People

Becky Dorsey (PI)

Becky Dorsey (PI)

University of Oregon

Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Basin analysis

Becky’s research is focused on field studies of tectonically active sedimentary basins, with the goal of understanding the tectonic, sedimentary, and geomorphic evolution of active regions. Stratigraphy and process sedimentology provide unique insights into ancient depositional environments and vertical crustal motions that often cannot be gained from other disciplines. We are using these tools in the BGG project to reconstruct Miocene to Pleistocene shorelines, and test the hypothesis for an ancient tidal seaway that may have spanned much of the central Baja peninsula during Pliocene time.

 Website

 

Greer A. Dolby (PI)

Greer A. Dolby (PI)

Arizona State University

 
Earth-life evolution, Population genomics 

Greer is an evolutionary biologist who studies how paleo-landscape change shapes the diversification of species on million-year timescales. Her work integrates geologic and genomic data using statistical modeling and new quantitative tools/concepts. She has worked in marine and terrestrial systems and her science leverages the strength and diversity of multidisciplinary research teams. For BGG she is working on the integration and synthesis of the disciplinary components. She loves complex, data-rich problems.

Website

Benjamin T. Wilder (PI)

Benjamin T. Wilder (PI)

University of Arizona

 
Desert Ecology, Biogeography, Conservation biology

Ben is a desert ecologist and biogeographer. He utilizes multiple approaches and timescales to establish baselines to better understand modern biodiversity and connect science to conservation. As Director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill and the Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers (N-Gen) he strives to create opportunities for collaboration across borders and disciplines and a more holistic understanding and appreciation for the Sonoran Desert.

Website

Brian Hausback (PI)

Brian Hausback (PI)

California State University, Sacramento

 
Geologic Mapping, Volcanology, Petrology

Brian’s collaboration with BGG builds on his many years of geologic mapping and volcanic studies in the mid- and southern-Baja California peninsula, as well as other volcanoes such as Mt. St. Helens, WA; High Rock Caldera, NV; and Sutter Buttes, CA .  Volcanic deposits form a major portion of Baja’s mid-peninsula.  Understanding their stratigraphy, age, and distribution are critical elements in deciphering the geologic, geomorphic and biologic evolution of the region.

Website

Scott E.K. Bennett

Scott E.K. Bennett

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Geologic mapping, Tectonics, Landscape evolution

Scott studies the deformation and landscape evolution of continents, collecting data to reconstruct tectonic movements over a large range of temporal and spatial scales, from earthquakes to orogenies and from faults to plate boundaries. As a collaborating scientist for the BGG project, Scott combines geologic mapping, structural geology, basin analysis, and geochronology to investigate the timing and rates of crustal deformation along the Baja California peninsula. His interdisciplinary research in Baja California integrates topographic analysis and modeling with the geo-tectonic record of landscape change to evaluate how geologic processes control the genetic diversity along the central Baja California peninsula.

Website

Adrián Munguía-Vega (coPI)

Adrián Munguía-Vega (coPI)

University of Arizona

Population and evolutionary genomics, Conservation biology

Adrian’s research is focused on the application of genomic tools to describe and understand terrestrial and marine biodiversity. For BGG he is co-leading the population and landscape genomic analyses and simulations of the low-coverage whole genome sequencing data to estimate demographic history and parameters including gene flow and divergence in the vertebrate species of the project, as well as the de-novo genome assembly of Urosaurus. He has experience integrating data across multiple disciplines and scales to achieve BGG’s goals and has a long history of experience studying the Baja peninsula.

Website

Kenro Kusumi (coPI)

Kenro Kusumi (coPI)

Arizona State University

Developmental and evolutionary genomics 

Kenro studies evolution, development, and appendage regeneration in vertebrates using a broad array of molecular genetic and genomic tools.

Website

Mike Darin

Mike Darin

University of Nevada, Reno

Geologic mapping, Structural geology, Stratigraphy 

As a field geologist, Mike explores the underpinnings of plate tectonics by using the ancient record of deformation and sedimentation along plate boundaries to gain insights into how they evolve through time. His research goals for the BGG project lie in understanding the distribution, style, and timing of faulting and magmatism in the mid-peninsular region and their potential influence on landscape evolution since the Miocene. To achieve this, Mike employs a variety of complementary tools including detailed geologic mapping and stratigraphic analysis, fault kinematics, and U-Pb geochronology; he also assists the BGG team with expertise in mobile GIS for field data collection and with website management.

Website

Andrés Lira-Noriega

Andrés Lira-Noriega

Instituto de Ecología (INECOL)

 
Ecology, Niche modeling, Biogeography

Andrés’ research focuses on the analysis of species distributions and ecological niches at multiple spatial and temporal scales. He makes extensive use of large databases combined with ecological niche modeling techniques, geographic information systems (GIS), and remote sensing tools. He has been a collaborator of this NSF-funded project on the geogenomics of the Baja California peninsula since early stages.

