Introducing CrisprCAS9

Pleasure to meet you @CrisprCAS9. Your profile says:

I move very small volumes of extremely expensive, clear liquids from one tiny plastic tube to another. And then write stuff about it.

What can you tell us about you and your work? Sounds interesting. You must be a Biologist, right?


I am a former cancer research lab manager, current grad student in evolutionary biology, and long-time participant in some of the pseudoscience discussions common on YouTube. I am interested in bioinformatics, population genetics, and systematics, among other things.


Great to have you here. Some other grad students are here too, e.g. @davecarlson and @evograd.


As someone who is currently going through cancer, I appreciate your hard work.


Do you have a thesis project yet? Could I interest you in whistling duck systematics and/or phylogeography?

I’m drafting things now, more interested in methods than specific taxa.

You are welcome to try! My lab is not wedded to a particular clade, although my major professor certainly has his preferred groups… I don’t think he has ever had a student work with any birds, but he wouldn’t object. Feel free to DM your arguments.

DM? Sorry, too old to immediately comprehend what that means.

Briefly, whistling ducks are morphologically very conservative yet genetically and behaviorally very divergent. There are also questions of ILS or other confounding factors in the phylogeny of the greater part of the genus. As far as phylogeography, which has never been looked at, there are a couple of species with unusually broad distribution — over South America, Africa, and, in one case, India too, crossing two (count 'em) two oceans — but zero described subspecific variation. I have a PowerPoint presentation if you’re interested further.

Plenty of other interesting problems in bird phylogeny at all levels, if you’re into in that sort of thing.

DM = direct message

I’d prefer to not discuss my specific research group in too much detail publicly, but I don’t mind doing so in private messages.

We’re taking over!


Inevitable, as the old folks die off. I for one am glad to welcome our new youthful overlords.


How about a biogeographical comparison of whistling ducks vs whistling dicks? You could throw in a few cannonical references too.