Congratulations to Emma Kirschke for getting into vet school!! She’ll be going to the VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. Go Emma!
Anna Nguyen was awarded an Excellence in Undergraduate Research in Infectious Disease Award from UVA’s Global Infectious Disease Institute for her recently published work on the monoculture effect. Congratulations Anna!!
She and the other awardees will present their research at a symposium in January
We (Mandy and third-year UVA undergraduate Anna Nguyen) just published a study in Evolution Letters! We conducted a series of meta-analyses to test the hypothesis that host populations with reduced genetic diversity experience increased burdens of parasites relative to genetically diverse host populations. The results show that experimental increases in genetic diversity reduce parasitism by 20% in non-crop hosts and by 50% in crop hosts! You can read a blog post all about the article here.
Gibson, A.K. and Nguyen, A.E. (2020), Does genetic diversity protect host populations from parasites? A meta‐analysis across natural and agricultural systems. Evolution Letters. https://doi.org/10.1002/evl3.206
The whole study diagrammed , with our original predictions
It was such fun working on this new paper on social behavior and parasitism with someof my scientific heroes – Dana Hawley, Andrea Townsend, Meggan Craft, and Jessica Stephenson! Thanks to Dana Hawley for assembling this team and giving me some fascinating news ideas to think about.
Read more here: DM Hawley, AK Gibson, AK Townsend, ME Craft, and JF Stephenson. 2020. Bidirectional interactions between host social behaviour and parasites arise through ecological and evolutionary processes. Parasitology. In press. link
Kayla Stoy, a graduate student at Emory University, has recently published a commentary on the evolutionary genetics of mutualism. It was an honor to work with Kayla, Levi Morran, and Nicole Gerardo in developing her insightful ideas!
Find it here: KS Stoy, AK Gibson, NM Gerardo, and LT Morran. A need to consider the evolutionary genetics of host–symbiont mutualisms. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. In press. link
Some of the fun mutualisms that inspired Kayla:
We’re very excited to welcome two new lab members this past week – Sarah Hesse and Juliana Jiranek! They’ll be running some newly funded projects in the lab, and we are just thrilled to have them! Sarah joins us after an undergraduate at Emory where she did research in Levi Morran’s lab, followed by time abroad in Frankfurt, Germany working to support recent migrants to Germany. Juliana joins us after an undergraduate at Princeton in Jess Metcalf’s lab, where she studied the effects of climate on the ecology and epidemiology of plant pathogens. Welcome!
Applications for the UVA Biology graduate program are open until December 1. No GRE needed!
To find out more: come see us at SACNAS (Oct 19-24) or ABRCMS (Nov 9-13), and attend our virtual Q&A session on Oct 27 or Nov 19, register at: tinyurl.com/uvabio
We’re hiring a technician to work on a new Jeffress Trust Award to study the evolution of parasite resistance across environmental contexts. Ad and link below
The Department of Biology is hiring a Lab and Research Technician in the Gibson lab at the University of Virginia in association with a recently funded project to understand how environmental factors promote or impede the evolution of resistance. The Research Technician will be responsible for assisting with this and other ongoing projects in the lab.
The Gibson lab (coevolving.org) at the University of Virginia studies the evolutionary ecology and genetics of host-parasite interactions with the goal of understanding how organisms adapt to rampant uncertainty – uncertainty in the species and strain of parasite a host might encounter and uncertainty in the environment in which that encounter will unfold. Our research makes use of the fabulous experimental tools and resources available for the model nematode C. elegans and its natural parasites. These include experimental evolution with cryogenic preservation, high-throughput phenotyping, a variety of transgenic methods, and wild isolates with whole genome sequences. Researchers in the lab have ample opportunity for creative experimental design, independence, and training in a variety of skills and areas of scholarship. In joining the lab, new members sign on to our commitment to promoting an inclusive and safe environment, supporting all the members of our team in realizing their full potential, and actively valuing the creativity and productivity that comes from the meeting of diverse minds.
