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We are very excited to announce that we have a new Interim Manager for the BFS — Dr. Jennifer Gee.

Dr. Gee banding and measuring a male Gambel's Quail x California Quail hybrid

Dr. Gee is exceptionally well qualified for this position, as you can see from the official CUC News Release. She is an evolutionary biologist and field ecologist, who did her Ph.D. work with Dr. Rosemary Grant at Princeton and subsequently held postdoctoral positions at Cornell and Harvard. Jennifer spent her postdoctoral training primarily conducting experiments aimed at understanding the neural mechanisms of mating behavior of quail. She then spent several years in the laboratory using molecular, cellular, and developmental genetics approaches to study the precise mechanisms of cranial skeletal differentiation, namely, in the beak of finches.

Most recently, she’s been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Whitman College, teaching a variety of courses, including Evolutionary Biology, Conservation Biology, and Genetics. Jennifer moved here (in February) to return to her passion, field-based research on hybridizing quail species.

Dr. Gee is currently conducting field research on speciation at UCR’s Boyd Deep Canyon Research Center, studying natural populations of California and Gambel’s Quail that hybridize in that area, and we are lucky that the Interim Manager position fit so well with her current situation. Here you can see some examples of her favorite study organisms:

Here is Dr. Gee on March 9 holding a female Gambel

On the way back to the field station during last week’s massive windstorm (which blew 3 turbines off local windmill farms), Jennifer photographed this male Gambel’s quail with his topknot blowing the wind (the answer is blowing in the wind!!). The day following the massive windstorm, the quail were foraging with great enthusiasm, and she caught over 20 quail in her seed-baited traps!

A male Gambel

Dr. Gee has jumped right into things at the BFS. Here she is at the GPS workshop last Friday:

Dr. Gee (left) and a fellow workshop participant learn the ins and outs of the snazzy new GPS units.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Gee and her research on quail, please come the her presentation at HMC on Wednesdsay, March 30, at 4:15 pm in Galileo-Pryne.

Dr. Gee will be at the BFS 2-3 days per week — usually Wednesday, Thursday, and part of Tuesday or Friday. On the other days, she’ll be at Deep Canyon. She is looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm for and experience with field research with the students and faculty here, and she welcomes you to contact her. So stop by and say “Hi!”, email her at jennifer_gee@cuc.claremont.edu, or phone her at the BFS at 909-398-1751.

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