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Heather R

Heather R.L. Lerner

Joseph Moore Museum, 801 National Rd. West, Richmond IN 47374

hlerner@gmail.com

Phone: 765-983-1402

www.heatherlerner.com

 

Education

 

August 2007     Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Thesis: Molecular Phylogenetics of Diurnal Birds of Prey in the Avian Accipitridae Family

Committee:  David Mindell (chair); Bob Payne, Lacey Knowles and Jeff Long

 

April 2003       M.S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Research Project:  Phylogeographic Structure in Avian Lineages:  a meta-analysis

 

May 1999        B.A.  Biology, Magna cum laude

Bryn Mawr College; Bryn Mawr, PA

Concentration:  Environmental Science

 

Scientific Work Experience

 

2011—present   Museum Director and Assistant Professor of Biology

                        Joseph Moore Museum, Earlham College, Richmond, IN

 

2007—2011    Post-Doctoral Research Associate

                        Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. and University of Maryland, College Park

Co-advisors: Rob Fleischer and Helen James

Project: Molecular and morphological phylogenetics of Hawaiian songbird radiations

 

2007              Bird Division Collections Assistant

                      University of Michigan Museum of Zoology; Ann Arbor, MI

                      Supervisors: Janet Hinshaw, David Mindell and Bob Payne

 

2006              Genomic Diversity Laboratory Manager

                      University of Michigan Museum of Zoology; Ann Arbor, MI

 

2003—2006        National Institutes of Health Genome Science Training Grant Trainee

                      Center for Statistical Genetics, University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, MI

                      Training at the interface of mathematics and biology, focusing on the use of computational methods for solving biological problems through coursework and seminars Link

 

1999-2001       Wildlife and Wetland Biologist

                        Wetlands Research Associates; San Rafael, CA

 

1999                Naturalist and Environmental Educator

                        San Francisco Estuary Project; Oakland, CA

 “Project Wet” (environmental education) certified instructor


 

Research Grants, Awards, Scholarships

 

TOTAL AWARDS:  $223,813

Total Research Awards: $104,503     

Total Externally Funded Stipends: $77,522

Total Internal Competitive Stipends: $73,733

 

2012              Museum Assessment Program (American Association of Museums)                        

2012              Borman Foundation (grant for research and museum improvements)                          $13,500

2011              Mellon Foundation SEED grant for Experiential Education                                           $3,000

2010              Selected participant of Women Evolving the Biological Sciences Symposium (NSF ADVANCE program)

2009              Mt-chips: Development of single chip capture arrays for whole mtDNA sequencing

                      of all birds and all mammals; Restricted Endowment Fund; Smithsonian Institution

                      Co-authored with PI Rob Fleischer                                                                           $33,333

2009              Phylogeny and rate calibration of Hawaiian bird radiations using next generation

                      sequencing approaches; Scholarly Studies Grants Program; Smithsonian Institution 

                      Co-authored with PI Rob Fleischer                                                                            $70,000

2008              Society for Systematic Biologists Sponsored Attendee of the Women Evolving the

                      Biological Sciences Symposium (NSF ADVANCE sponsored program), declined

2007              University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Bird Division Research Assistant;

                           UMMZ                                                                                                                             $7800

2006              Rackham One-Term Dissertation Fellowship; Rackham Graduate School, UM               $7600

2006              Rackham/Hewlett/International Institute Travel Grant;

                           Rackham Graduate School, UM                                                                                        $700

2006              Research Fund Grant, Dept. of EEB, UM                                                                             $400

2006              Rackham Discretionary Funds 2006; Rackham Graduate School, UM                              $2500

2005-2006        Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award; National Institute of Health

                     Genome Science Training Grant; UM                                                                              $21772

2005            Block Grant/Endowed Fellowship Competition 2005; Dept of EEB, UM                         $1581

2005              Peter Okkelberg Award; Dept of EEB, UM                                                                        $1600

2005              Museum of Zoology Hinsdale Scholarship Award; UMMZ                                              $4242

2005-2007    American Ornithologists’ Union Outstanding Student Scholar Membership                         $75

2004              Sokol International Summer Research Fellowship in the Sciences, UM                            $5000

2004-2005        Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award; National Institute of Health

                      Genome Science Training Grant UM                                                                               $21572

2004            Helen Brower Olsen Endowment Scholarship; Dept of EEB, UM                                     $1677

2004              Museum of Zoology Hinsdale Scholarship Award; UMMZ                                              $3000

2004              International Osprey Foundation 2004 Endowment Grant; Int. Osprey Foundation          $1000

2003-2004        Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award; National Institute of Health

