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 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!
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!
July 2019: Our book chapter on Avian Genomics in Conservation is officially published and available! You can find it at https://rd.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-16477-5.
May 2019: Sydni Joubran received a grant from the Society for Systematic Biology and the Linnaean Society to explore the genomics and mechanisms of the early stages of divergence in mammals. Congratulations, Sydni!
August 2018: Welcome new graduate student Sydni Joubran! Excited to have you in the lab.
May 2018: I had the opportunity to discuss our lab's research on the podcast Science For The People. I spoke after Boris Schmid, who discussed the critical role of fleas in plague transmission, and I talked about the effects of plague on prairie dogs and other wildlife. You can listen to the episode here!
March 2018: Undergraduate student Jeanette Calarco earned a 10-week summer internship at NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. This summer, she will join the lab of Dr. Joseph Hinnebusch to study how the source of host blood affects Yersinia pestis infection in the gut and subsequent transmission. Congratulations, Jeanette!