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• Sarah O. and Elliboth received Jastro awards for their research. Congrats!


• The lab has a new home in EVE and will be moving to Storer Hall!


• Dianne Velasco and Michelle Stitzer walk at graduation!
Dan Gates and Michelle Stitzer give talks at the Evolution conference. Michelle wins the WD Hamilton Award for outstanding student presentation!
• Elli wins a computational biology fellowship for summer 2019.


• Silas Tittes joins the lab to work on PanAnd.
• Li Wang leaves the lab to start her new job later this summer the the Agricultural Genomics Institute in Shenzhen.
• Sarah O, Elli, and Alyssa all get scholarships to attend the Summer Institute of Statistical Genetics in Seattle.
• Elli wins a Dept. of Plant Sciences graduate student research fellowship.


• Markus Stetter starts his new lab at the University of Cologne.
• Elli Cryan joins the lab, coadvised by Dan Kliebenstein to work on network evolution.


• Wenbin Mei leaves to start a new job at Inari Ag.


• Emily Josephs starts her new lab at Michigan State.



Alyssa Phillips joins the lab to work on the PanAnd project.


• RILAB at PEQG. Emily Josephs and Michelle Stitzer talking, Dan Gates, Wenbin Mei, Ellen Osborn, Markus Stetter, presenting posters, as well as collabroators Raul Torres and Erin Calfee.
• Skype-a-scientist with 8th graders at Denville
• Michelle wins a 3rd year of ARCS support!


• Sarah and Asher both win departmental fellowships, supporting ~40% of their PhD for the next 4 years. Congrats!
• Congrats to Asher for winning an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to work on biotic interactions in teosinte.


• Anne defends her PhD
• Jeff gives a plenary talk at the Maize Genetics Conference


• Luis starts a new job at HM Clause.
• JRI (slides here and here), Emily, and Michelle all speak at PAG.


Nov 4

Michele talks at BAPG.

Oct 13

JRI speaks at CU Boulder on intraspecific and interspecific work on genome size and adaptation. Slides online too.

Sept 27

Our first lab R package! Luis and Mike May working together to put a Baysian clustering method together.

Sept 20

Anna finishes her PhD! Dr. O’Brien leaves the lab for a postdoctoral position at U. Toronto with Megan Frederickson.

Sep 18

Markus receives news of a 2-year postdoc fellowship from the DFG. He’ll be working on population and quantitative genetic approaches to studying domestication.

July 31

Jinliang leaves the lab to start his own lab at the University of Nebraska. Sad to see him go, but proud and excited to see what he’ll be up to!

July 13

Caryn’s Jastro proposal to investigate convergent evolution and DMI in highland maize is funded.

June 1

Michelle awarded a summer GSR position in computation biology.

May 10

Michelle wins a prestigious ARCS scholarship!

May 9

Michelle presents at the U. Georgia plant breeding symposium.

Mar. 27

Simon’s paper on subgenomes of maize accepted for publication in MBE

Mar. 20

Caryn and Ellen both receive fellowships to attend the summer institute for statistical genetics.

Feb. 20

Caryn Johansen joins the lab, to be co-advised by the inimitable Dan Runcie.

Jan 10

Jeff starts as Senior Editor for popgen at G3.


Dec. 8

Kevin Boardman awarded prestigious Provost’s Undergraduate Fellowship!

Nov. 25

NSF proposal bounces; good reviews and feedback from PO. Will retool and resubmit.

Aug 10

JRI presents on corn origins and diversity at the Davis Science Cafe

June 1

Wenbin Mei starts as new postdoc in the lab to look at structural variation in maize and teosinte.

May 5

Michelle Stitzer wins prestigious ARCS fellowship!

May 3

NSF preproposal with Yaniv Brandvain invited for full proposal.

April 10

Simon Renny-Byfield is off for a job at Dupont Pioneer, working in the same group as lab collaborators Justin Gerke and Eli Rodgers-Melnick. A sweet gig!

