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Shepherd professor to teach genetics course in South Africa

By Staff | May 10, 2013

Dr. Sher Hendrickson-Lambert, assistant professor of biology at Shepherd University, will travel to South Africa to teach statistical concepts for genomics to international students May 15-25.

She will join fellow scientists specialized in genetics in sharing the latest methods, interpretation, and applications of molecular genetic analysis for conservation of endangered species.

“It’s an exciting time for conservation biologists because we’re now able to use new techniques in genomics. Several endangered species’ genomes are being sequenced, so we have new ways to understand the relationship between genetics, the environment and species biology which will hopefully lead tobetter species management strategies,” Hendrickson-Lambert said.

The course, “Recent Advances in Conservation Genetics,” is sponsored by the American Genetic Association and the University of Pretoria and will take place at the Southern African Wildlife College, which is within Greater Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa. It is for professionals already in the field who might not have access to the most recent laboratory and computational methods, Hendrickson-Lambert said.

“They bring their own data and we work until midnight sometimes just helping them analyze it,” she said.

Dr. Colleen Nolan, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Shepherd, said Shepherd is fortunate to have Dr. Hendrickson-Lambert as a member of the biology faculty.

“Dr. Hendrickson-Lambert’s invitation to serve as a faculty member teaching statistical concepts to international students is a recognition of not just her abilities but her desire to help the next generation of students. She has a number of international collaborations, and her research on genetics of endangered species as well as the genetics of human diseases will provide Shepherd University students with unique opportunities to complete research that takes advantage of modern techniques,” Nolan said.

Hendrickson-Lambert said she enjoys meeting the students and working on their data with them and is looking forward to teaching the course with her colleagues.