Happy to report that my seminar went well, my defense was fun, and as of 10 signatures, I am Rebecca Varney PhD! Happy to have the documents all uploaded safely to the library!
Also I think this is probably the same place to share that I am THRILLED to be starting a postdoc with Todd Oakley in May! We're going to be playing with the crazy podocopid ostracods that casually DESSICATE every year. I'm excited to get to know them, and I'm really excited about my new lab.
In the meantime, I'm cleaning up the Latex template for future Biology students so that nobody ever has to do THAT again. :)
No words will ever capture the beauty of this place, the challenges of 3 months at sea during COVID, or the sheer joy of science 24/7 surrounded by inspiring, enthusiastic ship-mates. I didn't make friends; I met family. It was absolutely life-changing, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Maybe after a nap, though!
Do you need a chiton genome? OF COURSE YOU DO.
Stoked to share that the chiton genome we sequenced, the first available from any Aculiferan mollusc, is published in GBE:
I'm really happy with how these analyses came together to tell us more about chitons, organismal iron use, and molluscan mineralization. Check it out! :-D
Check out the preprint of our manuscript describing the first-ever sequenced chiton genome!
I am so excited to finally share all of the amazing iron-related discoveries we made, and looking forward to seeing what the data get used for in the future!
As I move toward completing my PhD this coming year, I realized I forgot to share that I received a second Graduate Council Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year. This fellowship allows me to finish my research without a teaching commitment, and will hopefully allow a few extra projects to come to fruition this next year in addition to my PhD chapters. I am so thankful for the support UA has given me, and continues to offer all of its graduate students. Here's to the home stretch!
COVID has certainly thrown a wrench in many plans, but I will still share that I received two awards at Honor's Day this year!
The Ralph L. Chermock Prize is named for Dr. Ralph Chermock, professor in Biology and director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History. It is presented to the most outstanding graduate student in systematics and ecology. I am honored to receive it, and grateful to my department for the financial support for research that comes with it!
I was also awarded a second Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student award, this time for Fall 2019. As that is the first semester of student evaluations on record since I returned to teaching after my GCF, I am ecstatic to know that my hiatus from teaching to focus on research did not decrease my effectiveness as an instructor. It was certainly a joy to get back to sharing passion for science with my students.
This past week I got to visit Curacao for the second time, this time to give a guest lecture on meiofauna to the University of Florida Invertebrate Biodiversity of Coral Reefs class! It was a bit of a trip giving a guest lecture to the professor who taught me Invert, Gustav Paulay!