Zachary Hancock

Graduate Student
Wicksten Lab

Email: zhancock@bio.tamu.edu

Education

  • B.S. Biology, Texas A&M University-Texarkana. 2016
  • Ph.D. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, In Progress, Texas A&M University.
  • Phylogeography & speciation
  • Invertebrate systematics & evolution
  • Community ecology of intertidal marine habitats
  • Population genetics

Nearshore marine fauna display curious biogeographic patterns often dependent on their dispersal potential, but also past geology and oceanic currents. Coastal development, beach alteration, and river manipulation (i.e. dams) can also have significant effects on the ability of some nearshore fauna to disperse. Alternatively, human-mediated dispersal has allowed other nearshore fauna to gain cosmopolitan distributions (e.g. the invasive anemone, Diadumene
lineata). I am interested in understanding the processes that have contributed to modern distributions of invertebrate nearshore fauna, particularly sand-dwelling amphipods (Haustoriidae), using a variety of techniques including population genetics, multivariate community analysis, phylogenetics, and behavioral tests (lab-manipulated experiments investigating mate-choice, burrowing ability, feeding preferences, etc.). Using each of these tools provide a more holistic view of present and historical demographic shifts in nearshore fauna.

Publications:

Hancock, Z.B. & Blackmon, H. Ghosts of a structured past: Impacts of ancestral patterns of isolation-by-distance on divergence-time estimation. bioRxiv, https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.24.005736v1. In press at Journal of Heredity.

Hancock, Z.B., Hardin, F.O., Light, J.E. (2019) Phylogeography of sand-burrowing amphipods (Haustoriidae) supports an ancient suture zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Biogeography, 46(11): 2532–2547.

Hancock, Z.B. & Wicksten, M.K. (2018) Two new species of sand-burrowing amphipods of the genus Haustorius Müller, 1775 (Amphipoda: Haustoriidae) from the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Zootaxa, 4459(1): 101–127.

Hancock, Z.B. (2017) A Walk on the Beach: Haustoriid Amphipods as Indicators of Beach Disturbance. Applied Biodiversity Science Perspective Series, 7: 13–20.

Hancock, Z.B., Goeke, J.A., Wicksten, M.K. (2017) A sea anemone of many names: a review of the taxonomy and distribution of the invasive actiniarian Diadumene lineata (Diadumenidae), with records of its reappearance on the Texas coast. ZooKeys, 706: 1–15.

Presentations:

Hancock, ZB, Hardin, FO, Johnston, JS. (2019) “Of Onions and Amphipods: Why Genome Size Says Nothing About Organismal Complexity”. Wildlife & Fisheries Noon Seminar Series, Texas A&M University.

Hancock, ZB. (2019) “Phylogenetics in R and BEAST2”. Open Source for Open Science (OSOS). Texas A&M University.

Hancock, ZB, Hardin, FO, Light, JE. (2019) “Phylogeography of sand-burrowing amphipods (Haustoriidae) supports an ancient suture zone in the Gulf of Mexico”. Evolution Conference, Providence, RI.

Hancock, ZB, Hardin, FO, Light, JE. (2019) “An ancient suture zone in the Gulf of Mexico inferred from the phylogeography of sand-burrowing amphipods (Haustoriidae)”. Biology Department Noon Seminar Series, Texas A&M University.

Hancock, ZB, Light, JE. (2018) “Phylogeography and species delimitation reveal cryptic diversity and the impacts of the Mississippi River formation on a sand-burrowing crustacean”. Gulf Estuarine Research Society (GERS). Texas A&M University-Galveston.

Hancock, ZB, Light, JE. (2018) “A Species By Any Other Name: Cryptic diversity and species delimitation of beach-dwelling crustaceans”. Wildlife & Fisheries Noon Seminar Series, Texas A&M University.

Hancock, ZB. (2018) “Rousing the BEAST: A molecular phylogenetic pipeline tutorial”. Open Source for Open Science (OSOS). Texas A&M University.

Hancock, ZB, Light, JE. (2018) “Detection of cryptic species in two widespread genera of sandburrowing amphipods in the Gulf of Mexico”. Houston Evolution & Ecology Regional Student Symposium, Houston, TX.

Hancock, ZB, Wicksten, MK. (2018) “Two new species of sand-burrowing amphipods (Amphipoda: Haustoriidae) of the genus Haustorius from the northwestern Gulf of Mexico”. Society for Comparative & Integrative Biology (SICB), San Fransisco, CA.

Hancock, ZB, Wicksten, MK. (2017) “Two new species of sand-burrowing amphipods (Haustoriidae: Amphipoda) of the genus Haustorius from the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Student-Postdoc Research Conference (SPRC). Texas A&M University.

Hancock, ZB, Strawn, T, Allard, D. (2016) “Littoral microcrustacean species distribution of the superorder Cladocera in Bowie Count, Texas”. 12th Annual Pathways Undergraduate Research Symposium. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.