The C++ programming language has a reputation as tough one to learn, but the difficulty level is often exaggerated. For basic evolutionary models, a fairly modest skill set is good enough, and learning C++ prepares the mind to learn other programming languages like Perl and Python. Check out my tutorial on using C++ to build evolutionary models for a very basic introduction. The book assumes no prior programming knowledge and can be downloaded as a free pdf from my publications page.
Our new program note describing software to simulate the evolution of the additive genetic variance-covariance matrix (the G-matrix) is now online at the Journal of Heredity. Follow this link to the paper, and you too can experience, to quote one of the referees, “the magics of G-matrix evolution”!
Dr. Sarah Flanagan, who earned her Ph.D. in the Jones Lab in 2016, has accepted a faculty job in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand! After leaving the Jones Lab, Sarah spent two productive years as a postdoctoral fellow at NIMBioS (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis). She will start her new faculty position in the fall of 2018. Congratulations on your new job, Sarah!
The Jones Lab has moved to the University of Idaho! After 13 great years at Texas A&M University, the time came to move along and experience new opportunities. The Department of Biological Sciences will be a great home for the Jones Lab, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work in this amazing new setting! Use the internet to find out more about the Department of Biological Sciences, the University of Idaho, the town of Moscow, and the incredible Palouse region.
Seahorses and pipefish have finally entered the post-genomic era with the publication of two complete genomes in December of 2016. Lin et al. (2016) published the genome sequence of the tiger tail seahorse (Hippocampus comes) in Nature, and Small et al. (2016) published the genome sequence of the Gulf pipefish (Syngnathus scovelli) in Genome Biology. In addition to providing interesting insights about gene loss and duplications related to key adaptations in this group of fishes, these genomes open many new doors in syngnathid research.
The research of former graduate student Emily Rose (now a Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Tampa) graced the cover of the November 2016 issue of the Journal of Heredity. She examined the phylogenetic placement of a seahorse population that inhabits an isolated, saltwater lake in the Bahamas. See the cover here.
Former lab member Kim Paczolt just published a paper showing that northern pipefish, Syngnathus fuscus, have a surprisingly low rate of multiple mating by males. Like other syngnathid fishes (seahorses, pipefishes, and seadragons), males become pregnant and carry the offspring attached to their bodies or in a brood pouch. Kim’s results show that most males (about 3/4) have eggs from just one female per pregnancy. The rest carried eggs from two females in their pouches. The paper appeared in the April issue of the Journal of Fish Biology. Here’s a link to the abstract.