Chen Lab Tea Madness Results

The winning tea of the Chen Lab Tea Bracket this year was Kusmi Anastasia. After weeks of rigorous tea tasting, Dr. Nancy Chen won the bracket and is said to still be basking in the coveted Tea Bracket glory. This Tea Madness is going to be an annual tradition, with other labs invited to participate with nominating tea challengers, filling out tea brackets, or just coming to tastings.

Wardproject.org is live!

The specimen collection in the Biology Department (click here) is re-emerging even further into the public eye (see here for background) with the launch of the website wardproject.org.

The website links our collection to material in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and related catalogs, bulletins and correspondence housed in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation. The combination of information on biological material with historical information will provide scientists, historians, and archivists a detailed look into the period between the Civil War and 1900 when the study of natural history grew rapidly worldwide. Powered substantially by undergraduate interest, the website at present is embryonic. However, the content will evolve rapidly. When you visit, be sure to check out the 3D images of specimens with technology developed in part by the River Campus Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Lab.

Peachy Outreach

We had an absolute blast this morning working with local 5th graders and sharing what it’s like being a scientist! After hearing the whole school sing their Welcome Song, we were pumped to sing the praises of the daily joy of being scientists. We showed their class some vogue mutations of Drosophila, how starved ladybugs interact with scrumptious aphids, and how specimens are preserved, both by humans (herbarium press) and nature (fossils).

Here is an artistic rendition of the enterprise drawn by a talented 5th grader:

Here Jenn is answering questions after the students watched many aphids die at the hands of ladybugs. Note the variation in facial expression.

Omid discussing the process of fossilization proceeding a lively herbarium press and leaf morphological diversity discussion. It’s difficult to say who learned more, me or the students.

Cara engaging her group discussing the inspirational Ms. Frizzle and physiological consequences of common Drosophila mutations.

All in all, we’re very honored to be invited and engage with such incredibly enthusiastic 5th graders. Furthermore, we recognize how effective a welcome song is on invited guests…