A Melting Pot, or Just a Salad? Evaluating Population History Through Gene Flow

Gene flow is superficially a simple concept; we may liken this evolutionary mechanism to a melting pot. At a fundamental level, when individuals from two defined groups exchange genes, these populations have experienced gene flow. New gene(s) are introduced into one or both populations, and the population becomes more diverse through an increase in genetic variance. When teaching evolution at an introductory level, we generally conclude our explanations at this point.However, identifying gene flow in the past is considerably more difficult.

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New Accommodations for Old Obstacles: Thoughts on Being a Young Mother in Academia

For women in academia, it’s practically a cliché: balancing children and a competitive career is nearly impossible. A quick internet search will pull up hundreds of articles citing the many ways in which starting a family can and will adversely affect a woman’s career. For example, The US News cited in their 2013 article on “The Baby Penalty” that “[m]en with young children are 35 percent more likely than women with young children to secure tenure-track positions after completing their Ph.D.s.,” and mothers of young children are 33 percent less likely to land a tenure-track job than childless women. In addition, mothers who secure a tenure-track position are 20 percent less likely to eventually earn tenure than fathers. American academic culture was largely shaped by men who were either married to stay-at-home wives or remained bachelors, and as such, the expected trajectory of an academic career fails to take young motherhood (and engaged young fatherhood) into account. These issues and their various ramifications have been very much on my mind this last year. 

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Come Participate in Ending the Silence on Mental Health in Biological Anthropology This Thursday

As discussed by Angela Mallard's March 13th post, a special American Association of Physical Anthropologists luncheon panel discussion will be held this Thursday, the 20th of April, from 12:30 to 2:00 P.M. in room Riverview 1 of the New Orleans Marriott. We hope that you will be able to attend what promises to be the start of a timely and important conversation!

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