Sunday, November 21, 2010

evoecogeomorphometrical fun

Hello from the wilds of Athens, Ohio! As Sophia said, we're geeking out on the study of shape. Such analyses receive less attention than they should, but think about it: everything has shape! Its a serious matter. As Houle (2010 PNAS) noted, we would benefit greatly from a revolution in "phenomics" to compliment recent advances in genomics.

Here's one of the papers Sophia and I read, which can be found on Dean Adams' web page:

Adams, D. & M. L. Collyer. 2009. A general framework for the analysis of phenotypic trajectories in evolutionary studies. Evolution 63: 1143-1154.

This paper is simply an analytical technique, but it is broadly applicable to all sorts of questions in biology, and my brain was exploding with ideas as I read it. While you are checking out Adams' web page, read a few other papers, too -- he's one of my favorite scientists.

Speaking of favorite scientists: it turns out the Donald Miles in the Department of Biological Sciences here at Ohio University is also interested in geometric morphometrics. We recently discussed the possibility of forming a GMM reading group this winter, or even working through the book "Morphometrics with R" (Julian Claude, 2008), which is valuable but not easy. These ideas are preliminary, and it may or may not happen exactly this winter (it will happen, though) -- if you'd like to join in remotely (Skype meetings?) shoot me an email.

Working here with Sophia has been an absolute blast! Y'all are very lucky to have her among your ranks!!! In addition, I'm very excited to have the opportunity to contribute in a small way to the ongoing studies of Calopteryx splendens, which I view as a system with extraordinary potential. Together, Sophia and I have studied GMM, made chili, eaten burritos at the Burrito Buggy, cruised around in my 1983 VW bus (her name is Betsy), and drank quite a few beers and glasses of wine. We also found the salamander shown above (picture stolen off of Amphibiaweb). LIfe is good.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds fantastic! Can't wait to talk to Sophia when she gets back, you seem to have taken well care of her Shawn! Much appreciated!