I’m teaching Mammalogy (BIOL 525) this semester at SDSU, returning to my biological roots, inspired by my earliest mentors. I remember fondly my first undergraduate “field expedition” – a trip with Dr. Tim Lawlor to the mountains of Nevada, targeting small mammals. The first time that I started to really appreciate the expansive, never-ending beauty of Basin & Range desert landscapes.
After 525 lectures covering local deserts and mammal adaptations to desert environments, I escorted a small group of students to our local Colorado Desert for an overnight camp. Our species list of mammals (live & diagnostic sign) wasn’t huge, but we did see some elegant rodents (e.g., Ammospermophilus leucurus, Peromyscus eremicus), several species of bats, and many carnivore tracks (including Puma concolor). An obvious highlight of the trip was Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni). Special thanks to my colleague Jose Macias for helping to feed the students!
The SDSU Museum of Biodiversity was on public display today, as part of the Explore SDSU Open House. A large number of kids, students and interested adults were able to learn about and experience our arthropod, herp, bird & mammal collections. These collections (including plants) are a foundation for many excellent hands-on SDSU organismal courses, and support undergraduate and graduate research projects.
Many thanks to Dr. Kevin Burns, and student volunteers Andy, Dave, Kristen, Erik, Andre & Katrina!!
Congrats to Dave Carlson & Kristen Emata for very successful MS thesis proposals!!
Erika Garcia has been conducting undergraduate research in my lab for several semesters, as she works to learn more about cryptic species diversity in Appalachian harvestmen. Along the way she has gained tremendous lab & field experience, and in winning many fellowships and awards, has built an excellent resume. Her accomplishments were recently highlighted by the SDSU College of Sciences
Just returned from a very nice & successful AAS meetings. The venue (East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN) was excellent, with a real Appalachian flavor. We were able to spend a bit of time collecting in the area, finding Hypochilus, Fumontana, Sabacon, Theromaster, Bishopella, etc. Something about the smell of Appalachian soil on my hands that I love….
Students from the Hedin lab performed admirably. Angela gave a nice talk about Sitalcina species delimitation, Erika presented her California Academy of Sciences SSI research with Dr. Charles Griswold, and Casey talked about Ischryopsalidoid phylogenomics. With considerable impressive competition, Casey was able to win the prize for Best Student Oral Presentation …. really nice talk Casey! I gave a talk about Microhexura montivaga phylogeography, with co-author Frederick Coyle. Really nice data, mediocre talk ….
Jordan Satler, Marshal Hedin, Casey Richart, Angela DiDomenico, Erika Garcia
Casey publishes his fine MS thesis! Open access here!
Acuclavella makah, male
My collaboration with Jeff Shultz (Univ of Maryland) and his immensely talented PhD student, Mercedes Burns, has been quite excellent. Most recent paper available here