How One Entomologist Looks to Fossil Ants to Answer Big Biology Questions
August, 2019: Philip Barden featured in an Entomology Today story written by another CB alumna, Carly Tribull: How One Entomologist Looks to Fossil Ants to Answer Big Biology Questions
The Society of Systematic Biologists Graduate Student Research Awards were recently presented to Rachel Welt and Spencer Galen (RGGS) and Julia Tejada (Columbia).
Arianna Kuhn (CUNY) won the Society for the Study of Reptiles and Amphibians Seibert Award for Systematics/Evolution for her talk on “Comparative Phytogeography of Malagasy Snakes” at the 2017 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
Kelly Speer (RGGS) won the Outstanding Student Paper Award at the American Society of Parasitologists.
Amber Paasch (RGGS) won the Robert T. Wilce Graduate Paper Award at the annual Northeast Algal Symposium and the Theodore L. Jahn and Eugene C. Bovee Award at the International Society of Protistology conference in Moscow.
Bernardo Santos (RGGS) received extensive recent press coverage for his recent work with school children from Washington Heights to name a new Dominican wasp (Diario Libre - a daily newspaper from the Dominican Republic; WNYC – radio and online; DNAinfo.com; Telemundo; NY Daily News). See here and here.
10 PhD Defenses for Academic Year 2015-2016. Congratulations to Andre de Carvalho (RGGS Comp Bio), Stephanie Loria (RGGS Comp Bio), AAron Veicht (AMNH-Columbia Astro), Silvia Pavan (AMNH-CUNY EEB), Jianye Chen (AMNH-Columbia DEES), Natalia Rossi (AMNH-Columbia E3B), Lauren Oliver (RGGS Comp Bio), Graham “Gray” Kanarek (AMNH-Columbia Astro), Camilo Sanin (AMNH-Columbia E3B), and Aki Watanabe (RGGS Comp Bio)!
RGGS alumnus Dr. Pedro Peloso named a new Amazon frog after a mythical monster. The amphibian, which lives in Brazil's Floresta Nacional de Pau-Rosa, gets its name from a tall beast said to lurk in the rain forest.
Anna Holden's research highlights La Brea Tar Pits insects as paleoenvironmental indicators.
Leg-wing Coordination in Baby Birds, Dinosaurs is Key Transition in Origin of Flight, Study Suggests - New paper published by RGGS-Paleo Postdoc Ashley Heers
Paleontologists Gain New Insight to "Telescoping" Crocodile Eyes - New study published in the journal PLOS ONE by RGGS Dean John Flynn, Columbia University-RGGS Grad Fellow student Julia Tejada, et al.
Great news from two new PhD Students, entering Fall 2016: Kaiya Provost has received a grant from the American Ornithologist's Union and Melissa Ingala earned an Honorable Mention for her NSF GRFP proposal!
Congratulations to Grace Musser (Columbia E3B/AMNH Ornithology), former REU students Grace Avecilla and Daniel Paluh and to AMNH Post-baccalaureate Helen Fellow Jordan Koch for receiving the NSF GRFP award - and to Madison Hansen for her GRFP Honorable Mention!
The Museum's newest exhibit, Dinosaurs Among Us, has received a great deal of media attention, and RGGS students and postdocs have been at the forefront. Here are just a few samples of articles about the exhibit featuring interviews with Danny Barta (current RGGS PhD candidate), Eugenia Gold (recent RGGS PhD graduate) and AMNH-RGGS postdoc Ashley Heers:
New paper on the diversity of tropical lizards published by RGGS Alumna Edward Stanley (RGGS PhD), David Grimaldi, et.al.
Exciting and high profile Divergence Time Paper from RGGS Alumna Isabelle Vea and faculty member David Grimaldi has been published!
The Brazilian Society of Zoology announced on March 8, 2016 that RGGS Comparative Biology PhD Program alumnus Dr. Pedro Peloso has won the Rodolpho von Ihering Award for best doctoral thesis defended between 2014 and 2015. This prestigious award was conferred at the opening ceremony for the XXXI Brazilian Congress of Zoology held in Cuiabá, Brazil.
