Alyson’s Summer Research Experience

Our star undergrad Alyson Emory made a video of her experience in the lab during Summer 2018 for her iEngage project. iEngage is a great program that allowed Alyson to conduct field work and learn a ton of lab protocols, as you can see in her fun video. She will now embark on her own independent project on earless lizard systematics!

Summer 2018 Successes!


Summer has barely started and the lab is already celebrating many successes! First, Kathleen Currie received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship! This will allow Kathleen to focus on her research with the three years of support from the NSF. Congratulations Kathleen!

TJ Firneno was awarded the ASIH Gaige Award that will support his research in understanding the evolution of parotoid toxins in toads. Congratulations TJ!

Three graduate students received research awards from the Biology Department’s Phi Sigma society. Congratulations Kathleen Currie, TJ Firneno, and Jose Maldonado!

Last but not least, the Biology Department recognized three graduate students for their contributions to teaching and research. Congratulations Danielle Rivera, Kathleen Currie, and TJ Firneno!



A few more publications from the Fujita Lab!

We have a few more publications that recently came online. The first is from Fujita Lab alumnus Kyle O’Connell. His paper, Synchronous diversification of parachuting frogs (Genus Rhacophorus) on Sumatra and Java, uses a comparative phylogeographic approach to examine diversification in Indonesia.

The second paper is a collaboration with Dr. Corey Roelke, where we used whole mitochondrial genomes to examine the divergence between two subspecies of the spot-tailed earless lizard, Holbrookia lacerata. We found that the two subspecies, H. l. lacerata and H. l. subcaudalis are quite divergent from each other, and perhaps deserve species status. Read about the project here!

Here’s Corey multitasking with email and a few Trimorphodon.

Kyle O’Connell graduates!

Ph.D Student Kyle O’Connell has graduated from the Fujita Lab. He is now Dr. O’Connell! His dissertation focused on comparing diversification processes on continents and islands using snakes and frogs as his model systems. He is moving on to work with Dr. Rayna Bell at the Smithsonian, and we’re excited to see where his research takes him next!

Several new publications from the lab!

It’s been a busy few months in the Fujita Lab as several manuscripts have been accepted!

Portik, D.M., Leaché, A.D., Rivera, D., Blackburn, D.C., Rödel, M.-O., Barej, M.F., Hirschfeld, M., Burger, M., and M.K. Fujita. 2017. Evaluating mechanisms of diversification in a Guineo-Congolian tropical forest frog using demographic model selection. Molecular Ecology 26: 5245–5263.

O’Connell, K. A., U. Smart, E. N. Smith, A. Hamidy, N. Kurniawan, M. K. Fujita. Accepted. Within-island diversification underlies parachuting frog (Rhacophorus) species accumulation on the Sunda Shelf. Journal of Biogeography.

O’Connell, K. A., J. W. Streicher, E. N. Smith and M. K. Fujita. Accepted. Geographical features are the predominant driver of molecular diversification in widely distributed North American Whipsnakes. Molecular Ecology.

Schargel, W. E., G. A. Rivas, J. E. García-Pérez, C. Rivero-Blanco, P. T. Chippindale, and M. K. Fujita. 2017. A new species of Gonatodes (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) from the western versant of the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela. Zootaxa 4291(3):549-562

Leaché, A.D., J. A Grummer, M.Miller, S. Krishnan, M. K. Fujita, W. Böhme, A. Schmitz, M. LeBreton, I. Ineich, L. Chirio, C. Ofori-Boateng, E. A. Eniang, E. Greenbaum, M-O Rödel, and P. Wagner. 2017. Bayesian inference of species diffusion in the West African Agama agama species group (Reptilia, Agamidae). Systematics and Biodiversity 15:192-203.

Danielle Rivera gets a Gaige Award!

Danielle Rivera was awarded the Gaige Award from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists! This $500 award will help Danielle collect molecular data for her project on toad phytogeography and systematics in South America. She was recognized for this award at the Joint Meeting of Herpetologists and Ichthyologists this year in Austin, TX! Congratulations Danielle!