I am the Lab Manager and Research Assistant for Hollie Putnam, Jonathan Puritz, and Carlos Prada at the University of Rhode Island. This Open Lab Notebook is for all things Putnam Lab.

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Time Position Affiliation
2018-Present Lab Manager and Research Assistant with Hollie Putnam, Jonathan Puritz, and Carlos Prada University of Rhode Island, Department of Biological Sciences
2017-2018 Research Student and Lab Technician Moore Laboratory of Zoology, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
2016-2018 Zebrafish Husbandry Assistant Schulz Lab, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
Summers 2016-2017 Laboratory Assistant Solnica-Krezel Lab, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Department of Developmental Biology
2016 Cosman Shell Collection Curator Schulz Lab, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
Summer 2014 Zebrafish Facility Assistant Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine


Date School Degree
2018 BA Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, Biology Major with a Marine Biology Emphasis and Studio Art Minor
2017 Study Abroad Program James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
2014 High School Diploma Clayton High School, Clayton, Missouri

Skills and Techniques


  • DNA and RNA extraction of avian tissue, Crassostrea virginica larvae, Mytlius sp. adult tissue, coral tissue, larvae, and eggs; multiple species, filtered seawater containing eDNA, using Zymo Research and Qaigen spin column kits and Tri-Reagent protocols
  • Historical DNA extraction from avian museum specimens with phenol chloroform and cryogenic methods
  • Gel electrophoresis, Qubit and TapeStation analysis of DNA and RNA
  • Serapure, KAPA Pure, mRNA and Strepavadin bead cleaning of DNA/RNA
  • Expressed Exome Capture Sequencing (EecSeq) preparation of larval oysters
  • Library preparation of avian DNA for Illumina HiSeq Next Generation Sequencing using Ultra Conserved Elements
  • in situ antibody staining of zebrafish embryos
  • Microinjections of florescently labeled RNA for confocal imaging of zebrafish embryos


  • Proficiency with RStudio
  • Knowlege of most basic statistical methods used in biological data and how to implement them in RStudio
  • Familiar with Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) or Ecological Niche Modeling using Maxent in congruence with RStudio
  • Familiar with the command line and git/GitHub
  • Genomic DNA analysis learned/learning in this class


  • Astrangia poculata casual care and tank management
  • Museum specimen preparation of bird skins
  • Rotifer culture growth and maintenance
  • Zebrafish tank system care, feeding, breeding, and maintenance
  • Feeding and milking venom of cone snails
  • Museum collection database management, curation, and verification for marine gastropods and birds
  • Preparation and imaging micro-mollusk specimens with scanning electron microscopy

Presentations and Awards


2018 Margaret E. Schedl, Whitney L.E. Tsai, James M. Maley & John E. McCormack, Comparison of DNA extraction methods from museum specimens. American Ornithological Society Conference, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
2018 Leeza L. Lu, James M. Maley, Whitney L.E. Tsai, Margaret E. Schedl, John E. McCormack, Morphological Variation in the Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Talk 2018 Devon A. DeRaad, Margaret E. Schedl, James M. Maley, Whitney L.E. Tsai, John E. McCormack, Reappraising biodiversity in the Aphelocoma jays, Kansas Ornithological Society Meeting, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.


AOS Travel Award, grant funding to attend the American Ornithological Society Conference 2018
ASP Travel Grant, funding from the Occidental College Undergraduate Research Center to attend conference
Member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society
Distinction in the Senior Comprehensive project in Biology at Occidental College