Dr. Peloso was advised by Dr. Darrel Frost. He successfully defended his doctoral dissertation entitled “Phylogeny, Systematic Review, and Evolution of Narrow-Mouthed Frogs (Anura, Microhylidae)” on August 22, 2014 and his degree was conferred at the October 2014 Commencement Ceremony for the RGGS @ AMNH.
Congratulations to both Pedro and Darrel!
RGGS Ph.D. alumna Eugenia Leone Gold received extensive press coverage beginning Feb 24, 2016 for her article with Mark Norell documenting that extinct dodo birds were smarter than typically perceived (had much larger brains than expected).
The Richard Gilder Graduate School Achieves a Major Milestone
The Richard Gilder Graduate School is accredited by the New York State Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education, and has been since 2009 (prior to 2009, the School was authorized upon is founding in 2006 by the Regents). In 2014, the School underwent its first re-accreditation process by the Regents. On December 1, 2015, the Regents Advisory Council on Institutional Accreditation voted to recommend re-accreditation for a period of ten years - the longest period possible. The Board of Regents endorsed and adopted the Advisory Council’s recommendation at its meeting on January 12, 2016. The Gilder Graduate School's accreditation is now valid to January 11, 2026. This is a significant affirmation of the success of the School to date, and a major accomplishment for the Museum and the School.
(RGGS Partner student, Columbia University) - Avian mixed flocks & assembly in the Solomon Islands (Advisor Dr. Joel Cracraft)
Latest congratulations go out to:
Michael Tessler, who, along with a team comprised of RGGS@AMNH faculty and affiliates including Dr. Mark Siddall, just published the first study of leech anatomy using CT scanning technology here at the Museum. Their findings were also recently discussed in a New York Times article.
RGGS PhD Graduate Ansel Payne for his article on boll weevils in TIME.
Columbia RGGS Partner Student Jianye Chen - A new @SciReports paper by AMNH/Columbia student Jianye Chen on incredible spade-foot frog fossil from Mongolia!
Santiago Claramunt, Postdoctoral Fellow Alumnus for his research article with AMNH Curator Joel Cracraft, published in Evolutionary Ecology on "A New Time Tree Reveals Earth History's Imprint on the Evolution of Modern Birds"
Stephanie Loria for her National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant to visit the Indonesian islands of Sualwesi and Halmahera for her project "Patterns of Diversity and Endemism of Indo-Pacific Island Scorpions"
Kelly Speer for winning the Koopman Best Student Paper Prize at the 2015 North American Symposium on Bat Research!
recently presented the talk "Evolution of convergent functional systems in a hyperdiverse clade of parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Cryptini)" at two conferences: the Evolution meeting in Guarujá, Brazil and the Linnean Society Biannual meeting in Oxford, UK.
Bernardo is also describing a new species from the genus Necolinoceras from the Dominican Republic. He worked with the Urban Advantage program at the AMNH to have sixth grade students from a school in Washington Heights, a neighborhood with New York City’s largest Dominican population – choose the name for the new species. After a morning of activities with the students talking about the importance of taxonomic biodiversity research, they chose "La Luz Brillante," meaning "the bright light".
Anna Holden’s paper on fossil galls has been published in Quaternary Research and is also now featured on the AMNH blog. Anna also gave two oral presentations and a poster presentation at The Willi Hennig Society Conference 2015. In addition, Anna received significant funding support from UC Irvine to continue her work on radiocarbon dating and stable isotopic research of Rancho La Brea insect chitin at the W. M. Keck Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, thanks to Dr. John Southon from the W. M. Keck Lab; she also received funding from The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County/La Brea Tar Pits and Museum for travel to conduct lab research.
The Diamondback profiled RGGS graduate Eugenia Gold.
Phillip Barden and André Luiz Carvalho Featured
The New York Times featured students in this story about the RGGS program.
2015 Ph.D. Graduates Profiles
Welcome to the New RGGS Students and Postdoctoral Fellows!
The Richard Gilder Graduate School hosted its Annual Staten Island Yankees outing on September 4, 2015 to welcome the new students and postdocs.
