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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department ofVertebrate Zoology

Division of Mammals

Tarsius bancanus
bar Rebecca Dikow
    Rebecca B. Dikow
    Biodiversity Genomics Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Phone: (202)633-1112
  • Fax: (202)633-0182
  • E-mail: dikowr[at]

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 108
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    1000 Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20004

Related Links

Personal website


Ph.D. (Evolutionary Biology): The University of Chicago, 2012
M.S. (Evolutionary Biology): The University of Chicago, 2009
B.S. (Biology): Cornell University, 2003

Research Interests

I am interested in the application of genome data to phylogenetic systematics. For my dissertation, I produced genome-level phylogenetic hypotheses for Vibrionaceae and Shewanellaceae (Gammaproteobacteria). These analyses included alignments of up to 34 million nucleotide base-pairs. I also sequenced the genomes of three species of Vibrionaceae and assembled them de novo for inclusion in phylogenetic analyses. One of my major findings was that, for my data, collinear dataset partitions, even those over 100,000 bp, all produce unique phylogenetic topologies that never match that of the entire concatenated dataset while random samplings of the entire dataset as small as 20,000 bp always produce the same topology as the entire concatenated dataset. These findings carry implications for dataset partitioning in phylogenetic systematics generally.

Here at the Smithsonian, as a Biodiversity Genomics Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow, my first project is co-advised by Rob Fleischer (CCEG) and Kris Helgen (NMNH Mammals) on the metagenomics of microbes found on Marsupials, particularly in reference to disease declines. Part of my fellowship also includes introducing genomics methods to researchers here at the Smithsonian and playing a role in getting these genomics projects successfully underway.

Recent Publications

Dikow, R. B. 2011. Genome-level homology and phylogeny of Shewanella (Gammaproteobacteria: Alteromonadales: Shewanellaceae). BMC Genomics, 12: 237.

Dikow, R. B. 2011. Systematic relationships within the Vibrionaceae (Bacteria: Gammaproteobacteria): steps toward a phylogenetic taxonomy. Cladistics, 27: 9-28.

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