                      Genome Science Training Grant; UM                                                                              $20678

2003              Dean Amadon Grant; Raptor Research Foundation                                                              $200

2003              Rackham Discretionary Funds 2003; Rackham Graduate School, UM                              $1500

2003            Block Grant/Endowed Fellowship Competition 2003; Dept of EEB, UM                           $900

2003             NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention

2003              Rackham Spring/Summer Research Assistant Grant; Rackham Graduate School, UM    $4000

2003              Predissertation Research Award; International Institute, UM                                            $2500

2003              Student Research Fellowship; Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, UM       $1250

2002              Travel Grant; Dept. of EEB, UM                                                                                          $200

2002            Block Grant/Endowed Fellowship Competition 2002; Dept of EEB, UM                           $633

2002              Rackham/International Institute Travel Grant; Rackham Graduate School, UM                 $700


 

Publications (10) Nearly submitted (1)

 

Lerner, H. R. L., Lock, J. and R. Fleischer (in prep) Next generation sequencing for population and phylogenetic studies: reference-free mitochondrial genome sequencing across the avian tree of life.

Lerner, H. R. L. (2011) Phylogeny and Taxonomy of Bonelli’s Eagle. In: Bonelli’s Eagle (ed. Hernandez VJ). SEO/BirdLife, Madrid

Lerner, H. R. L., Meyer, M., Hofreiter, M., James, H. F., Fleischer, R. C. (2011) Multilocus resolution of phylogeny and timescale in the extant adaptive radiation of Hawaiian honeycreepers.  Current Biology (cover, F1000 recommended)

Lerner, H. R. L. (2011) Eagle watchers: observing and conserving raptors around the world (Invited Book Review). The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 123:2

Lerner, H. R. L. and Fleischer, R. C. (2010) Prospects for next-generation sequencing in avian studies (invited reviewed commentary).  Auk 127(1):4-15

Gjershaug, J. O., Lerner, H. R. L., and Diserud, O. H. (2009) Taxonomy and distribution of the pygmy eagle Aquila (Hieraaetus) weiskeii.  Zootaxa 2326: 24-38

Lerner, H. R. L., Johnson, J. A., Lindsay, A. R., Kiff, L. and Mindell, D. P. (2009) Mitochondrial genetic diversity and differentiation among Harpy eagles (Harpia harpyja). PLoS ONE  4(10): e7336. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007336

Lerner, H. R. L. (2009) Raptor research and management techniques. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121 (1): 216-225.

Lerner, H. R. L., Klaver, M.* and Mindell, D. P. (2008) Molecular phylogenetics of the buteonine birds of prey (Aves: Accipitridae). Auk 125: 304-315

Johnson JA, Lerner H. R. L., Rasmussen PC, Mindell, DP (2006) Systematics within Gyps vultures: a clade at risk. BMC Evolutionary Biology 6:65

Lerner, H. R. L. and Mindell, D. P. (2005) Phylogeny of eagles, Old World vultures and other Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37 (2):  327-346

Bunce, M., Szulkin, M., Lerner, H. R. L., Barnes, I., Shapiro, B., Cooper, A. and Holdaway, R.N. (2005) The evolutionary history of New Zealand's extinct giant eagle revealed by ancient DNA.  PLoS Biol 3(1):e9

 

* M. Klaver conducted a component of this research in the lab with me as part of his undergraduate honor’s thesis and was an undergraduate when the work was published.

 

Invited Seminars (6) Oral Conference Presentations (8) and Posters (1)

 

Lerner, H. R. L., Lock, J. and R. Fleischer (2012) Next generation sequencing for population and phylogenetic studies: reference-free mitochondrial genome sequencing across the avian tree of life. North American Ornithologists Conference. Aug 15, Vancouver, Canada (Oral Presentation)

McLinn, C. and H. R. L. Lerner. (2012) Teaching Phylogenetic Thinking Using Physical and Digital Museum Specimens. Society for College Science Teachers Conference. March. (Oral Presentation)

Lerner, H. R. L. (2010) Evolution of the Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Phylogeny and Comparative Rates. Biology Department Colloquium. Earlham College. (Invited Speaker)

Lerner, H. R. L. (2010) Hawaiian Honeycreeper Radiation: Phylogeny and Comparative
Evolutionary Rates from Pyrosequencing and Species-Tree Methods
. Biological Sciences Seminar. University of North Texas. (Invited Speaker)

Lerner, H. R. L. (2010) Next-generation sequencing methods open doors for ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Biological Sciences Colloquium. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. (Invited Speaker)

