Showing "weird" rodents at the Field Museum's Members Night!
I participated in the effort to publicize the research done at the Field Museum at Members Night. I showed some rodent species to try to create awareness about their morphological and ecological diversity. Everyone seemed to love the so-called "potato rat" (a name for a Myospalax that I made up on the spot to entertain kids)!
Poster presentation on the virtual dissection of the masticatory musculature of Blarinomys breviceps at the SICB regional meeting.
I landed in Chicago and went straight to the regional meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology at the University of Chicago. Luckily, I arrived in time to present some results of my last postdoc on the comparison of the masticatory musculature of Akodontini rodents from CTscan images, focusing on Blarinomys breviceps. Great opportunity to talk to several researchers and watch incredible lectures!
The Women in Science UFMG became Girls in Science for a day!
Last week, we, as the group of Women in Science at UFMG, invited girls who are in elementary school to learn about the work done by women scientists at our institution, so that they would see a scientific career as a viable one. I showed them some mammals from the collection (they LOVED the bats), and they had the craziest questions ("if we know so little about the oceans, why don't you study oceans more?", or "is megalodon real?"). It was such a fun and meaningful experience, and we hope to do this often!
The last chapter of my Ph.D. dissertation is out in Evolutionary Biology!
In this study, we tested the relationship between speciation, extinction, morphological disparity and rates of morphological evolution, to try to understand what would be the predominant processes responsible for the diversification patterns observed in Akodontini. We found that higher rates of morphological evolution and more time of independent evolution in one of the clades - plus higher rates of speciation in Akodon - generated the tribe's heterogeneous patterns of morphological and lineage diversity.
Conversation about carnivorous rodents in the scicomm project "Papo de Rato"!
I talked with Filipe Gudinho from "Papo de Rato" - a SciComm project dedicated to rats! - about projects we are developing on the evolution of carnivory in rodents. I had a lot of fun and you can watch the conversation here (in Portuguese).
Guest lectures at San Diego State University and UNISINOS.
I was invited to speak a little more about the research I have been developing since my doctorate at San Diego State University and UNISINOS. It was a great opportunity to exchange experiences and, of course, talk a little more about Akodontini and carnivory in rodents!
I attended the XI Brazilian Mammal Meeting (and for the first time as a guest lecturer)!
I went to the XI Brazilian Mammal Meeting that took place in Fortaleza. After three years, it was great to see so many amazing mammalogists again. In addition, I participated in a symposium on the use of modern techniques in museum specimens and gave a talk on carnivorous rodents (in TedTalk format -- yes that was challenging!). What a great week!
I attended a workshop on tools for manipulating 3D images
I attended a workshop on tools for manipulating 3D images using 3D Slicer and SlicerMorph offered by Murat Maga's Lab. It was great to learn directly from the SlicerMorph developers and meet other people interested in CTscan and 3D models.
Lecture about functional morphology of rodents
I gave a lecture on functional morphology of rodents to students of the course on Vertebrate Biology at Universidade Federal do Piauí. I had a lot of fun talking about this topic!
Presentation at the American Society of Mammalogists meeting
I presented a poster at the 100th Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists, which was virtual this year. I got to see a lot of great presentations and even participate in a "virtual happy hour" with some fellow mammalogists. Can't wait for the next meeting!
We taught a course on Phylogenetic Comparative Methods at UFMG
In the past few weeks, Daniel Casali and I have taught the discipline on Phylogenetic Comparative Methods in the Zoology graduate program at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Students were able to develop projects with their own data and practice the methods learned during classes. We not only taught but also learned a lot!
Our paper on Akodontini's functional morphology made it to the cover of Journal of Evolutionary Biology!
Our paper on functional convergence of insectivorous akodont rodents was represented on the cover of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. The cover features a beautiful picture, taken by Leandro Drummond, of Blarinomys breviceps feeding on a larvae.
I attended an event on women's activism in the Global South
I participated in a pannel on women's activism in the Global South, where I was able to share my experience in founding and organizing a group of women in science. It was a great experience, where I was able to learn from amazing women. Thanks to Gugu Selela and Clemson University for organizing this event!
Our paper on Akodontini's functional morphology has just been published at Journal of Evolutionary Biology!
Our paper on functional convergence of akodont rodents was just published in early view in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. If you want to check it out, it is available here.
Participation in the pannel discussion on functional morphology of mammals
I gave a lecture on funtional morphology of the skull of rodents on the panel about functional morphology of mammals, as parte of the I Symposium on Vertebrate Morphology, along with three other incredible female scientists. It was great to have the opportunity to talk about the topic in this incredible event!
Lecture on the evolution of carnivory on rodents
I gave a lecture on "predatory rats" to the study group on mamalogy at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. You can see the lecture and learn more about these species here.
Poster presentation at the I SBE Meeting
I presented my poster "Insectivory leads to functional convergence in Akodontini rodents" at the "Diversity and Phenotipic Evolution" poster sessions of the I Meeting of Systematics, Biogeography and Evolution, on July 30th at 13:40 (UTC-3). You can find my poster here.
Best Dissertation Award
My Ph.D. dissertation"Macroevolutionary and ecological patterns of the morphological evolution of akodontine rodents" won the award for Best Dissertation Defended in 2019 in the Postgraduate Program in Zoology at UFMG, and will now compete for the UFMG and Capes awards.
Our paper made it to the cover of Evolutionary Ecology
Our paper on trophic diversification of akodont rodents made it to the cover of Evolutionary Ecology! The cover features this amazing picture of an Akodon mollis feeding on an earthworm, which was taken by Jorge Brito.
X Brazilian Congress of Mastozoology
At XCBM, I presented two chapters of my dissertation. The first work was on stable isotopes and Akodontini's trophic diversification. In the second work, I discussed how ecological diversification is related to cranial morphological diversity in the group, and how patterns of morphological convergence related to an insectivorous diet emerge among the Akodontini. Had a great time, met lots of great mammalogists and learned A LOT!