DNA Unravelled: Teacher Kits

We delivered our first teacher kits today at Amerigo A. Anastasia School in Long Branch. These kits have everything needed to extract DNA with elementary age students (except the strawberries)!  After we deliver an in-person workshop with a school, we then provide kits for the teachers to  use the acitivity in the future at low cost.  We are grateful to the European Society for Evolutionary Biology  which provides funding for both the in class workshops and the teacher kits. Katie Banfitch (MU School of Science, left) put together the kits based on her experience last semester as our outreach coordinator and Jessica Alonzo (middle) facilitated all of our work at the school.

EPiC Conference 2018

Members of the lab presented posters at the 2018 Evolution in Philly Conference sponsored by ASN, GSA, and others. The conference was held at the Academy of Natural Sciences and we all enjoyed hearing about the excellent science happening in the region.

Congratulations, Sebastian!

Sebastian Vera just wrapped up his time as Summer Scholar. This competitive program supports undergrads from across the University as they pursue research.  Seb kickstarted  our research program on new wild derived strains this summer and will continue his work this academic year.

Welcome Carleigh Engstrom to the Lab!

Carleigh Engstrom teaches biology at Biotech High School in Freehold, NJ and joins us as part of the Teach Revolution Progam.  The new program is focused on integrating evolutionary research into high school curriculums nationwide.  Supported by NSF BEACON, the Society for the Study of Evolution and Wiley Publishers, this program provides funding for teachers to spend the summer participating in research and then take that experience back to the classroom. Carleigh’s specialty is Molecular and Agricultural Technology and she is collaborating with us to study local population genetics in Striped Bass.  We are so happy to welcome her to our group.  Read more about the program here:

Congratulations, Graduates!

Congratulations to our 2018 Spring graduates– Bradley Kraft, Brian Reiss, and Anjali Tampay!   Brad will be starting med school in the fall, Brian will be starting a Master’s program, and Anjali will be applying to grad school.  Come back and see us soon.


Scholarship week in the Phifer-Rixey Lab

We had a busy Scholarship week this year!

Tiffany Longo and Brian Reiss were inducted to the Biology Honor’s Society Beta Beta Beta. Eligibility is determined by a strong academic record and a commitment to research. Congratulations!

Tiffany, Brian, and Sebastian Vera presented their research at the William Paterson Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Tiffany presented her research at the Summer Scholar’s Research Conference hosted by the Provost’s Office.

Brad Kraft shared his work on gene expression as part of the Honors College Thesis Symposium.

Anjali Tampy, Nikole Andre, Tiffany, Seb, Brad and Brian all presented their research at the School of Science Student Research Poster Session.

Katie Banfitch was honored with the Biology Departmental Service Award for her outstanding work as a supplemental instructor and as coordinator of our lab’s outreach project.

Now, we will all eat Pancakes for Parkinson’s and sleep!!