Lerner, H. R. L., Meyer, M., Hofreiter, M., James, H. F., Fleischer, R. C. (2009) Resolving the Phylogeny of the Hawaiian Honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) with 454 Parallel Tagged Sequencing of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes. American Ornithologists’ Union. August 12-15, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Oral Presentation)

Lerner, H. R. L., James, H. F., Fleischer, R. C. (2009) Resolving the Phylogeny of a Rapid Adaptive Radiation: the Hawaiian Honeycreepers (Drepanidinae).  Evolution Annual Meetings. June 12-16, Moscow, Idaho (Oral Presentation)

Lerner, H. R. L., Meyer, M., Hofreiter, M., James, H. F., Fleischer, R. C. (2008) Resolving the Phylogeny of the Hawaiian Honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) with 454 Parallel Tagged Sequencing of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes. American Ornithologists’ Union. August 4-8, Portland, Oregon (Oral Presentation)

Lerner, H. R. L., James, H. F., Fleischer, R. C. (2008) New Approaches to Understanding an Adaptive Radiation in Hawaiian Honeycreepers. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Leipzig, Germany. (Invited Speaker)

Lerner, H. R. L. (2007) Diversity and Systematics of Birds of Prey in the Accipitridae. Department of Conservation Biology, Smithsonian Institution, (Invited Speaker)

Lerner, H. R. L. (April 25, 2007) Diversity and Systematics of Birds of Prey in the Accipitridae. University of Arizona. (Invited Speaker)

Lerner, H. R. L., Lindsay, A R, Johnson, J A, Kiff, L, Mindell, D. P. (2006) Is the Harpy Eagle at risk?  Population genetics of a long-lived top-predator based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.  American Ornithologists’ Union. October 4-7, Veracruz, Mexico (Oral Conference Presentation)

Lerner, H. R. L., Klaver, M.C. and Mindell, D.P. (2005) Polyphyly of a genus of Neotropical forest hawks (Accipitridae: Leucopternis) based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA.  Society for the Study of Evolution.  June 10-15, Anchorage, AK. (Oral Presentation)

Lerner, H. R. L. and Mindell, D. P. (2004) Molecular Systematics and Evolution in the Accipitridae. Society for the Study of Evolution. June 26-30, Forth Collins, CO.  (Oral Presentation).

Lerner, H. R. L., Rest, J and Mindell, D.P. (2002) Preliminary phylogenetic analyses for Accipitridae based on mitochondrial DNA. Neotropical Raptor Conference.  October 24-27, Panama City, Panama. (Poster Presentation)

 

Teaching and Advising Experience

 

Fall 2012         Advanced Natural History Museum Curation (BIOL 342)

                        Faculty Instructor, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana

                        Designed (and currently teaching) new advanced course in museum collections care and use

 

Spring 2012     Natural History Museum Curation (BIOL 240)

                        Faculty Instructor, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana

                        Designed and taught new lecture and lab course in care and use of museum collections

 

Fall 2011, 2012           Ecological Biology (BIOL 111)

                        Faculty Instructor, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana

                    Team-taught first semester introductory biology course (enrollment ~110 each year)

                        Sole responsibility for one lab section (enrollment ~20)

 

Fall 2011—present Natural History Museum Lab

                        Faculty Instructor, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana

Design and lead weekly labs three afternoons per week covering all aspects of maintaining a natural history exhibit museum and research specimen collection, from exhibit development to specimen preparation and research using specimens

 

Fall 2011—present Research Projects with Undergraduate Students

                        Faculty Mentor, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana

Evidence for Sexual Dimorphism in Weight in the American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Effects of Time and Climate on Amphibian Reproduction in Local Ponds

Analyzing Textile Artifacts in the Joseph Moore Museum Anthropological Collection

UV Fluorescence in Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) Cranial Materials

Porphyria Concentrations in Fox Squirrels (Sciurus niger)

Detecting West Nile Virus in Joseph Moore Museum Avian Specimens from 1999 to present

Comparative Genomics of the Harpy Eagle, Condor, Bald Eagle and White-tailed Eagle

 

Fall 2012—present Undergraduate Faculty Advisor

                        Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana

                        Faculty advisor for three first-year undergraduate students

 

July-Dec 2010  Next-Generation Sequencing Data Analysis Workshop

                        Instructor and organizer, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, D.C.

