I’m delighted to finally, officially announce that the lab has received funding from the National Science Foundation — for a big, collaborative endeavor we’ve been calling the Joshua Tree Genome Project. Collaborative grants to us here at CSUN and to Chris Smith’s lab at Willamette University, with subawards to collaborators at USGS and the Universities of Alabama and Hawai’i Mānoa will support four years of experiments, fieldwork, and genomic analysis to learn how Joshua trees cope with climate extremes, how their populations might adapt to climate change, and how adaptation to climate has affected the tree’s coevolution with their hyper-specialized pollinators.
For years at the Evolution meetings there’s been a meetup of lesbian, gay, bi, and trans attendees — going back at least to the 90s. It’s called “Outgroup”, for the obvious phylogenetic double-entendre, and it’s operated largely unofficially. Someone would post a time and location during the meetings, over a lunch break or at a handy pub after an evening poster session, and folks would converge to chat and share a meal or a round of drinks. I was involved in that organization, such as it was, at several of the meetings I’ve attended since 2005, and it was always a nice social time in the midst of the conference.
At last year’s big joint meeting at Montpellier, things got more official, with the participating scientific societies providing some budget for a meetup at a bar near the convention center. This year for Providence 2019, we’re continuing that move with the “LGBTQ and Allies Mixer and Happy Hour” — right on the program after the third poster session, on Monday the 24th. The plan is that we’ll meet up in the conference center rotunda at 7pm, during the poster session, and I’ll have some additional drink tickets to pass out for attendees; after the poster session closes at 8pm, we’ll adjourn to some other location. There look to be some good options within walking distance of the conference center. (And if anyone has more specific suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them!)
The Yoder Lab’s very first group conference will be the Evolution 2019 meeting in Providence, Rhode Island this June. Multiple lab members will be presenting posters with results from fieldwork with Joshua tree and its pollinators, our contribution to the GLUE Project, and some exciting new pollination ecology, among other topics.
I’m particularly excited to be organizing a Spotlight Session for the American Society of Naturalists, on the general topic of mutualisms and how they respond to changing environmental contexts. "Origins, stability, and benefits of interspecific cooperation in a changing world" will take place the afternoon of Sunday, June 23, with nine speakers presenting research on mutualism in study systems as varied as duckweed, leaf-cutter ants, and pure mathematical theory. The full lineup will be