Forgetting for a moment about those blog posts I promised regarding those methods for merging evolutionary trees—we have a paper coming out soon, at which point perhaps I'll make good on them—today I'll focus on a more tangible idea. I have successfully moved to Idaho.
I'm working here at the University of Idaho in Moscow, with Luke Harmon, a personal friend and also pretty bad-ass professor of evolutionary biology whose specialty is evolutionary statistics. I'm here for the opportunities to get more experience working with genomic data and learn new analytical and statistical techniques for big data. Luke is the principal investigator on the Arbor project, which is funding my current position, and I'll be contributing to that project hopefully with some analyses of sponge microbiome genomic data. I'm also currently burning rubber through a machine learning course from Coursera, which is fantastic. More to come.
Idaho is really a hidden jewel (a big one) of the Pacific Northwest, especially the mountainous northern region. There are few people, massive conservation lands, amazing outdoor opportunities, killer skiing, low taxes, and lots of interesting towns and places, like Coeur D'Alene, Riggins, Sun Valley, Boise, McCall, and Moscow. If you're ever in the area, give yourself a day or two to check it out.