Led ten weekly seminars covering next-generation sequencing technologies, Unix, Python, cloud computing, BLAST, read mapping software, sequence alignment software and matplotlib

 

January 2010   Ornithology (BSCI 338Y) 

                        Faculty instructor, Biological Sciences Program, University of Maryland, College Park

Sole faculty instructor for new course in Ornithology

 

January 2010   Laboratory Manual for (student-directed learning in) Ornithology

                        Authors: Russell Benford (Northern Arizona University) and Colleen McLinn (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Help develop a manual that engages students and encourages them to think and act like working scientists, developing cognitive skills transferable to any scientific subject

Designed separate modules on phylogenetics and social behavior

Tested and provide feedback on other modules

 

2003—2011    Non-Faculty Advisor/Mentor for Undergraduate Students 

                        Dept of EEB, UM, Ann Arbor and Smithsonian Institution, Genetics Lab, Washington, D.C.

Supervised nine undergraduate students in the laboratory (three female and six male) for a period of one to seven terms each (average three semesters per student)

Advised biology honors students in thesis design and preparation

 

June 2006        Preparing Future Faculty Intensive Seminar

                        Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, UM, Ann Arbor

                        Five-week seminar prepared a select group of advanced graduate students for faculty jobs

Instruction in research on teaching and learning, including multicultural teaching, instructional technology and other pedagogical topics

                       

2002-2003       Evolution (BIO 390) 

                        Graduate Student Instructor, Dept of EEB, UM, Ann Arbor

Sole responsibility for two weekly discussion sections

                       

2001-2002       Introduction to Biology (BIO 162) 

                        Graduate Student Instructor, Dept of EEB, UM, Ann Arbor

                        Sole responsibility for one weekly lab and discussion

 

 

 

 

 

Public Outreach and Community/Departmental Service

 

2011—present Joseph Moore Museum Outreach

                        Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana

Initiated a transformation from a museum of glass-bound exhibits to one focused on experiential education

Š  Designed, installed and obtained funding for eight experiential learning centers

Š  Currently designing a new 200 sq foot experiential exhibit on insects

Initiated a redirection from a natural history museum based on exhibited specimens to one focsed on scientific discovery using natural history specimens 

Š  Designed and installed an exhibit on Hawaiian Honeycreeper diversification

                        Implemented new free twice-a-month public programs for preschool to elementary school children

 

2011—present Committee Member

                        Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana

                        New Science Facility Design Executive Committee, Museum Studies Program Committee, Joseph Moore Museum Department Convener

 

Fall 2010         Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) Seminar Series Coordinator

                        SCBI, Washington, D.C.

                        Select and invite seminar presenters for weekly seminar series

                        Arrange all travel and seminar-day details, including scheduling meetings with researchers Manage seminar budget and speaker reimbursements

 

2010                NSF Panelist

                        National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C 

 

2007-2011       Smithsonian Public Outreach

                        Smithsonian Institution, National Zoo, Washington, D.C 

Design and contribute to displays on genetics and Hawaiian honeycreepers

Staff outreach booths at the National Museum of Natural History and the National Zoo

Lecture on genetics, systematics and conservation for visiting groups of high school students

 

2006—present Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer

Evolution, PLOS One, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Ibis, Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society, Zootaxa

NSF ad hoc reviewer

 

2005—present Tree of Life Website Curator

Maintain phylogenetic tree and references for Accipitridae http://tolweb.org/Accipitridae/26375

 

2006                Evolution and the Nature of Science Workshop Developer and Assistant

                        Dept. of EEB, UM, Ann Arbor

Designed workshops for undergraduate science and non-science majors exploring the nature of science to distinguish scientific questions and inquiry from non-science and present current evolutionary research through an interactive display.  See http://www.lsa.umich.edu/lsatheme/exploreevolution/curriculum/workshops.htm

 

 

 

2004-2006       Diversity Committee Member

                        Dept. of EEB, UM, Ann Arbor

Developed written components of an NSF Advance Departmental Transformation Grant funded for $25,000 in 2006

Developed and implemented an annual survey about Dept. climate for graduate students (75% response rate) identifying areas of concern for future diversity committee initiatives

 

2003-2004       Exhibit Museum Public Display Contributor

Exhibit Museum of Natural History, UM, Ann Arbor

Designed an exhibit about my research on genetic variation in the harpy eagle which makes

 Contributed text for an interactive exhibit exploring global biodiversity and phylogeny

 

Professional Memberships

 

American Ornithologists Union (2005 to present)

Society for Systematic Biologists (2004 to present)

Raptor Research Foundation (since 2002 to present)

 

References

 

Wendy Tori

Assistant Professor

Biology Department

Earlham College

(current dept. colleague)

Rob Fleischer

Center Head

Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics

Smithsonian Institution

(post-doc adviser)

Helen James

Curator of Birds

Smithsonian Institution

National Museum of Natural History

(post-doc adviser)

David Mindell

Visiting Professor

UCSF School of Medicine

(Ph.D. adviser)