Puerto Rican Parrot Seminar at NMU

Wednesday 23, 2013

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University will present a biology seminar on genetic distinctiveness of the Puerto Rican parrot at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 in Mead Auditorium, located in the West Science Building.
            The Puerto Rican parrot is considered by biologist to be unique among wild parrots. Taras Oleksyk, an assistant professor at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, will make the presentation on the democratized sequencing and the community genome project of this unusual bird, detailing the genome database, discussing variation in the populations, exploring its relationship to other parrots of the world and highlighting genetic features.

A native of Ukraine, Oleksyk earned his doctorate from the University of Georgia, where his research focused on genetic consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.  His areas of study include genetic epidemiology, evolutionary genetics and comparative genomics.  Specifically, he is interested in genome evolution and its implication to adaptation and human disease.  He has had two major research projects funded by the National Science Foundation. His research group recently was in the news for its release of data of the Puerto Rican Parrot genome – the first publicly sponsored genome project.  He is currently directing efforts to establish the Caribbean Genome Center, the first research and educational genome facility in the greater Caribbean region supported by collaboration with Frederick National Laboratory and the National Cancer Institute.

This presentation is free and open to the public. For more information contact the biology department at 227-2310.

Kyle Lynch
Student Writer