Julie A. Sommer

University of Nebraska-LincolnJulie A. Sommer
Program: PhD in Biological Sciences

Advisor: Dr. Guillermo Ortí
Taxonomic Focus: Fishes

Address: 315 Manter Hall
Phone: 1 (402) 472-3999
E-mail: jsommer@unlserve.unl.edu

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Research:
I use molecular evidence to investigate evolutionary relationships and understand processes that lead to current patterns of diversity and distribution.

Specifically, my contribution to this project is to obtain data for Odontesthes hatcheri to augment the Patagonia comparative phylogeographic assessment. From this work, I will build upon the project for my dissertation work. I am interested in species distributions, molecular systematics of the subfamily Atherinopsinae, and connecting micro and macroevolution through investigation of timing and causes of speciation events due to geological and other environmental processes.

Academic Background:

  • BS (’97), University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska.

  • Biography:

    I was born in 1972 in Omaha, Nebraska where I have lived all of my life. After getting a BS in Biology, I started working at the Center for Conservation and Research at the Henry Doorly Zoo. As a research associate I became proficient in molecular techniques, developing microsatellite markers for up to 80 taxa and managing projects. I found that freshwater fish are excellent organisms to investigate evolutionary histories across large geographical areas due to the interplay between geological processes and drainage patterns. I am very excited to be a part of this PIRE due to the educational component, collaborative effort, cultural exchange, and conservation implications, as well as, the challenge of analyzing many distinct species to uncover congruence.

    Website:

    Lab: http://golab.unl.edu/people
    Project: http://physics.unl.edu/~fulcrum
    Profile: Project Fulcrum