Project Update - A year since funding
This project was funded about 14 months ago and a lot has happened since then. Here's a brief overview on the project outcomes and progress.
1. Genetics progress: The funds from my donors allowed me to do genomic next-gen sequencing on our target species! The technical specifics include: ddRAD library preperation (done by me) and sequencing of that library on 2 lanes of a HiSeq (outsources to NYU).
2. Improved sampling: The funds from my donors (as well as other funding sources) allowed me to collect more samples from the field. As of Dec-Jan 2014-2015 I collected almost 2000 total cockroach specimens! This includes new species and many new records for Guyana. This also includes >150 individuals of our focal species (Ischnoptera sp.) from 12 new locations.
3. Analytical progress: All these new samples allowed us to take a new direction in the project. We were able to analyze our question using ecological methodology in addition to the evolutionary methodology allowed by our genetic sequences. Without getting into the specifics, we are very excited about what our data might be able to tell us about how landscapes shape diversity patterns.
4. Outcomes progress: Because we have still not completed the analysis we have not yet been able to achieve a great variety of outcomes. As of today we have presented two posters at a university event. One major publication from this project is currently in preparation, awaiting the full results from the final analysis. A second publication is also possible but we'll have to wait and see.
Overview: This research has involved collaborators from 3 universities and participants from 2 countries. The whole process has resulted in training of two graduate , and eight undergraduate students. In total, the number of collaborators on this project is 16, which is not including the other people who have contributed in some other more peripheral, but very important ways.