Blois Paleoecology Lab

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Welcome to 2023 in the Blois lab!

Great news to start off the year! The Blois lab had two papers accepted over the winter break. The first was a paper led by former PhD student Nate Fox, working with a great team to examine correspondence between small mammal isotope values and past climate at the La Brea Tar Pits. Then, former PhD student Rob Boria had his final PhD chapter accepted, examining the phylogeography of the Peromycus maniculatus species complex across the western US. Both papers are fully open access, thanks to the UC transformative agreements with Elsevier!

The Blois lab also officially welcomes Val Syverson, a new postdoc on the paleomodeling project we’re working on with Marta Jarzyna. Val officially started in November, but the UC strike disrupted their transition.

Coupled with the official start of the NSF FAIROS research coordination network, focusing on examining FAIR and CARE issues in paleobiological and zooarcheological resources, and a new class to teach as part of my ongoing NSF CAREER grant (Ecology in the Field and Lab), it’s shaping up to be a busy semester!

New postdoc opportunity! NSF-funded Postdoc Positions in Paleoecology and Species Distribution Modeling

Marta Jarzyna at Ohio State and I were just awarded a new NSF grant to investigate the spatial and temporal non-stationarity of processes structuring communities. The project will leverage the fossil record of small mammals across the late Quaternary, simulations and species distribution modeling techniques, and trait datasets for small mammals. It’s super exciting! We each have a postdoctoral position available in our labs – the two postdoc will work closely with us and one another on this project. Please see the linked job ads below, and let us know if you have any questions!

Applications are invited for two (2) NSF-funded postdoctoral researcher positions in the field of Quaternary Paleoecology and Species Distribution Modeling. The first position is based at the Jarzyna lab in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University. The second position is based at the Blois Lab in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences at University of California, Merced.

Positions’ descriptions and how to apply can be found under the following links. We will start reviewing applications on Monday, August 15th.

Position 1, Jarzyna Lab.

Position 2, Blois Lab.

Wrapping up 2019!

Just before the winter break, a flurry of publications! (ok, two, but that’s better than none!)

After a long journey through the review process, I am so happy that this paper is finally published. It was led by Clarke Knight, who started the project as a Masters student with Ben Blonder and patiently and brilliantly led the paper through many iterations of review.  Clarke is now a PhD student at UC Berkeley.

And UC Merced graduate student Nate Fox spearheaded this paper on lagomorph identification. This paper was the result of despairing over how to identify the rabbits at La Brea for our #labreawebs project, and doing some careful work to come up with a workable protocol for identifying the species there. Great job, Nate!

We’ve had lots of other good news in the lab over the year – new babies, papers submitted, qualifying exams passed, labwork triumphs, etc. Perhaps our New Year’s resolution should be to more consistently post about all the good things happening in the lab and at UC Merced!