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Na na na na na na…BATGIRL

Posted on February 4, 2016 by in The OFI Blog


Wilson’s Bonneted Bat

Current Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow Molly McDonough is about to embark on a new Smithsonian journey by moving from one fellowship to the next. After the conclusion of her Peter Bucks Fellowship this month, McDonough will start the George Burch Postdoctoral Fellowship Program where she will be screening for pathogens in museum specimen.


Molly McDonough in the field


McDonough’s first connection to the Smithsonian came when her research team from Angelo State University named the new species of bat they discovered Eumops wilsoni after Don Wilson, a mammals curator for the Smithsonian. After completing her Ph.D. at Texas Tech University, McDonough started her Peter Buck Fellowship where she conducted research on gerbil species from North Africa and the Middle East. To complete this research, instead of using tissue samples McDonough used ancient techniques to extract DNA from the museum specimens themselves. She will continue with this technique during her Burch Fellowship, but shift her focus on determining whether she can collect DNA viruses from the specimen. When McDonough is not working on her research for her fellowhsip she is working at the Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park (NZP).

To learn more about Molly’s accomplishments read Angelo State University’s article here.