March 25

JRI receives official word on promotion to full professor!

March 16

JRI wins Mid-Career Award for Excellence in Maize Genetics at the Maize Genetics Conference in Florida.

Feb 10

Josh Hough begins as new postdoc in the lab, to work on linked selection in teosinte.


September 18

Kate Crosby leaves the lab this month for her job in the Monsanto Emerging Leaders Program.

August 20

Tim Beissinger leaves to take up his new job as USDA-ARS Research Geneticist at Missouri, filling the vacancy left when our collaborator Mike McMullen retired.

June 26

Two grants funded today! Funding from UCMEXUS to work with Ruairidh Sawers on characterizing an adaptive inversion introgression from teosinte into maize. And funding from the UC-Mexico Initiative (yup, they are different things!) to work on characterizing changes in genetic diversity and climate adaptation in maize over time using CIMMYT SeeD data.

June 9

After a bit less than a year in the lab, Tim Beissinger accepts a job as a research scientist at USDA at the University of Missourri. This is Mike McMullen’s position, so some big shoes to fill. Congrats Tim!

Mar. 17

Paul Bilinski is awarded a UC Davis Dissertation Year Fellowship. Congrats Paul!

Mar. 9

The new maize diversity website is live!

Jan. 28

Paul Bilinski is chosen to present his work on repeat evolution at the SMBE Satellite meeting in Montepllier. Both SMBE and the Dept. of Plant Sciences have agreed to fund his trip!

Jan. 9

Preprint of Shohei’s paper on convergent evolution in the highlands is up on bioRxiv, and Michelle’s work on identifying new TEs as collaboration with Nathan Springer’s group is out at PLoS Genetics!

Jan. 8

Our collaboration with Rute Fonseca, Bruce Smith, and Tom Gilbert analyzing ancient maize in the US SW is out in Nature Plants, with a nice both in Nature Plants commentary and a highlight in Science and a press release by UC Davis.

Jan. 6

Smithsonian funds our grant with Dolores Piperno and Matt Hufford entitled “Phenotypes, Environmental Plasticity, and Gene Expression in Teosinte and Maize in Ancient Climates Before and During the Time of Domestication”.


Dec. 15

Our Plant Genome grant was declined by NSF, but with constructive reviews. You can see reviews and proposal on github.

Dec. 12

Michelle Stitzer awarded a Global Food Initiative Fellowship for her work on the maize genome

Dec. 11

Jeff joins G3 as an Associate Editor.

Nov 21

Added an interview on our 2011 paper on the geography of maize domestication.

Nov 7

Added an interview with Matt Hufford on his 2012 maize domestication paper.

Nov 3

Nice perspective piece on rice domestication in Nature, including comment from Jeff on debating one vs two domestications.

Nov 1

Nice interview with my MS adviser Norm Ellstrand, including a kind reference to the RILAB as one of his “new mentors”.

Oct 27

Kate Crosby arrives, bringing the lab to a quintessential quintet of quality postdocs. Also, Jeff signs on to be an Associate Editor at G3.

Oct 24

UCD mentions lab work on adaptation.

Oct 12, 2014

Jeff is quoted in a story at The Scientist on the recent tomato resequencing paper.

Oct 10, 2014

Local adaptation review with Peter Tiffin accepted at Trends in Ecology and Evolution. See the preprint here.

Oct 1, 2014

Sadly, Vince Buffalo leaves the lab for a PhD in Graham Coop’s lab. On a happy note, Jinliang Yang joins the group to do a postdoc on maize quantitative genetics! Good luck Vince, and welcome Jinliang!

Sept 17, 2014

Rute Fonseca’s paper on ancient maize DNA in the US Southwest was accepted at Nature Plants!

Aug 15, 2014

Our new preprint on TEs and gene expression, a collaboration with the Springer Lab, is no on bioRxiv( Features some great work by Michelle Stitzer identifying novel TE insertions.

