EEOB Ph.D. candidate, Erica Baken, recently received the Society of Systematic Biologist's Graduate Student Research Award. The award assists students in the intial years of their systematics projects and in the collection of preliminary data.
Baken's research focuses on the patterns of salamander evolution associated with life in trees. With a surprisingly high number of transitions from life on the ground to life in trees, we are left with a lot of questions as to how and why these transitions happened. To get at this, she will study these transition rates, speciation and extinction, morphological evolution, and bioclimatic patterns of the salamander species' ranges. This grant will allow her to travel to museums in California to collect morphological data on critical specimens for my research.