Congratulations to Will for sucessfully defending his honors thesis! Will gave an excellent presentation about his work on house wrens. It turns out that there is a house wren hybrid zone along the Front Range (between eastern and western house wren subspecies) and that our nest box transect spans the entire width of the hybrid zone! Will used reducded representation genome sequencing for this work, and a combination of samples from museums and from the Boulder Chickadee Study nest boxes. Will's next plans involve whole genome sequencing to determine levels of admixture and potentially identify regions of the genome that do not introgress between the subspecies. Stay tuned for more interesting work on house wrens (but we will not be renaming the Boulder Chickadee Study!).
Will's honors thesis work is a collaboration with Dr. Garth Spellman at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and was directly supervised by Erik.