Founding lab member Tom Brekke has defended his PhD on hybrid inviability, genomic imprinting, and speciation in dwarf hamsters! His dissertation combines a very impressive series of genetic and transcriptomic studies on placental overgrowth and genomic imprinting. Tom dove into the Phodopus system and made a number of substantial insights into the evolution of imprinting and the genetics of speciation. His first chapter was published in Evolution (Brekke and Good, 2014) with two subsequent papers near submission. His impressive work is everything that a speciation genetics dissertation should be: using diverse cutting-edge approaches to dive deep into the genetic basis of an important and unresolved issue in evolution. Within the last two months Tom has defended his PhD, submitted his dissertation, got married, moved to England to start a post doc, and presented his work as a finalist in the Evolution 2016 - WD Hamilton Award Symposium. Wow!
Photo by Ryan Bracewell