. Good work, Arne!
Many congratulations to PhD students Nicolas and Maria who both passed their A exams this semester!
Check out our Policies page to learn more about our lab code of conduct.
Nicolas has been awarded a grant from the Atkinson Center Sustainable Biodiversity Fund in support of his work using genomic tools to inform the conservation and management of Atlantic cod. Congratulations, Nicolas!
Maria presented new findings at the Annual Ecology and Evolutionary Biology December Symposium, and Nicolas presented at the Department of Natural Resources GSA Symposium in January.
We are very excited to welcome Dr. Arne Jacobs, our new postdoc who is joining us to investigate the genomic and regulatory mechanisms underlying local adaptation in silversides.
The Therkildsen lab hosts SNEEB – the weekly social hour for grad students, post-docs, and faculty from various departments including Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, and Neurobiology and Behavior.
Nina and Maria from the Therkildsen lab and Hannes and Callie from the Baumann lab at UConn went on a joint road trip to sample juvenile Atlantic silversides for our NSF project about the genomic basis of local adaptation. We visited Morehead City NC, Oregon Inlet NC, and Chincoteague Island VA, sampling silversides with a beach seine. The weather was lousy and the work strenuous, but the mood elated, because we got all the fish we needed for subsequent genomic and otolith analyses!
Maria presented a poster at the RECOMB Comparative Genomics Satellite Conference (RECOMB-CG) in Sherbrooke, Quebec with travel support from the Center for Vertebrate Genomics at Cornell.