2011 - Texas - DNA Works

This short movie was shot and produced by postdoc Mark Liu during a week-long collecting trip to western Texas in June 2011. Several members of the Edwards lab and the MCZ Department of Ornithology - including Scott, Mark, postdoc Niclas Backstrom, Curatorial Associate Jeremiah Trimble and Curatorial Assistant Kate Eldridge - converged on the 800-acre ranch near Lubbock, TX, owned by Robert Baker, Horn Professor of Biology at Texas Tech University and long-time associate of the Edwards lab. The field trip was funded through the MCZ Ornithology Department, as well as through MCZ Blake funds. The focus of the trip was both to document the incidence of Mycoplasma-infected House Finches in western Texas, and to conduct general collecting to augment the MCZ ornithology tissue collections. Many of the tissues of the ~30 species we collected were snap frozen quickly in liquiditrogen, making them suitable for whole-genome sequencing and gene expression analyses. The collection includes voucher specimens, spread wings and high-quality tissues from Black-crested Titmice, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Blue Grosbeaks and Painted Buntings, as well as many others. Both the photos and the soundtrack of the movie (Sympathique by Pink Martini) capture the zany, productive and fun week we had in the field. Thanks for the good times Robert - we'll be back!