Lab PI, Dr. Sara Ruane
The Ruane Lab seeks to simultaneously inform reptile and amphibian systematics while also answering broad, contemporary questions in evolutionary biology. Some of my recent research focused on the phylogenetics of the Malagasy pseudoxyrhophiines, which includes the use of molecular data in the form of next-generation sequencing and traditional Sanger-sequencing approaches, as well as ecological and morphological data to aid in understanding what factors promote speciation in these snakes. I am also working on a project examining undescribed diversity in poorly known snakes of New Guinea, which I recently received NSF funding for (with collaborator Chris Austin). New and upcoming research from the Ruane Lab includes systematics of homalopsids, co-historical demography and genetic diversity of NJ squamates in the Pine Barrens and an examination of urban snake population genetics. The Walder Foundation also recently granted a Biota Award to Ruane and Michelle Thompson (FMNH Action Center) to survey and inventory reptiles and amphibians of Will County, IL to start in 2022.
While my interests in herpetology are broad, my lab focuses primarily on snakes, especially with respect to systematics, speciation, phylogenetics, and phylogeography.
Assistant curator of herpetology at the Field Museum of Natural History
Mailing address for Sara (updated Jan. 2022):
Dr. Sara Ruane
Assistant Curator of Herpetology
1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
If you are interested in reptile systematics, especially snakes, please contact Sara here
Formerly assistant professor at Rutgers-Newark (2017-2021) and and still part of the graduate program at Newark and New Brunswick! Currently advising graduate students Justin Bernstein at Rutgers-Newark, Anthony Sena at NJIT, and co-advising Tianqi Huang at Rutgers-New Brunswick—for advisement in undergraduate Rutgers Biology, please contact biology, specifically Sheronda Martin to be assigned at new advisor at this time.
Previously a postdoc at the LSU Museum of Natural Science (2016), working with Chris Austin on snake related projects, especially taxa from New Guinea, which are ongoing and funded via NSF. From 2013-2016, I was a postdoctoral researcher working at the American Museum of Natural History, focusing on the phylogenetics and unrecognized diversity of Malagasy snakes, and this collaboration continues. I completed my doctorate in the Biology EEB program with Frank Burbrink at CUNY (conferred 2/2013…Frank is now a curator at AMNH, see here), where I used molecular data to help update taxonomic hypotheses for milksnakes across their ranges in the USA, Central, and South America. Besides snakes, I love the color pink, chicken wings, and poodles (not necessarily in that order)!