Just returned from a very successful trip to Washington DC to attend the 29th Annual Karger Workshop, J.B. Johnston Club for Evolutionary Neuroscience and Society for Neuroscience meetings. Ate way too much food with great friends from across the world, including the 4th annual league dinner. If you don't know what that is, you aren't meant to know.
The 17-21 July of this year was spent in Dr. Vera Weisbecker's lab at the University of Queensland. I finally got to sort out how to assemble digital endocasts. It was a very educational and fun experience working with Vera. Can't wait to come back to Brisbane next year!
Our fieldwork for 2017 just wrapped up. The original plan was for 4 species in 3 provinces, but our plans for BC did not pan out. We were, however, successful in collecting Richardson's ground squirrels and ruffed grouse in Alberta and Franklin's ground squirrels in Manitoba. Now we can spend the summer processing brains, writing papers and wishing we weren't spending summer in Lethbridge...
December 2016 marked the 2nd Annual Iwaniuk Lab Christmas Movie Spectacular. With pizza from Two Guys and a Pizza Place, we had an great, festive evening watching The Ref, a little known Christmas movie from the 1990s with Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey.
This year, we took a lab trip up to the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology for the day. It was a chance to get out of town, see some dinosaurs and for some of our lab that isn't from Alberta, see a part of the province that most people don't bother visiting. Although the museum was the purpose of the trip, Ben's lunch recommendation of Bernie and The Boys was equally awesome.
Ground squirrel trapping is over for now, but it was a successful season with Ayanda and Juliana capturing plenty of animals for autoradiography and Golgi staining. Currently, it is 'drumming season' and Ashley and Nick are out in the Crowsnest Pass region trying to trap as many ruffed grouse as they can for genetic samples and morphometrics. I was at my usual haunt, Buck Lake, trapping a few birds for a collaboration with Matt Fuxjager on the expression of androgen receptors in muscles and spinal cord. Read more about Spring 2016
This is the first year that I took undergraduate students to the annual SFN meeting. Both Janae and Nathan did a great job of dealing with all of the people that visited their posters as well as embracing the true nature of the J.B. Johnston Club and SFN meetings: socializing with other scientists over good food and beer.
Fuxjager et al. (2015) Evolutionary patterns of adaptive acrobatics and physical performance predict expression profiles of androgen receptor - but not oestrogen receptor - in the forelimb musculature. Func Ecol, in press. Read more about manakins again