Staten Island Yankees 2015
Richard Gilder Graduate School 2015 Incoming Students:
L to R: Anna Ragni, Madison Hansen, Jeremy Frank, Julia Tejada (Columbia DEES-AMNH Graduate Fellow) and Kelly Speer
Biology and Physical Sciences REU 2015
The Richard Gilder Graduate School had its 2015 Biology and Physical Sciences Research Experience for Undergraduates Summer Internship Program. An exceptional group of students presented their work at the Annual REU Symposium on August 5th and 6th. Our congratulations to them and another successful REU summer!
Museums Conferring Degrees
October, 2015: The Richard Gilder Graduate School was prominently featured in a New York Times article about museum degree programs.
Young Scientists Changing The World
September, 2015: Forbes included Shaena Montanari in its 2015 30 Under 30.
Fall 2014 Notable RGGS Comparative Biology Ph.D. Student and Alumni Achievements
Daniel Barta co-authored, with Dr. David Varricchio (Montana State University), a paper entitled “Revisiting Sabath’s ‘Larger Avian Eggs’ from the Gobi Cretaceous,” which was selected as one of the inaugural “Editors’ Choice” papers in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. The full citation is Varricchio, D. J., and Barta, D. E. 2015. Revisiting Sabath’s “Larger Avian Eggs” from the Gobi Cretaceous. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 60(1): 11–25.
Eugenia Gold was presented with the Dawson Award for Predoctoral Research at the annual Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) Conference in Berlin in November.
Amber Paasch’s presentation won “Best Talk” in the Ecology and Evolution division at the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), held in Los Angeles in October.
Bernardo Santos was awarded an Annette Kade Fellowship to visit the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France) and Zoologische Staatssammlung Munch (Munich, Germany) to continue his study of the lineage of crytpine wasps. He was also awarded a mini-ARTS grant from the Society of Systematic Biologists for his project "Building long-term infrastructure for the phylogeny and taxonomy of cryptine wasps (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Cryptini).
Michael Tessler was featured alongside his Advisor Dr. Mark Siddall in a Science Friday video, True BloodSuckers – Leeches in October.
Carly Tribull received “Best Student Presentation” recognition at the International Society of Hymenopterists’ conference in Portland, Oregon in November. She also received a Travel Award from the Young Natural Historians Society for their winter meeting in Paris, France.
2014 Graduate Alejandro Garajales was appointed as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the AMNH Institute of Comparative Genomics.
2014 Graduate Ansel Payne was hired as a Program Assistant at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.
2014 Graduate Pedro Peloso earned a “Science without Borders” Postdoctoral Fellowship in Brazil; his discovery of a new "bat frog" in the Amazon was featured in November in National Geographic’s online News edition.
2014 Graduate Dawn Roje was hired as a Science Teacher at the Spence School in New York City.
2013 Graduate Isabelle Vea’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science was extended from a one-year appointment to three years. She is working at Nagoya University.
2013 Graduate Shaena Montanari received the prestigious Newton International Fellowship. The Newton International Fellowship program, run by The British Academy and the Royal Society, provides two years of support for early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world to work at UK research institutions. Shaena will be based at the University of Edinburgh.
Led by Dr. Jeffrey Kidder, the Black Rock Forest’s Consortium’s education director, a team of scientists and teachers from member institutions and Consortium staff is developing a herpetology curriculum that can be used both at the Forest and in schools. Dr. Christopher Raxworthy of the American Museum of Natural History is the science consultant; Drs. Antonia Florio and Bryan Falk, 2013 Graduates of the Museum’s Gilder Graduate School, are leading the development of activities and experiments; teachers are advising on the grade utility and appropriateness. Dr. Falk taught already taught a mini-course at the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science using the curriculum.
Congratulations to RGGS postdoctoral fellow Adam Watson- he and a team of fellow researchers have this important paper on social complexity in Chaco Canyon, just out now from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
CUNY EEB–AMNH RGGS Fellow Silvia Pavan was awarded the 2015 Albert R. and Alma Shadle Award at 95th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists. The Albert R. and Alma Shadle Fellowship is awarded to a graduate student in recognition of current accomplishments in Mammalogy and future potential. (Image: Silvia receiving the award from American Society of Mammalogists President Eileen Lacey of Berkeley at the awards banquet on June 16, 2015)
Daniel Barta interviewed by Vocativ: Here’s The Real Science Behind Jurassic World
Daniel Barta interviewed by MTV News: How Accurate Is Jurassic World?
