Month: July 2020

July 2020 Student Panel Update

The CPN student community is now 116 members strong, spanning a wide range of career stages, institutions, and disciplines. Together, our members represent 80 institutions across 22 countries. The Student Panel was created to help students connect with other members in the network, represent student perspectives within the CPN leadership, and organize resources, training opportunities, and other community-building activities to help prepare students for future careers in conservation paleobiology. In line with these goals, we’re very excited to announce TWO WAYS for student members to start engaging with the student community and interacting with other members in the network:

Postcard from the Field: Lauren Clark, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Lauren Clark has just completed the first year of her master’s in the Archaeology department at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. She is broadly interested in the applications and methods employed in ancient sediment DNA (sedaDNA) studies in service of both archaeology and conservation paleobiology. To combine her interests, she has chosen to focus her thesis research on comparing the efficacy of various extraction methods of sedaDNA among stored sediment samples obtained from the Bridge River archaeological site in interior BC. In order to acquire primarily ancient genetic material, the extraction of DNA from sediment will take place in a positive pressure lab facility and will follow strict clean-room protocols as Lauren is demonstrating in this photo in Simon Fraser’s ancient DNA lab.

Iguana on rock near the ocean

Research Highlight: Caribbean’s Anthropocene biota

While the demarcation of the Anthropocene is still debated, it is evident that human activity has altered ecosystems for millennia. Human-mediated species introductions, especially in conjunction with human-induced extinctions and land-use change, have contributed to the formation of the novel ecosystems and communities we see today. But understanding exactly how present-day biotas have been shaped by species introductions requires looking deeper in time.
Each panel has two people who serve as chairs for a limited term, as well as additional panel members. Currently the largest panel has 13 people (the Annual Meeting Panel). Ideally, each panel will consist of a range of people across subdisciplines within the CPN, across multiple career stages including students, and from diverse backgrounds.