Category Archives: Lab News

Welcome Siliang Song

Siliang Song is a summer student in the UCLA CSST program who is visiting the Shaffer Lab for ten weeks. Song will work on the phylogeny of the salamander family Ambystomatidae, including two federally endangered California species and a dozen critically endangered Mexican species, using thousands of targeted genes developed in the Shaffer lab.  As an undergraduate at Zhejiang University, China, Song worked in the Institution of Insects Science, mainly focusing on the phylogeny of Hymenoptera (wasps & bees). Interested in observing nature and admiring the diversity of lifeforms, Song plans to pursue ecology and evolutionary research in his future career, and the genomic tools he is mastering at UCLA will help him achieve those goals. Welcome to the lab, Song!

The UCLA CSST Summer Program brings outstanding third year undergraduate students, interested in PhD studies, nominated by top-tier universities in the People’s Republic of China and Japan, to conduct 10 week intensive research training with UCLA faculty mentors. This 10-week program offers emerging scholars premier research training in a cutting edge scientific environment that fosters cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Hasta la vista, Mario

Mario Colon, La Kretz Center liaison to the Shaffer Lab, is leaving UCLA to pursue a Master of Environmental Science & Management at the UCSB Bren School, where science, management, law, economics, and policy are integrated as part of an interdisciplinary approach to environmental problem-solving.

Mario received his B.S. in Environmental Science from UCLA in 2013,  and has worked as an administrative assistant at the UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science for the past four years.

Congratulations, Mario, and best of luck at UCSB!


Congratulations Evan!

Evan McCartney-Melstad received his PhD at UCLA in December 2016, and is now a postdoc in the Shaffer Lab. Evan’s research involves gathering and analyzing genomic datasets to answer: 1) How energy developments affect the federally protected Mojave desert tortoise and 2) What are the driving factors behind the hybridization of the invasive barred tiger salamander with the endangered California tiger salamander. In addition to these empirical systems, he is working to make genomic technologies and bioinformatics analyses more applicable to large genome amphibians.