Summer re-cap

Today marks the transition from summer to fall (in terms of the school year, at least) and wow, it’s been a busy summer. Jessica was involved in a variety of projects- working to get papers off her desk and into review, working up in Yosemite with an awesome REU intern, and at the end of summer, traveling to the Unifying Ecology Gordon Research Conference in Maine and then ESA in Sacramento.  She also got to meet UC President Janet Napolitano!  She’s looking forward to teaching a grad level class in Community Ecology this fall and writing lots of grant proposals.

Kaitlin made great progress on the community paleomodeling project.  We’re in the process of writing that paper, and Kaitlin, Diego, and Jessica presented results on that project at various meetings this year.  Kaitlin attended two conferences this summer: AmQua in Seattle and ESA in Sacramento.

Eric has started narrowing in on projects for his PhD. He was primarily in the lab this summer, identifying specimens from a fossil deposit in northern California.  He also gave a talk at ESA in Sacramento and is currently attending the “Modelling species distributions under climate change” short course in Copenhagen.  We are all looking forward to his return so he can teach us what he learned there!

This week, we also welcomed a new PhD student, Danaan DeNeve Weeks, along with other new students in the ES and QSB grad groups.  Plus, we’ll have a new postdoc working on ancient DNA projects starting in December, Sarah Brown.  So there is a lot of good stuff to celebrate in the Paleoecology Lab!


Postdoc position available in the lab!

The Blois Paleoecology Lab is recruiting a postdoc to help develop ancient DNA and phylogenetics projects focusing on understanding the dynamic population genetic changes that happened within mammals (particularly small mammals) through the late Quaternary. The postdoc will be responsible for developing original research projects in addition to contributing to the development and maintenance of the molecular lab. Ongoing projects in the lab use species distribution modeling, community modeling, and paleoecological tools to understand the ecological and evolutionary forces shaping populations, species, and communities across time and space, particularly focusing on fossil small mammal and pollen communities during the late Quaternary. Applications will be reviewed starting June 30th, but the position is open until filled. Please contact Jessica ( for additional information.

For full position information and to apply to the position, see the job ad here.

A good way to end the semester


The Blois Paleoecology Lab at our end-of the semester party

We had a lab party on Sunday, with all lab members and their families.  We had much to celebrate: Eric finished his first year at UC Merced, Kaitlin got settled into the lab (and it was her birthday!), Juliane finished her B.S. in Human Ecology, and Zara, Joceline, Stefanie, and Tyonia joined the lab this past semester.  Plus, on Sunday I had a paper accepted in Ecography!  All in all, it was a great way to end the semester.  Now I just have to get through grading all the final exams!

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