From July 8-13, graduate student Jake Berv attended the annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE) in Yokohama, Japan. The 2018 meeting celebrated 50 years of one of the founding ideas of molecular population genetics, The Neural Theory. Jake’s abstract was accepted for oral presentation in a special symposium on divergence time methodologies, headlined by Lindell Bromham. In alignment with a theme of Jake’s dissertation research, Jake gave a talk on Cretaceous-paleogene body size selectivity and molecular evolution in birds, and on how body size reduction in association with mass extinctions may be a source of systematic bias in mscroevolutionary inference. Jake’s attendance at the meeting was supported by a prestigious SMBE Young Investigator’s Travel Award.