News

January 2020 - I was an invited seminar speaker at the University of Winnipeg, where I presented on my PhD and Postdoc work.  It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and advisors at my alma mater.  

November 2019 - I am thrilled to annouce that my work with John Young on the emu wing is now published in Current Biology.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960982219311741 (it was also featured in a Dispatch here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S096098221931200X).

September 2019 - I was hired as a sessional instructor to teach BIOL-3300, Evolutionary Biology, at the University of Manitoba this fall.

September 2019 - I started my first position as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Manitoba with Drs. Margaret Docker and Colin Garroway (co-supervised by Dr. Alison Wright at the University of Sheffield).  I will be studying the genomics of sex determination in sea lamprey.  

July/August 2019 - Lead by Luohao Xu, Evolutionary dynamics of sex chromosomes of paleognathous birds is now out in Genome Biology and Evolution.  This is the 3rd of 4 bioRxiv papers mentioned below!  https://academic.oup.com/gbe/advance-article/doi/10.1093/gbe/evz154/5536880?searchresult=1

July 2019 - I attended the EMBL Conference/Workshop entitled Limb Development and Regeneration: New Tools for a Classic Model System in Barcelona with members of the Tabin Lab to present a poster.  Thanks to Clifford Tabin for supporting this opportunity.

April 2019 - On April 26th, I successfully defended my dissertation at Harvard University in the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street at 10 AM.  Thanks for all the support!

April 2019 - Lead by Alison Cloutier, Whole-Genome Analyses Resolve the Phylogeny of Flightless Birds (Palaeognathae) in the Presence of an Empirical Anomaly Zone, the 2nd of 4 bioRxiv papers mentioned below, is now out in Systematic Biology!  https://academic.oup.com/sysbio/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/sysbio/syz019/5477409?redirectedFrom=fulltext

April 2019 - Chapter 2 of my disseration and a large collaborative project has just been published in Science. Convergent regulatory evolution and loss of flight in paleognathous birds.  Originally posted on bioRxiv, now you can check it out here: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6435/74

February 2019 - My SICB talk, "Convergent Regulatory Evolution and Forelimb Heterochrony in Flightless Birds", was awarded the DEDB Best Student Paper Award.  Thank you to SICB and DEDB for this honor.  

January 2019 - My talk, "Convergent Regulatory Evolution and Forelimb Heterochrony in Flightless Birds", was selected for the DEDB Best Student Paper session at SICB in Tampa this January.

February 2018 - Very excited to post that 4 papers from the large ratite collaboration are now available on bioRxiv!  Check out my google scholar for links.

August 2017 - Presented a poster at the second meeting of the Pan-American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology on my current collaboration with John J. Young, Scott V. Edwards, and Clifford J. Tabin.  The developmental basis of forelimb reduction in the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae).

August 2017 - Avian and Reptilian Developmental Biology is now published.  Our chapter, focusing on the importance of high-quality avian genomes for developmental genomic studies.  Starting from avian tissue and ending with an assembled ALLPATHS-LG genome, this chapter provides an overview of an accessible method for generating draft avian genomes, allowing laboratories to take advantage of new approaches to developmental biology allowed by comparative genomics.

Phil Grayson, Simon YW Sin, Timothy B Sackton, and Scott V Edwards, “Comparative genomics as a foundation for evo-devo studies in birds,” in Methods in Molecular Biology: Avian and Reptilian Developmental Biology. Editor: Guojun Shen. Humana Press.  https://link.springer.com/protocol/10.1007/978-1-4939-7216-6_2

February 2017 - Participated in Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on /r/Science for Darwin Day. Find it here.

January 2017 - Presented a chalk talk, "Convergent regulatory evolution and the origin of flightlessness in palaeognathous birds", with Scott Edwards and Tim Sackton at the Boston Evolutionary Genomics Supergroup meeting Friday January 20th, 9AM in NRB 457 at the Harvard Medical School.

January 2017 - Presented at SICB in New Orleans, LA.  Talk title: "Comparative genomics, epigenomics, and developmental biology uncover convergent acceleration in putative regulatory regions associated with repeated losses of avian flight".October 

June-August 2016 - Developed and presented a Pre-College Program for Harvard Summer School Students entitled: "Soaring to New Heights or Stuck on the Ground: The Evolution of Flightless Birds".  This 1.5 hour program integrated museum collections with up-to-date research pertaining to my dissertation.  It was presented three times throughout the summer to groups of 15-20 highschool students.

June 2016 - Presented at Evolution 2016 in Austin, TX.  Talk title: "Comparative genomics and developmental biology suggest a strong role for gene regulation in the evolution of flightless birds".

March 2016 - Traveled to Taipei to present at Avian Model Systems 9. 

January 2016 - Received competitive travel grant for Avian Model Systems 9 in Taiwan

January 2016 - 2nd Annual Boston Area Bird Meeting Presentation - The developmental genomics of ratite flight loss

December 2015 - Published "Izumo1 and Juno: the evolutionary origins and coevolution of essential sperm-egg binding partners" in Royal Society Open Science.  http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/2/12/150296

August 2015 - Pan-Am Evo Devo Conference at Berkeley, Poster Presentation - Convergent avian flight loss examined through genomics and evo devo

July 2015 - Featured UWinnipeg Alumni.

June 2015 - Qualifying Exam Passed. Officially a PhD Candidate!

May 2015 - Received SSE Rosemary Grant Award

May 2015 - OEB Grad Student Seminar Series Presentation - Grounded for life: Using genomics and evo-devo to examine convergent flight loss in birds

April 2015 - Harvard Museum of Natural History Outreach Presentation - Avian flight loss and island life

January 2015 - 1st Boston Area Bird Meeting Presentation - Examining flight loss in ratites through genomics and developmental biology

November 2014 - Began Training in Tabin Laboratory

June 2014 - Began Work on Ratite Genomics

September 2013 - Published Second Half of MSc Thesis: Positive selection in the adhesion domain of Mus sperm Adam genes through gene duplications and function-driven gene complex formations

August 2013 - Passed University of Winnipeg MSc Thesis Defense with Distinction. Arrived at Harvard.