This month the McGuire Center welcomes two new postdoctoral associates.

Picture of woman standing in front of tropical foliage.Ivone de Bem Oliveira is a new postdoctoral research associate working in the Daniels Lab and collaborating with Keith Willmott and Akito Kawahara. Her research in population genetics and conservation genomics in imperiled insect species is focused on the intersection of phenotypic, environmental, and genomics data, generating information that can help guide the decision-making process for conservation actions. As a Latinx Native American Woman in STEM, one of Ivone’s favorite activities in this role is mentoring. She is always searching for possibilities to empower others by creating opportunities for students to develop new skills. Ivone has a bachelors degree in Agronomic Engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, and received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding at the Federal University of Goias (2014 and 2018, respectively). She worked as a postdoctoral associate researcher in applied genomics at the Blueberry Breeding and Genomics lab under Patricio Munoz (University of Florida, 2018-2020) and has experience in the industry sector where she was the global lead for the application of genomics for breeding in different polyploid species (Hortifrut). Ivone has extensive experience in big data analysis, working with quantitative genetics, population genomics, bioinformatics, and statistics. In her free time, Ivone enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her puppy Elee and her mini pig Leia.

Selected Publications

Nunes R, de Bem Oliveira I, de Araújo Dias P, Bidinotto AB, de Campos Telles MP. 2021. BarcodingGO: A problem-based approach to teach concepts related to environmental-DNA and bioinformatics. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 2021; 49: 210215.

de Bem Oliveira I, Amadeu RR, Ferrão LFV. 2020. Optimizing whole-genomic prediction for autotetraploid blueberry breeding. Heredity 125: 437–448.

de Bem Oliveira I, Resende MFR Jr, Ferrão LVF, Amadeu RR, Endelman JB, Kirst M, Coelho ASG, Munoz PR. 2019. Genomic Prediction of Autotetraploids; Influence of Relationship Matrices, Allele Dosage, and Continuous Genotyping Calls in Phenotype Prediction. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics 9(4): 1189–1198.

Ferrão LFV, Benevenuto J, de Bem Oliveira I, Cellon C, Olmstead J, Kirst M, Resende MFR Jr and Munoz P. 2018. Insights Into the Genetic Basis of Blueberry Fruit-Related Traits Using Diploid and Polyploid Models in a GWAS Context. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6:107.

Picture of a man walking in a tropical forest with a camera.

Yash Sondhi is a new postdoctoral researcher working in the Kawahara Lab. He finished his PhD in December 2022, studying how moths and butterflies see the world, and specifically how moth eyes and brains adapted to function so well under dim light. He uses multiple techniques (genetics, animal behavior, neuroscience) to examine how different day and night flying insects’ senses (sight, hearing, smell) have evolved. As human civilization develops, artificial light is slowly eroding dark skies with disastrous consequences for animals, plants, and humans. As awareness increases that light pollution is harmful, understanding how different mitigation strategies work is crucial to implement change. Yash is thus studying how light can disorient and alter the circadian activity of insects, and testing strategies to mitigate light pollution. He also helps with citizen science and insect biodiversity monitoring in India. Outside of science, he enjoys game nights, photography and reading fantasy novels. 

Selected Publications

Sondhi Y, Jo NJ, Alpizar B, Markee A, Dansby HE, Currea JP, Fabian ST, Ruiz C, Barredo E, Allen P, DeGennaro M, Kawahara AY. 2022. Portable locomotion activity monitor (pLAM): A cost-effective setup for robust activity tracking in small animals. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 13(4): 805-812.

Sondhi Y, Ellis EA, Bybee SM, Theobald JC, Kawahara AK. 2021. Light environment drives evolution of color vision genes in butterflies and moths. Communications Biology 4(177): 1-11.

Sondhi Y, Sondhi S, Pathour SR, Kunte K. 2018. Moth diversity (Lepidoptera: Heterocera) of Shendurney and Ponmudi in Agastyamalai Biosphere Reserve, Kerala, India, with notes on new records. Tropical Lepidoptera Research 28(2): 66-89.

Sondhi Y, Sondhi S. 2016. A partial checklist of moths (Lepidoptera) of Dehradun, Mussoorie and Devalsari in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(5): 8756-8776.