Friday, October 4, 2013

Nice to meet you

Having gotten somewhat settled in my new program, I asked my boss how she might feel about my blogging under my real name. She allowed as how that would be just fine. Hi, I'm Jessica. It's nice to meet you.

Which brings me to the really exciting part, which is that I also get to tell you guys that I am privileged to be training in a genetics lab which studies Belyaev's tame foxes! No, really. Where better to be for someone obsessed with the mechanisms behind domestication? We don't have a colony of the foxes here, sadly, but my boss goes to Siberia a few times a year and brings back genetic samples as well as astoundingly cute videos. The lab itself is plastered with photos of foxes playing with things. And the science, obviously, is extremely cool.

I am very lucky to get to work in a lab which works directly with canids. Until very recently, that was nearly impossible to do; in fact, one of the reasons I initially decided to get a DVM instead of a PhD was that I could not find a lab at the time (2007) that would let me work with canids. But dogs are finally getting to be a hot research topic, which has turned out very well for me.


  1. How are the fox projects doing? I remember reading dire accounts that they were running out of money and surplus foxes were being sold to fur farms, they were facing shutdown, etc.

  2. Being a lowly graduate student, I don't have any really detailed answers for you, especially as the foxes are in Russia and I am in Illinois. The fox project in Russia has seen worse days and it has seen better days. It is not currently on the verge of going under, but I know that finding funding for this sort of work is a lot harder than finding funding for some other kinds of research!

  3. Nice to meet you, though I like DZ just as much as Jessica. And wow, that's an intense CV.

    FYI, I've had to move my site off of the Oregon State server. So I went for a name change as well. You can find me at

    For science!

    1. Oh you graduated! Congrats! I will go start reading your new blog. What are you up to now?

    2. I'm working as a product labeling specialist at Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. So my vetmed items are giving way to food science some. But now that I read USDA labeling law all day expect me to bend more toward food safety and ethics (animal processing is so awesome to read/write about).

      Also, haven't posted in forever, looking to change that.