The summer passed by extremely quickly. I will be posting (soon I hope) about the summer field work and conference over at The Molecular Ecologist. But a brief run down of our summer of sampling.
After returning from France, Will and I attended the ECCWO meeting in Washington DC. Will gave a talk in a session I co-organized. We, then, went to the field in Virginia and spent some time in the mud and Walmart innovating different contraptions for some work we have started out on the eastern shore.
Stacy arrived in Roscoff for three weeks to attend the Jacques Monod conference Sex Uncovered: the evolutionary biology of reproductive systems and to conduct field work in Brittany as part of a EMBRC-France funded grant called AdaptShore: Adaptation locale et le determinisme du sexe chez l’algue rouge Chondrus crispus en milieu marin." This will continue work started by Stacy and colleagues at the Station Biologique de Roscoff on this ecologically and economically important alga (aka Irish Moss or pioka). Samples collected during this field campaign will be used to generate data on local adaptation within intertidal zones, developing new diagnostic molecular markers for studying natural populations, and sampling other invasive species found along the Breton coasts, including some other red seaweeds and anemones! Stacy will be posting on the meeting and field work on The Molecular Ecologist. She will also attend the meeting Marine Evolution in Stömstad, Sweden from 15-17 May.
Cameron Pujdak, a MS candidate in Steve Dudgeon's lab at Cal State Northridge, visited the lab in April to work on part of his MS research, exploring gene flow in red seaweeds. Since all we tried didn't work, Cameron will be back sometime in the near future to broaden his skills in molecular ecology!
Dr. Benes is here working in the lab to finish up work on Fucus species in the Gulf of Maine. Here's to hoping for some more grant money to continue our collaboration and friendship that stretches back to 2003!
Capturing our Coast is sponsoring an event for Invasive Species Week. CoCoast is a project that aims to find out more about the species that live in our seas and how we can protect them. We will post snippets of the video soon!
Dr. Will Ryan, current postdoc in the Krueger-Hadfield Lab, was accepted as a UAB MERIT Postdoctoral scholar starting in July 2018. The MERIT program is an NIH IRACDA initiative providing research and teaching training opportunities for young scientists committed to improving outcomes for underrepresented groups in biological research. Over the next 4 years, he will be working with Dr. Krueger-Hadfield, and co-mentor Dr. Steve Austad, to understand the evolutionary dynamics of somatic mutation accumulation in clonal systems – from sea anemones to cancer tumors. He will be developing a course and research projects with teaching faculty and students from local partner institutions, including Oakwood University, Lawson State Community College, and Stillman College. Will will be funded for four years! He will also continue his other work on seaweed life cycles and mating systems in the lab.
SSE Small Grants Program for Local and Regional Outreach Promoting the Understanding of Evolutionary Biology
Stacy and two PhD students in the Department of Biology were awarded a Society for the Study of Evolution Small Grants for Local and Regional Outreach Promoting the Understanding of Evolutionary Biology. Sarah Adkins, a PhD student in the Morris Lab, and Rebecca Wilcox, in-coming Krueger-Hadfield lab PhD student co-wrote the proposal entitled: ‘Cahaba River: A Basin of Eco-Evolutionary Educational Opportunities.’ The team will work with the Cahaba River Society to start a Science Saturday where they will teach adults and children about the evolutionary ecology of freshwater ecosystems with an emphasis on freshwater algae. More details will follow about the dates and registration information.
Will Ryan was awarded a UAB OPE Career Enhancement Award to develop protocols to study fertilization and larval development in an anemone. Will and Stacy will travel to the VIMS Eastern Shore Lab in June to conduct field surveys of natural populations and collect anemones. Afterwards, Will will travel to George Mason University to work with the Fowler Lab.