Curriculum Vitae

Current Position
2016-Present: Gerstner Scholar and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Mammalogy and Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, American Museum of Natural History

Education
2011-2016: Ph.D., University of Chicago

Committee on Evolutionary Biology
Advisors: Robert D. Martin and Corrie S. Moreau

2007-2011: B.A., Northwestern University
Anthropology, Biology and Integrated Science Program (ISP) Majors

Publications

Zhang Y, Li JW, Zhao YB, Li HJ, Yao L, Zhu H and Zhou H. 2016. Genetic diversity of two Neolithic populations provides evidence of farming expansions in North China. Journal of Human Genetics. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2016.107.

Ge DY, Yao L, Xia L, Zhang ZQ and Yang QS. 2015. Geometric morphometric analysis of skull morphology reveals loss of phylogenetic signal at the generic level in extant lagomorphs (Mammalia: Lagomorpha). Contributions to Zoology. 84(4):267-284.

Yao L, Brown JP, Stampanoni M, Marone F, Isler K and Martin RD. 2012. Evolutionary change in the brain size of bats. Brain, Behavior and Evolution. 80:15-25.

Yao L, Li HJ, Martin RD, Moreau CS and Malhi RS. (Accepted with revisions.) Tracing the phylogeographic history of Southeast Asian long-tailed macaques through mitogenomes of museum specimensMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

Ge DY, Yao L, Yang QS. (Submitted.) Phylogeny, cryptic speciation and biogeography of the obscure tree rat genus Chiromyscus in Southeast Asia. Hystrix.

 

Presentations

Yao L. Phylogeography and phenotypic evolution of long-tailed macaques in Southeast Asia. 2017. Richard Gilder Graduate School, American Museum of Natural History. New York, NY. (1 hour invited seminar).

Yao L, Li HJ, Martin RD, Moreau, CS and Malhi RS. The value of understanding intraspecific relationships in comparative analyses. 2017. Social Behavior and Genome Complexity Symposium. New York, NY. (Poster Presentation).

Yao L. Phylogeography and phenotypic evolution of long-tailed macaques in Southeast Asia. 2017. Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology. Beijing, China. (1 hour invited seminar).

Yao L, Li HJ, Martin RD, Moreau, CS and Malhi RS. The value of understanding intraspecific relationships in comparative analyses. 2016. Northeastern Evolutionary Primatology Conference. New York, NY. (Poster Presentation).

Yao L, Li HJ, Martin RD, Moreau, CS and Malhi RS. Using ancient DNA to determine timing and patterns of Southeast Asian island colonizations by Macaca fascicularis. Midwest Population Genetics Conference. Chicago, IL. (30 minute talk).

Yao L, Li HJ, Martin RD, Moreau, CS and Malhi RS. Using ancient DNA to determine timing of Southeast Asian island colonizations by Macaca fascicularis. 26th Congress of the International Primatological Society and the 39th Annual American Society of Primatologists Conference. Chicago, IL. (15 minute talk).

Yao L, Li HJ, Martin RD and Malhi RS. 2016. Using ancient DNA from museum specimens for phylogenetic correction to interpret island dwarfing in Macaca fascicularis. 85th Annual American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) Conference. Atlanta, Georgia. (15 minute talk).

Yao L, Li HJ, Martin RD and Malhi RS. 2016. Using ancient DNA for phylogenetic correction to interpret island dwarfing in Macaca ascicularis. American Naturalist Meeting. Asilomar, California. (15 minute talk).

Yao L, Li HJ, Martin RD and Malhi RS. 2015. Using ancient DNA for phylogenetic correction to interpret island dwarfing in Macaca fascicularis. Midwest Primate Interest Group (MPIG) Meeting. St. Louis, MO. (15 minute talk).

Yao L, Li HJ, Malhi RS and Martin RD. 2015. A comprehensive phylogenetic study of cranial morphology in Southeast Asian mammals. 84th Annual American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) Conference. St. Louis, MO. (Poster Presentation).

Yao L and Martin RD. 2015. Island dwarfing and cranial morphology in Southeast Asian mammals. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Conference. West Palm Beach, FL. (15 minute talk).

Yao L, White M and Martin RD. 2014. Does island dwarfing apply to relative brain size of Southeast Asian mammals? 83rd Annual American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) Conference. Calgary, Canada. (Poster Presentation).

Yao L, Isler K, Martin RD and Ross CF. 2013. Digestive strategies: Scaling of feeding time and gut retention. 82nd Annual American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) Conference. Knoxville, TN. (15 minute talk).

Yao L, Brown JP, Stampanoni M, Marone F, Isler K and Martin RD. 2012. Dwarfing in relative brain size. Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) Seminar. Beijing, China (45 minute talk).

Yao L and Martin RD. 2011. Island dwarfism and the tiny brain of the “Hobbit”. 34th Annual American Society of Primatologists (ASP) Conference. Austin, TX. (15 minute talk).

Yao L and Martin RD. 2011. Can island dwarfism explain the tiny brain of the Flores “Hobbit”? Undergraduate Symposium at the 80th Annual American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) Conference. Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Poster Presentation).

Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2016: Gerstner Scholar and Richard Gilder Graduate School Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Museum of Natural History
2016: Arts and Science Fund, Univ. of Chicago, Arts, Science & Culture Initiative
2015: CEB Travel Award, Univ. of Chicago, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
2015: Women-in-Science Graduate Fellowship, The Field Museum of Natural History
2015: National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant
2015: Recruitment Travel Award, Univ. of Chicago, Biological Sciences Division
2015: Pollitzer Travel Award, American Association of Physical Anthropologists
2015: Hinds Fund Award, Univ. of Chicago, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
2015: Grants-in-Aid of Research, Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology
2014: Pritzker Lab Award, Univ. of Chicago, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
2014: CEB Travel Award, Univ. of Chicago, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
2014: Graduate Student Association Travel Award, Univ. of Chicago
2013: Hinds Fund Award, Univ. of Chicago, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
2013: Summer Travel Award, Univ. of Chicago, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
2012: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
2012: National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) Fellowship to China
2011: Weinberg Academic Year Grant, Northwestern Univ.
2011: URG Conference Travel Grant, Northwestern Univ.
2010: Top Overall Presentation, Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium
2010: LeCron Foster and FAN Research Grant, Northwestern Univ. Anthropology Dept.
2010: Weinberg Summer Research Grant, Northwestern Univ.
2010: Academic Year Research Grant, Northwestern Univ.
2009: Undergraduate Research Grant, Northwestern Univ.
2008: Elisabeth Borchert Young Scholarship, Northwestern Univ.
2008: Program in Biological Sciences Summer Research Grant, Northwestern Univ.

Training Programs
2015: ComSciCon (Communicating Science Convention) (Chicago, IL, USA)
2013: Introduction to geometric morphometrics workshop (Barcelona, Spain)
2012: Evolutionary biology comparative analyses course (Zurich, Switzerland)
2011: AnthroTree Workshop on phylogenetic comparative methods (Amherst, MA, USA)

Teaching Experience
2015 (July): Course Instructor – Evolutionary Biology 101 at Graham School of Continuing Studies, University of Chicago
2015 (Spring): TA – Reproductive Biology of Primates at University of Chicago
2014 (Autumn): TA – Primate Behavior and Ecology at University of Chicago
2014 (Spring): TA – Reproductive Biology of Primates at University of Chicago
2013 (Winter): TA – Ecology and Evolution (weekly 3 hour lab) at University of Chicago 

Outreach
2017 (Feb.): Visiting Scientist Feature at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in Singapore (https://lkcnhm.net/2017/02/27/visiting-scientist-feature-dr-lu-yao)
2015-2016 (monthly): Field Museum Women in Science (Chicago)
2015 (June): Interviewed for The Scientist “What’s Old is New Again”
2014 (Sept.)-2015 (Aug.) (weekly): Mentor at Minds Matter Chicago
2011-2016 (annually): Dozin’ with the Dinos Tour Guide, The Field Museum (Chicago)
2011-2016 (annually): Judge at Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium
2009-2016 (biannually): Members’ Night Volunteer, The Field Museum (Chicago)
2012 (Autumn): Tutor at Strive Tutoring (Chicago)
2012 (January): Featured Scientist of the Month at the DNA Discovery Lab, The Field Museum (Chicago)
2011-2012: “Talk to the Scientist Hour” Host at the DNA Discovery Lab, The Field Museum (Chicago, IL)

Museum Experience
2017 (Jan.-Feb.), 2014 (Feb.-Mar.): Mammals data collection at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (Singapore)
2017 (Jan.): Mammals data collection at the Institute of Zoology Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing, China)
2017 (Jan.): Mammals data collection at the Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology (Kunming, China)
2016 (Dec.): Mammals data collection at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Cambridge, MA, USA)
2015 (June): Mammals data collection at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, Netherlands)
2015 (Mar.), 2014 (Jan. and Nov.), 2010 (Jul.): Mammals data collection at American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY, USA)
2015 (Feb.-Mar.), 2014 (Feb.), 2011 (Apr.): Mammals data collection at Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC, USA)
2013 (Jul. and Nov.): Mammals data collection at Natural History Museum (London, United Kingdom)
2009 (Sept.)-2016 (Sept.): Mammals data collection and research at The Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, IL, USA)

Professional Experience
2015 (Aug.)-present: Fellow for the Art, Science and Culture Initiative at University of Chicago
2014 (Sept.)-2015 (Jul.): Fellow, Chicago Innovation Mentors
2014 (Dec.)-2015 (Jul.): Higher Education Fellow for myCHOICE Outreach at University of Chicago
2014 (Sept.)-2015 (Jan.): UChicagoTech Fellow at University of Chicago

Skills
Phylogenetic and statistical software: R, JMP, FigTree, Mesquite, BEAUti and BEAST
Imaging software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, VGStudio, Amira, ScanStudio, GeoMagic
Languages: English (native), Mandarin (native speaker) and Spanish (conversational)

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