Website

Shannon D. Fehlberg

Shannon D. Fehlberg

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ

Conservation and Evolutionary Biology
Shannon is a Research Scientist at the Desert Botanical Garden studying the evolution and population genetics/genomics of rare plants as well as the speciation, distribution, and biogeography of plants in the southwestern deserts of North America. Shannon contributes botanical, phylogeographic, and technical expertise for the study of Encelia farinosa and Stenocereus gummosus for BGG.

Website

Mark Pecha

Mark Pecha

University of Arizona

Geochronology, Sedimentology

Mark studies the geologic history of sedimentary basins using a combination of geologic mapping, sedimentology, detrital mineral geochronology (U-Pb geochronology and Hf isotope geochemistry), and provenance analysis. As the manager of the Arizona Laserchron Center, he is interested in pushing analytical techniques to their limits via laser ablation ICP mass spectrometry and the development of geochronological and geochemical mineral standards. For BGG Mark is focused on determining the age and provenance of sedimentary and volcanic deposits to help build a chronostratigraphic framework and understand paleogeographic and tectonic changes on the central Baja peninsula since the Miocene.

Melanie Culver

Melanie Culver

University of Arizona

Conservation genetics/ genomics, Wildlife biology

Melanie is a faculty member in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment with a laboratory focused in research and education with respect to the conservation and management of wildlife. The Culver lab incorporates cutting-edge genomic methods into the evolution, molecular ecology, and population genetic study of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and invertebrate species. The Culver lab’s contribution to the BGG project includes generation and analysis of low coverage genome sequence data for mammals and lizards. Melanie is also contributing to demographic/genetic simulation models which will be calibrated with the genomic data.

Website

Joey Orton (student)

Joey Orton (student)

Arizona State University

 
Organismal biology, Physiology, Gene expression

Joey is a Ph.D. student at ASU working to understand how animals adapt physiologically to desert environments by changing gene expression. He is driven by a love of fieldwork, reptiles, and statistics.

Sam Grandy (student)

Sam Grandy (student)

California State University, Sacramento

 
Volcanology, Petrology

Sam is a M.S. student in geological sciences at Cal State University-Sacramento. His research involves using remote sensing, geologic mapping, volcanic stratigraphy, and geochemistry to study the volcanology and tectonic development of the Miocene Sierra de San Francisco volcanic center on the Baja peninsula.

Kevin Gardner (student)

Kevin Gardner (student)

University of Oregon

 
Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Geologic mapping

Kevin is a Ph.D. student at the University of Oregon working with PI Dorsey. His research utilizes analytical process sedimentology, stratigraphy, and geologic mapping to understand the evolution of depositional paleoenvironments through the mid-peninsular region. His prior M.S. research was focused on mixed tidal and alluvial sedimentation on the margins of the Palo Verde Strait, a late-Miocene to early-Pliocene tidal Strait along the present day lower Colorado River.

Website

Raúl Araya-Donoso (student)

Raúl Araya-Donoso (student)

Arizona State University

 
Evolutionary biology, Genomics

Raúl is a Ph.D. student at ASU who studies reptile evolution and adaptation to arid systems integrating genomic, ecological and environmental approaches with previous work in the Atacama Desert of Chile. His contribution to the BGG project includes analyzing population genomic data of animal species, addressing which genes and biological processes are associated with the habitat disparity between northern and southern Baja, and how this relates to the species climatic niche evolution. Raúl also contributes to the fieldwork and sampling for the BGG Bio team.

Website

Genaro Martínez Gutiérrez

Genaro Martínez Gutiérrez

Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur

 
Geomorphology, GIS, Tectonics

Genaro’s primary interests lie in studying the tectonic geomorphology of the Baja California peninsula using a variety of remote sensing techniques, morphometric data, and GIS. As a collaborator for the BGGc project, his work will focus on using alluvial fan stratigraphy and chronology to understand tectonic and climatic changes across the midpeninsular region throughout the Quaternary period.

Brett Riddle

Brett Riddle

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

 
Biogeography, Natural history, Mammology

Brett is a Professor at UNLV with a long history of distinguished research on the Baja California peninsula and in biogeography writ large. He originated the seaway hypothesis to explain patterns of diversification in small mammals, which has been a longstanding topic of research.

Sarah Baty (student)

Sarah Baty (student)

Arizona State University

 
Evolutionary biology, Bioinformatics

Sarah is a graduate student joining the BGG project in August 2020. She studies evolution and speciation, and will be working on genome assembly and population genomics of Encelia farinosa for the BGG project with a focus on the statistical integration of genomic and transcriptomic data.

Doug Moore

Doug Moore

Arizona State University

 
Information theory, Complex systems science

Doug is a theoretical physicist with a postdoctoral appointment with Sara Imari Walker at the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science. His research focuses on mathematical and information theoretic approaches to studying biological phenomena and complex systems.

website