On May 20, 2015 the American Museum of Natural History gave a special tour to a group of New York City middle school students as part of the New York Mets community initiative,Amazin’ City, which is being launched at the Museum. As part of the initiative, students get to go behind the scenes at different New York City landmarks and cultural institutions throughout the baseball season. Students from Leonardo da Vinci Intermediate School in Corona, Queens, along with NY Mets player Jeurys Familia, and Deputy Borough President Joe Garba, learned about dinosaurs from Museum RGGS Ph.D. student and paleontologist Aki Watanabe. They explored the Museum’s Saurischian and Ornithischian dinosaur halls and went behind the scenes in the “Big Bone Room” which houses some of the largest and heaviest items in the Museum’s paleontology collection.
Spring 2015 Notable RGGS Comparative Biology Ph.D. Student and Alumni Achievements
Aki Watanaba awarded the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Dawson Grant. The Mary R. Dawson Predoctoral Fellowship Grant recognizes and supports graduate student research excellence. This award recognizes research excellence and promote a successful career in Vertebrate Paleontology by supporting the recipient’s dissertation research travel, data collection and analyses. The grant will be awarded in association with the 2015 SVP Annual Conference to be held in Dallas, TX, October 14‐17, 2015
Amber Paasch received a 2015 Botanical Society of America Graduate Student Research Award.
Daniel Barta received a student travel grant for the 3rd International Symposium on Paleohistology to be held at the University of Bonn in Bonn, Germany, from July 2nd to July 5th, 2015; there he received an honorable mention in the Student Oral Presentation Prize Competition for his talk, “The first dinosaur eggs from a new vertebrate locality in the Upper Cretaceous Sebeş Formation, Romania.” Daniel also received a grant from the Geological Society of America.
Allison Bronson received a research grant from the Geological Society of American for her proposal "Addressing shark origins: A rich fossil biota from the Mississippian Fayetteville Shale of Arkansas".
Zachary Calamari received a grant from the Geological Society of America, as well as Honorable Mention for his GRFP (Graduate Research Fellowship Program) proposal to the NSF for "Weapons and Wooing: Evolution of Cranial Appendage Diversity in Hoofed Mammals”.
Spencer Galen received an Expedition Fund Grant from The Explorer’s Club for "A taste for blood: using genetics to understand malaria parasite distributions in a changing world.” He, along with a group of researchers, also received a grant from Explore 21 to visit Cuba in fall 2015 for the research project "Biodiversity Surveys in Poorly Explored Regions of Cuba: Developing New Research Collections and Collaborations."
Eugenia Gold and Aki Watanabe became senior participants in an NSF Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) Research Grant. Aki Watanabe also received the Dawson Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Grant from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Amber Paasch was accepted into the competitive High-Throughput Biology and Data Analysis workshop at the New York Genome Center. She also received an AMNH-Lerner Gray Grant for her work on the North Atlantic oceanic transect between Bermuda and Puerto Rico, and was one of 20 students across the U.S. to receive a Botanical Society of American Graduate Student Research Award, for her proposal "Characterization of a Unique Method of Bacteria Ingestion in Green Algae by Fluorescence and Electron Microscopy”.
Bernardo Santos and Carly Tribull each received NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants.
Bernardo Santos received a grant from the Linnean Society of London to attend the Systematics Association Biennial in August at the University of Oxford where he will present his paper, Evolution of convergent functional systems in a speciose clade of parasitic wasps (Ichneumonidae, Cryptinae); he has also become editor for Ichneumonoidea at the journal ZooKeys.
Michael Tessler received an Expedition Fund Grant from The Explorers Club for his spring field work in Valdivia, Chile to study anticoagulant evolution of non-bloodfeeding leeches. He also received an AMNH-Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grant for his study of leeches in Chiapas, Mexico.
The Critter People
The First Five
February, 2009: The New York Academy of Sciences profiled the first five RGGS students in a podcast.