The Gibson lab had a blast at the Southeastern Population Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics Conference at Clemson this weekend! Big congratulations to Emily and Anna for presenting awesome posters on their work.
The Gibson lab achieved Gold Level Certification as part of UVA’s Green Lab’s Sustainability Program!! We’re one of only four labs on campus to have achieved Gold, the highest level of the program. Thanks in particular to our Green Leader Anne Janisch for spearheading this effort!
3rd-year undergraduate and media queen Emily Tillet was featured in a recent video ad for the University of Virginia, “a place of near-infinite possibility!” Look for her at second 51.
2nd-year undergraduate Sophie Wong was featured in UVA Today! Sophie has contributed to an awesome science and outreach project on the role of bison in prairie restoration in South Dakota. The project is led by a a team of undergraduates and Global Development Studies professor David Edmunds. Read more here: https://news.virginia.edu/content/where-bison-roam-native-plants-may-flourish
Simran got accepted to the Population Biology of Infectious Diseases REU program at the University of Georgia http://reu.ecology.uga.edu/ – congratulations Simran! Then she’s headed off to study abroad in Salamanca. So many exciting moves!
Anna Nguyen has received a Schwager Scholarship from UVA to continue research in the lab this summer. Congratulations Anna!! We’re pumped you can keep hanging out with us this summer.
The Gibson lab placed 353rd in March Mammal Madness, after correctly predicting the final battle between Wargoose and Tiger!! (To clarify: there were 2511 entries, so this puts us in the top 14%).
Rapid change in host specificity in a field population of the biological control organism Pasteuria penetrans – open access publication here
This paper represents the beginning of a collaboration with Patricia Timper at the USDA. I worked with Patty and her graduate student, Chang Liu (now a postdoc at the University of Florida) to track yearly shifts in the host specificity of a biological control parasite. We found dramatic spatial and temporal variation in the specificity of the parasite Pasteuria penetrans for its host, the plant-parasitic nematode (and arch nemesis of Georgia peanuts) Meloidogyne arenaria. Following up on this work, we’re interested in 1) what drives temporal change in parasite specificity? (is it evolution? even reciprocal adaptation?) and 2) what are the implications of the evolution of specificity for the efficacy of biological control?
Helena Baffoe-Bonnie earned highest honors from Emory University for her senior honors thesis in the Morran lab! Helena conducted a really nice test of an hypothesis for the evolution of parasite host range using lineages of the parasite Serratia marcescens that we’d experimentally evolved in the lab to kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Now Helena’s heading to Baltimore to take an NIH IRTA fellowship in the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Congratulations Helena – you’re a star!
Lots of folks contributed to Helena’s work, including Levi Morran, McKenna Penley, Raythe Owens, Dilys Osei, Julie Lin, and Arooj Khalid.