SMBE Regional Meeting on The Role of the Genome in Biological Invasion

November 8, 2022

I was invited to give a keynote talk at the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Regional Meeting in Hamilton, New Zealand. Eeep! You can watch the full line-up of awesome talks here. I talked about preliminary and ongoing work investigating current population structure and historical patterns of genomic and metagenomic diversity using herbarium specimens in an invasive crop weed, Blue Mustard (Chorispora tenella, Brassicaceae). The talk features exciting preliminary work by Therese Balkenbush, Rachel Havok, and collaborators Rachel Reeb (University of Pittsburg) and Mason Heberling (Carnegie Museum of Natural History).

Featured in Idaho EPSCoR newsletter

November 28, 2022

Our group has been featured in the Idaho EPSCoR newsletter. Photo thanks to our own Elizabeth Mandala. Newsletter here, see page 6:

Featured in article about ISU computing resources

September 26, 2022

Our group has been unofficially designated as 'power users', so that's something to brag about! Article here:

Interviewed on KISU The Nature of Idaho podcast

September 14, 2022

I got to chat with the folks at the The Nature of Idaho about weeds and invasive plants in Idaho. It was on the radio and everything!


Queen's University Biology Departmental Seminar: Ecological genomics of invasive and introduced plants

November 16, 2021

I was invited to give a talk to the Biology Department at Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada. I talked about my work on the current patterns of genomic diversity in an heavily human dispersed ornamental wildflower, Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis, Fabaceae), and ongoing work investigating historical patterns of genomic and metagenomic diversity using herbarium specimens in an invasive crop weed, Blue Mustard (Chorispora tenella, Brassicaceae).

Undergrad superstars present at This Is Biology: Navigating Undergraduate Research

November 8, 2021

Lab/VIP members Treyton Harris and Olivia Swainston discuss finding their way into undergraduate research through an REU and the VIP course at ISU. They are just so charming and thoughtful, I don't know what to say.

I'm not crying, you're crying!

California Academy of Sciences Genomic Social Hour: Natural History Collections in Evolutionary Ecology

November 11, 2020

I was invited to give talk for the California Academy of Sciences Genomic social hour on my work using natural history collections to investigate evolution in an invasive weed, blue mustard (Chorispora tenella, Brassicaceae). A collaborator of mine, Dr. Rafal Gutaker also presented during this session, and his work is soooooo cooooool. Thanks to Dr. Lua Lopez (who also works on herbarium genomics) for organizing!


Virtual ESA 2020 - Plant Science Decadal Vision 2020 - 2030 Symposium

July 27, 2020

I was invited to give a 5 minute Inspire talk at Virtual ESA 2020 Symposium supporting the Plant Science Decadal Vision. Five minute talks are hard! The Plant Science Decadal Vision maps out the future of plant science and how we can use new technologies and approaches to address pressing problems in our world. You can read more about the Plant Science Decadal Vision here.


Conversations with Academics podcast with Dylan Gomes

Dr. Kathryn Turner - Idaho State University Kathryn tells me about her experience in the job search and what sort of things to look out for. She stresses the importance of hobbies, or taking time away from work, and she ends with the power of sleep and talking to humans - we are social creatures after all.

December 17, 2019

from the archives

Evolution 2019, Providence, RI

June 2019

Thanks to the efforts of organizers and filming volunteers, you can see my talk from the Evolution 2019 Conference on Youtube! Enjoy my excessive hand-waving and fast talking! You can watch all the filmed talks here.

R Open Sci logo

ropensci community call

March 26, 2017

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, I’ll be featured on an rOpenSci community call, presenting an example of using the ‘rgbif’ R package to download a whole lotta biodiversity occurrence data.

Details here:

‘Community Call – Research Applications of rOpenSci Taxonomy and Biodiversity Tools – rOpenSci – open tools for open science

Our next Community Call, on March 27th, aims to help people learn about using rOpenSci’s R packages to access and analyze taxonomy and biodiversity data, and to recognize the breadth and depth of their applications. We also aim to learn from the discussion how we might improve these tools. Presentations will start with an introduction to the topic and details on some specific packages and we’ll hear from several people about their “use cases in the wild”.’

If you are not familiar with rOpenSci, they are a non-profit that develops R packages to help researchers access and use data, and train people in R. Check out:

You are welcome to join! The community call will also be posted on the website, if you want to view it later.

Check out the call notes here. The rOpenSci discussion page is here. My slides are here. The code I demonstrated is here. Along with some great collaborators, I used this approach to work on this cool bit of science, looking at the association between drought frequency and annual/perennial life history traits. Check out the publication here!

Molecular Ecologist blog logo

Now contributing to the molecular ecologist

April 13, 2018

I was recently brought on as a regular contributor to the impressive blog at The Molecular Ecologist. This is a great motivation for me to write more and try really hard to have insightful thoughts. Here is the the introduction to all the new contributors, and here is my very first post, near and dear to my heart, about hybridization and invasive species.

Evolution 2017, Portland, OR

July 12, 2017

Thanks to the efforts of organizers and filming volunteers, you can see my talk from the Evolution 2017 Conference on Youtube! Enjoy my excessive hand-waving! You can see all the talks that were filmed here.

Pamphlet for Genomics of Adaptation to Human Contexts Symposium

A whirlwind of rapid adaptation

August 9, 2016

After much toil, and thanks to co-organizers Brook Moyers and Chris Schell, and our wonderful sponsors (the American Genetics Association, the Genetics Society of America, ROpenSci, and ThermoFisher), our Genomics of Adaption to Human Contexts Symposium at the end of July 2016 was a great success! In the Software Carpentry workshop, Daisie Huang and Scott Chamberlain shared some really useful skills in reproducible research computing. And in the Symposium, some intriguing similarities came to light across all the different fields that our speakers came from. We are currently considering pursuing a journal special issue on the topic, please contact me for more information. Check out our program to see the list of fabulous speakers. Also, I have storified all the tweets!

Phew, that’s a lot o’ links!

Illustration of diffuse knapweed and blue mustard

Centaurea diffusa and Chorispora tenella. Mayan-stylized glyph art by Monarobot.

For additional posts from the ARchive

Header image: Chorispora tenella grown from USDA GRIN accession. Image by Kathryn Turner.