Research in our lab centers around evolutionary processes in wildlife, from adaptation to changing conditions to diversification across space and time. Much of our work uses wildlife diseases as models to study adaptation. We combine field and lab approaches with genomic and bioinformatic tools to understand evolution in complex disease systems. Current research in the lab occurs in two main systems: 1) avian malaria in Hawaiian honeycreepers and 2) sylvatic plague in prairie dogs. These systems are explored across spatial and phylogenetic scales ranging from microevolution within populations to spatially dynamic communities in metapopulations to multiple species across a phylogeny.
August 2021: Welcome to our newest PhD student, Carlos Campos! Carlos comes to us from New Mexico State University and has received a fellowship to work on genomics of Hawaiian honeycreepers. We are excited to have you here, Carlos!
March 2021: Our paper on endangered Kaua'i honeycreeper genetics has been published! This was a huge collaborative effort and we want to express gratitude towards our colleagues at Kaua'i Forest Bird Recovery Project and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance who are doing the hard work on the ground. Check out our paper here.
February 2021: Sydni's paper presenting genomic resources for prairie dogs has been published! You can view it here.
January 2021: We are excited to welcome new student Anna Jackson, who will be working on prairie dog evolution. Glad to have you here, Anna!
August 2020: Master's student Sydni Joubran successfully defended her thesis AND secured a position as a research assistant at the New Iberia Research Center studying primates. Congratulations, Sydni!
Spring 2020: Our latest paper, reporting on the assembly of a high-quality Gunnison's prairie dog genome, is out in Genome Biology and Evolution. This paper was led by the amazing Mirian Tsuchiya and you can read it here!
January 2020: Loren's invited perspective "Promising Protocols for Parasites" was published in Molecular Ecology Resources. Read it here.
January 2020: Loren is spending 6 months as a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She is working to uncover the relative importance of microbiota and host genome on infection with several pathogens, using the capybara--the world's largest rodent--as a model. See more here.
Fall 2019: The Cassin Sackett lab is recruiting a PhD student to work on evolutionary genomics of prairie dogs and/or associated species. More info here.
August 2019: We are excited to welcome incoming PhD student Gabrielle Atkinson, who received a doctoral fellowship to work on avian evolution in Hawaiian honeycreepers. Glad to have you here, Gabby!