Welcoming Gaurav Vaidya to the Phyloreferencing project

The first1 postdoc we planned to recruit plays a central role in this project. We anticipated the incumbent to take part in every key area of the project, from software development, to research, to coordinating with related bioinformatics efforts, and in outreach. Recruiting this role proved very challenging and took the better part of a year. As you might imagine, we are therefore thrilled to announce that effective June 15, 2016, Gaurav Vaidya has joined our project.

Gaurav has spent the last five years as a graduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder in Rob Guralnick’s lab, where he developed techniques and measures to quantify taxonomic stability, which is important for those integrating data for taxa. He also enjoys building software tools for biodiversity researchers, and in his spare time he has been editing Wikipedia articles since 2002. All of which means that he is a perfect fit for the role we were looking to fill.

Gaurav has jumped into Phyloreferencing right at the deep end of the pool. Within days he presented the semantic clade concept, an idea fundamental to the project, at the 2016 Evolution Meetings in Austin, TX. Thanks to most talks at this year’s Evolution Meetings having been taped, you can watch his talk on YouTube.

For the next several months Gaurav will split his time between Phyloreferencing and finishing up his PhD, and we expect he’ll be able to join us as a full time postdoc in the beginning of 2017.

Please join us in welcoming Gaurav!

  1. The original proposal mentions only one postdoc. NSF agreed to fund a second postdoc to allow a more substantive interaction with large clade-oriented research projects, specifically GoLife-funded projects. More about that soon.