Please come celebrate Adam Johnson as he’s awarded the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching. Over the course of his graduate career, Adam has mentored undergraduates in the lab, served as the head TA for biology labs, and was instrumental in piloting the new mentoring program for freshman biology majors. Join us at 3pm in the Green Lounge to congratulate Adam on this well-deserved award!
The Genetics Society of America awarded Ching-Ho Chang with a travel award to present his work at the Population, Evolutionary & Quantitative Genetics (PEQG) meeting this summer in Orlando, Florida. The PEQG meeting is part of The Allied Genetics Conference (TAGC) – a giant conference combining meetings from 7 different genetics communities for the first time. Ching-Ho is a 2nd year grad student in the Larracuente lab. He will present his work on Y chromosome evolution in Drosophila. Congratulations, Ching-Ho!
Fireflies! These silent fireworks on warm summer nights fill us with wonder. But so much about these fascinating critters remains shrouded in mystery- from the details of how they light up their lanterns to the way some species are disappearing. The Larracuente lab is part of a diverse group of biologists collaborating to sequence the genome of the Big Dipper Firefly, Photinus pyralis, your common backyard firefly. This project is part of the PacBio “Explore your most interesting genome contest” contest. If you’d like to see the firefly genome sequenced, please go to the firefly genome project page and place a vote. Voting opens Monday, April 11 and runs through Sunday, May 1st. One person can vote once per day. Help us shed light on the genome of these captivating creatures!
Sometimes art and biology do mix! Our very own Bob Minckley collaborated with Arizona artist Heather Green on an exhibition featured in Hartnett Gallery. The exhibition- Pinpoints of Perception: 1000 Native Bees– illustrates the diversity of bees in the American Southwest. To learn more, check out this article and video describing the student-run gallery, and the scientific significance behind the art. The exhibit wont be up for much longer, so go check it out!
A belated congratulations to Jeffrey Vedanayagam from the Garrigan Lab who successfully defended his dissertation about “Evolutionary genomics of piRNA mediated transposon silencing in Drosophila”. Jeffrey will be heading to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to begin a post-doc in Eric Lai’s Lab.
Thanks to those who made this year’s retreat a success. We kicked off the retreat with a BBQ/bonfire party and a hilarious game of Bio-pictionary. The next day had two outstanding alumni speakers (Dr. Snow Shen and Dr. Rob Unckless), relaxation, hiking, wine tasting, games and a vibrant poster session. What great science and great company!
Congratulations to the 2015 Department of Biology retreat award winners:
Golden Pipette Award: Sophea Chhim, Adil Khan, Chuck Hutti, Cara Brand (EEB), Jovany Martinez (pictured left to right).
Poster competition: Emerson Khost (EEB) and Matthew Johnson (CDM)
Spirit Award: Cara Brand (EEB), Vince Martinson (EEB), Jingyuan Zhang, Tian Zhang
If anyone is looking for a postdoctoral research position, check out this interesting research at Penn State:
The Baums lab at The Pennsylvania State University is looking for a postdoc to work on coral hybridization genomics, funded by the National Science Foundation. The only widely accepted coral hybrid system consists of the once dominant but now threatened Caribbean species, Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata. In the past, hybrid colonies originating from natural crosses between elkhorn and staghorn corals were rare, and evidence of hybrid reproduction was limited to infrequent matings with the staghorn coral. Recent field observations suggest that the hybrid is increasing and its ecological role is changing throughout the Caribbean. These hybrids appear to be less affected by the disease that led to the mass mortality of their parental species in recent decades. Research will address how the increase in hybridization and perhaps subsequent introgression will affect the current ecological role and the future evolutionary trajectory of Caribbean acroporids.