The delicate water lily: A rose by another name?

A new study published in Nature reports the 409-megabase genome sequence of the blue-petal water lily (Nymphaea colorata). The authors conclude that most flowering plants may owe their success, including employing floral scent for attracting pollinators, in part to the genetic innovations observed in the delicate water lily. Water lilies are beloved features in ponds …

Research Assistant position available in 2020

A Research Assistant position will be available soon in the Molecular Ecology, Evolution, and Phylogenetics Lab in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney. This position will be advertised in January 2020 and the successful candidate will be able to commence immediately. This is a full-time position that is funded for 12 …

Workshop: Genomes and Biodiversity

The Genomes and Biodiversity: Research and Career Development Workshop was held on 20–22 November 2019 at the University of Sydney. A total of 50 Australasian early- to mid-career researchers (EMCRs) were selected to attend the workshop, which created a space for EMCRs and research leaders from a range of disciplines to meet and share their …

Sydney Phylogenetics Workshop 2019

The Sydney Phylogenetics Workshop was held at the University of Sydney on 15–16 July 2019. The workshop was organised and hosted by the MEEP Lab, which has been running the workshop annually since 2010. The Sydney Phylogenetics Workshop provided an introduction to phylogenetic analysis, including practical exercises based on the software MEGA and BEAST2. It …

PhD project: Evolutionary rates in flowering plants

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student to undertake research on evolutionary rates in flowering plants. This project will be jointly supervised by Prof. Simon Ho (University of Sydney) and Dr Hervé Sauquet (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney). Research project The project will evaluate the patterns of morphological evolutionary rates in flowering plants (angiosperms) …

Workshop: Taming the BEAST Down Under

Members of the MEEP Lab recently hosted the “Taming the BEAST Down Under” international workshop at the University of Sydney. This workshop provided training in Bayesian phylogenetic methods and evolutionary analysis, focusing on the software BEAST2. The workshop ran from 17 to 22 February and involved 41 attendees and 16 instructors. The teaching team included …

MEEP PhD student profiled in Australian Geographic

Perry Beasley-Hall, a PhD student in the MEEP Lab, is one of four Aussie women working in entomology profiled in Australian Geographic. She was interviewed to discuss perceptions of entomology as a male-dominated field and how these might be dispelled to encourage more female students to study insects. Her fascination with Australian native cockroaches is also described in …

Solving the mystery of the Australian Museum’s moa

An undergraduate scholar hosted by the MEEP Lab, Eugene Kwok, spent six weeks investigating a mysterious moa specimen that was found hanging in a locker in the Australian Museum. Hosted by the MEEP Lab, Eugene worked in collaboration with researchers at the museum to establish the identity of the fossil moa. Eugene was funded by …

The effects of inbreeding on Thoroughbred racehorses

A scientific study conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney has uncovered breeding strategies to improve the athletic success of Thoroughbred racehorses. The researchers found that horses with higher levels of inbreeding tended to have reduced athletic ability. Thoroughbred horses are often mated with related individuals in order to select for desirable traits, ultimately …

Three MEEP students receive their PhDs

Three students from the MEEP Lab have been awarded their doctorates in the past few weeks. Andrew Ritchie was awarded a PhD for his thesis “Evaluating the performance of diversification models for reconstructing evolutionary history”. Chapters of the thesis have been published in Organisms Diversity & Evolution and in Systematic Biology. Andrew is about to commence a postdoctoral research …