Aug 10, 2014

Paul Bilinksi’s paper on centromere repeats in the maize genome is accepted in Chromosoma!

Aug 4, 2014

Submitted an NSF proposal with Matt Hufford on hybridization in Zea. Fingers crossed!

July 2, 2014

Our NSF Catalyzing New International Collaborations grant with Matt Hufford, Angelica Cibrian-Jaramillo, Graham Coop, Sherry Flint-Garcia, and Ruairidh Sawers was funded. Off to Mexico!

June 17, 2014

Michelle Stitzer is awarded a Jastro research grant for her work on nonautonomous TEs.

June 16, 2014

Michelle Stitzer passes her first-year population biology comprehensive exam. Woot!

June 5, 2014

Paul Bilinski awarded a summer GSR position in computation biology. Congrats Paul!

June 2, 2014

Our paper on tb1 in natural populations of teosinte submitted and online as preprint.

May 16, 2014

Jeff has been admitted officially to the Ecology Graduate Group!

May 13, 2014

Happy to announce Simon Renny-Byfield will be joining the lab as a postdoc for Fall 2014 to work on our rare alleles project.

May 12, 2014

Paul Bilinski’s first dissertation chapter, submitted for publication and now online as a preprint. Congrats Paul!

Future R-I Lab postdoc Tim Beissinger succesfully defended his PhD thesis today. Congrats Tim!

May 8, 2014

Awesome corn goodies mysteriously show up in the lab, coincidentally timed perfectly with Jeff’s absence.

May 1, 2014

Our recently submitted NSF proposal on highland adaptation to the Plant Genome program. With Matt Hufford, Sherry Flint-Garcia, Graham Coop, Ruairidh Sawers, and Angelica Cibrian.

Apr 28, 2014

RILAB student Nivaz Brar presents a poster on her hunt for an embryo lethal TE insertion in maize at the UC Davis Undergraduate Research Conference.

Apr 25, 2014

Reacting to an urgent call for bioinformatics acronyms, Matt Hufford and I are proud to announce the formation of the Corn Transcriptome Analysis Group, or CTAG. Because we have some RNA-seq data and can run EdgeR, that’s why.

Apr. 4, 2014

Congratulations to Anna O’Brien for being awarded a three year Plant Sciences graduate student research assistantship!

Mar. 20, 2014

A fond au revoir to Dr. Sofiane Mezmouk, who leaves the lab for a position as a research scientist at KWS.

Feb. 26, 2014

Video of Tanja Pyhäjärvi presenting a seminar on her postdoc work in the lab at ESEB.

Feb. 5, 2014

My seminar slides and video at Dept. of Plant Ag. at U of Guelph.

Jan. 17, 2014

Happy to announce that Tim Beissinger will be joining the lab as a postdoc in Summer 2014!

Jan. 14, 2014

Jeff’s talks from the Plant And Animal Genome conference are online. Bottlenecks and deleterious alleles, oh my!


Dec. 17, 2013

Dianne Velasco passees her QE exams! Congrats D!

Anna O’Brien receives UCMEXUS funding for her dissertation project “Do environmental gradients drive adaptation in mutualisms? A study of teosinte and mycorrhizae”.

Dec. 11, 2013

Lab collaborations on the Wills et al. and Waters et al. manuscripts have been written up for F1000.

Dec. 3, 2013

Pyhäjärvi et al. featured on the cover of this months Genome Biology and Evolution.

Nov. 26, 2013

Mezmouk et al. now online at G3

Nov. 15, 2013

Waters et. al. is now online at PNAS!

Nov. 14, 2013

Anna O’Brien passed her qualifying exam and advances to candidacy!

Nov. 7, 2013

Sofiane’s manuscript on deleterious alleles and hybrid vigor in maize accepted in G3!

Jeff and Vince both added to list of top genome scientists to follow on twitter.

October 16, 2013

Video of Jeff’s departmental seminar

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