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The Hedrick Lab seeks to better understand the interconnected relationship between morphology, phylogeny, and ecology in order to answer the question:

How do morphological innovations lead to the radiation of taxa?

By studying a wide variety of taxa ranging from sharks, to bats, to rodents, to dinosaurs, we assess the impact of morphological evolution on the great diversity of life, past, present, and future.

News

August 4, 2021: Undergraduate Research Symposium at LSUHSC!

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Erin Sheehy and Alexandra Magee both presented their research projects at the summer undergraduate research symposium at LSUHSC. Erin talked about her work on cranial shape and niche partitioning in three species of Louisiana bats and Alexandra discussed her work on green anole limb symmetry and its impacts on their locomotion. Click the links to see their presentations!

June 21, 2021: Bat Sensory Systems Manuscript Out in Evolution!

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Ronnie Hall (at UC Merced), a new graduate student in the Dumont lab, completed his first manuscript examining the evolution of Neotropical leaf-nosed bat sensory systems using diceCT. I began this work in 2015 while a postdoc in the Dumont lab and it is great to see it published!

Hall, Mutumi, Hedrick et al., 2021; Find the food first: An omnivorous sensory morphotype predates biomechanical specialization for plant based diets in phyllostomid bats. Evolution

April 8, 2021: Cover of Journal of Morphology!

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Our new paper in collaboration with the Schachner Lab on quantifying variation in lung morphology of African grey parrots using microCT was just published in Journal of Morphology and received the cover! 

Congratulations to all coauthors, but especially to the lead author, Adam Lawson. Adam will be defending his PhD next month. This is certainly a great way to go into a defense!

Lawson, Hedrick, Echols, and Schachner, 2021. Anatomy, variation, and asymmetry of the bronchial tree in the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus)

April 1, 2021: Article in Top 100 Downloads of 2020 for Scientific Reports!

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Some very cool work the Hedrick lab did last year with lead authors Dara Orbach (Texas A&M) and Patty Brennan (Mount Holyoke College) on harbor porpoise genitalia was one of the top downloaded papers for 2020 in Scientific Reports (out of more than 21000 papers published in Sci Reports in 2020). It was downloaded more than 14,000 times! Awesome!!

March 12, 2021: Cover of Journal of Anatomy and New Coverboard Paper Out in Herpetological Review

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Our Journal of Anatomy paper on lung morphology of American alligators and ostriches received the cover. Very exciting! Congratulations to my colleagues Emma Schachner, Heather Richbourg, John Hutchinson, and Colleen Farmer!

Also, my recent paper on the effects of coverboard ex situ age and in situ weathering on salamander coverboard usage just came out in Herpetological Review. My colleague Chris Sutherland (Univ. of St. Andrews) and two undergraduates (Fanny Riand and George Bancroft) and I found that red-backed salamanders utilize older coverboards at higher rates than younger ones, but that the weathering process does not appear to impact preference. This suggests non-linear coverboard integration times.

Hedrick et al., 2021: Effects of Coverboard Age and Aging on Salamander Usage. Herp Review.