Annabel Beichman

Annabel got her A.B. from Harvard summa cum laude in 2012. She is now a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA in the Wayne and Lohmueller labs. She uses cutting edge genomic sequencing and analysis techniques to infer population history and better understand how demographic history impacts natural selection. Her primary research project is focused on the demographic history and genetic load of the sea otter (Enhydra lutris). She has sequenced and assembled the de novo sea otter genome and is sequencing DNA from hundreds more individuals to understand if the 18th-19th century European fur trade, which nearly drove the species to extinction, has left a genetic mark on modern sea otter populations. Her comparative genomics analysis of the sea otter and giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) was published in Molecular Biology & Evolution (Beichman et al., 2019, MBE). She has also worked to compare difference methods of demographic inference in human populations (Beichman, Phung & Lohmueller 2017, G3) to make these methods more accessible to researchers who work on wild populations (Beichman, Huerta-Sanchez & Lohmueller 2018, Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics). Her past work includes her undergraduate thesis using on the metagenomics of the baleen whale microbiome, which showed intriguing similarities not only to their dietary peers (carnivores) but also their evolutionary relatives (herbivores) (Sanders, Beichman, et al. 2015, Nature Communications). 

Selected Publications

Sura S.A., L.L. Smith, M.R. Ambrose, C.E.G. Amorim, A.C. Beichman, et al. 2019. Ten simple rules for giving an effective academic job talk. PLoS Computational Biology 15(7): e1007163. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007163

 Beichman, A. C., K.P. Koepfli, G. Li, W. Murphy, P. Dobrynin, S. Kilver, M. T. Tinker, M. J. Murray, J. Johnson, K. Lindblad-Toh, E. K. Karlsson, K. E. Lohmueller, R. K. Wayne. 2019. “Aquatic adaptation and depleted diversity: a deep dive into the genomes of the sea otter and giant otter.” Molecular Biology & Evolution, msz101, https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msz101

Beichman, A. C., E. Huerta-Sanchez, K. E. Lohmueller. 2018. “Using Genomic Data to Infer Historic Population Dynamics of Non-Model Organisms.” Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 49: 433-456.

Beichman, A. C, T. Phung, K. E. Lohmueller. 2017. “Comparison of single genome and allele frequency data reveals discordant demographic histories.” G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics. doi.org/10.1534/g3.117.300259

Sanders, J. G., A. C. Beichman, J. Roman, J. J. Scott, D. Emerson, J. J. McCarthy, and P. R. Girguis. 2015. “Baleen Whales Host a Unique Gut Microbiome with Similarities to Both Carnivores and Herbivores.” Nature Communications 6 (September): 8285. doi:10.1038/ncomms9285.

Grants and Awards

Fitch Award Finalist, SMBE (2019)
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) (2015-2019)
NIH Genomic Analysis Training Program Training Grant (2014-2016)
UCLA Pauley Fellowship (2013, 2019)
Henry Russell Shaw Summer Fellowship (2012)
Junior 24 Phi Beta Kappa (2011)
Museum of Comparative Zoology Grant for Undergraduate Research (2011)
Alex G. Booth ’30 Fund Fellowship  (2011)
Herchel-Smith Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship  (2010)
Detur Book Prize (2009)
John Harvard Scholar (2009, 2010)

Outreach

Annabel designs and leads workshops to teach middle-school children about evolution, natural selection, and natural history. Her workshops combine museum specimens, active-learning games and art to give students a memorable experience and help them gain an appreciation for the study of evolution.

Annabel trains graduate students in demographic inference based on genomic data as part of the La Kretz Conservation Genomics Workshop.

Annabel has mentored multiple undergraduates in advanced laboratory, computational, and population genetics analyses, which has led to them collaborating on publications (in prep), attending academic conferences, and applying to graduate research programs.

She is a reviewer for Nature, Nature Genetics, Molecular Biology & Evolution, Conservation Genetics, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Journal of Microbiology