I arrived home this week from Providence, RI after attending this year’s Evolution conference. It was a really great time! After taking last year off to move to Mississippi, it was really nostalgic seeing all of my old Idaho friends, with each one having moved upwards and onwards in their careers and personal lives. This was also my first year bringing a student of my own which was a different experience, with a shift in goals towards maximizing her experience. I presented a talk on my previous work in Hawaii, which luckily was scheduled immediately after a fire drill.. My student, Bailey Howell, also rocked her poster, which was featured on Anole Annals blog and the Life in the City blogs!
Bailey attended the conference as part of the Undergrad Diversity and Evolution program, which is an awesome program helping undergrads attend the Evolution conference and present their research while covering their travel and lodging expenses and scheduling them professional development workshops! As part of the program, each student is matched with two volunteer mentors. I always have a great time volunteering as a mentor, meeting up with new young scientists and helping them figure out the ropes of attending a big international conference like Evolution. Lastly, as with many of the conferences out there, Kristin Winchell was diligently promoting the Anole Annals blog and I was lucky enough to write a guest post covering an undergraduate poster on population divergence in Anolis distichus!
After the conference, since I was already on the east coast, I jumped down to AMNH with the help of a Collection Study Grant to collect anole toe pad images. I’ve had a few students here at MUW asking about fall research opportunities and so I needed more images for them to work with. I was able to image 93 Caribbean and mainland anole species! So keep an eye out in the fall for these student projects!