Experience performing basic molecular techniques including DNA extraction, PCR, or gel electrophoresis, and familiarity with Excel and R is also highly preferred. In addition, the qualified candidate will have excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to work accurately and with attention to detail.
- Performing phenotyping assays to measure parasite resistance
- Overseeing and assisting in experimental evolution projects
- Entering and formatting data for use by researchers developing and parameterizing mathematical models
- Staying up to date on relevant experimental techniques and implementing these in the lab to improve accuracy and efficiency
- Training undergraduates in the lab and managing their schedules and responsibilities
- Animal husbandry, including tracking levels of archived stocks, archiving additional stocks, ordering new stocks, and maintaining the condition of stocks
- Ensuring normal day-to-day operations of the lab and compliance with environmental safety standards.
The anticipated salary range for the position is $14 – $16/hr.
This full-time position will remain open until filled.
Process for External Applicants: Please apply at https://uva.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/UVAJobs/job/Charlottesville-VA/Biology-Gibson-Lab-and-Research-Tech_R0017086. Complete an application online and attach a cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three professional references (name, email address, telephone number, and address).
Process for Internal UVA Applicants: Please apply through your Workday Home page, search “Find Jobs”, and search for “Biology Gibson Lab and Research Tech”. Complete an application online and attach a cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three professional references (name, email address, telephone number, and address).
For questions about this position or the application process please contact Rich Haverstrom, Faculty Search Advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Laboratory and Research Technician role provides career tracks for laboratory technicians, geological technicians,and laboratory animal caretakers that perform a variety of laboratory and/or research tasks in support of research/teaching,clinical services, geological services, field research or a regulatory laboratory. Employees are responsible for a variety of standard procedures that range from routine to specialized in the areas of cleaning and decontamination; media preparation; performing standard/routine laboratory testing; sectioning and preparing rock and mineral samples for various mineralogical and laboratory analyses; preparing samples; assisting in autopsy, necropolis, or routine surgical procedures; maintaining animal health and welfare; recording data, and operating and maintaining tools and equipment.
The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System and the University Physician’s Group are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person’s perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.
We’re hiring a postdoc to work on the lab’s new NIH R35 MIRA grant on the genetics and evolution of parasite resistance. Link and ad below:
The Department of Biology at the University of Virginia invites applicants for a post-doctoral research associate position to work in thew lab or Professor Amanda Gibson.
The Gibson lab (coevolving.org) at the University of Virginia studies the evolutionary ecology and genetics of host-parasite interactions with the goal of understanding how organisms adapt to rampant uncertainty – uncertainty in the species and strain of parasite a host might encounter and uncertainty in the environment in which that encounter will unfold. We are starting a five-year NIH-funded project to determine how genetic and environmental contexts changes the selective advantage of resistance alleles. This research will make use of the fabulous experimental tools and resources available for the model nematode C. elegans and its natural parasites. These tools include experimental evolution with cryogenic preservation, high-throughput phenotyping, a variety of transgenic methods, and wild isolates with whole genome sequences. Researchers on the project will have ample opportunity for creative experimental design, independence, and training in a variety of skills and areas of scholarship. In joining the lab, new members sign on to our commitment to promoting an inclusive and safe environment, supporting all the members of our team in realizing their full potential, and actively valuing the creativity and productivity that comes from the meeting of diverse minds.
The lab is recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Associate to contribute to this work. The proposed research integrates techniques and concepts associated with the fields of host-parasite coevolution and evolutionary genetics, and eligible candidates will have demonstrated strengths in one of these areas or in closely allied fields. The postdoc will be involved in designing and implementing experimental evolution studies, quantitative trait mapping and high-throughput phenotyping (using e.g. qPCR, fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and other automated phenotyping schemes), mentoring of undergraduate trainees, data analysis, and writing of manuscripts. The postdoc will receive mentorship from the PI and support to pursue independent research projects.
QUALIFCATION REQUIRMENTS: An ideal candidate would have:
- A PhD in Biology or a related field
- Excellent written and oral communication, demonstrated by a strong publication record, consistent with the candidate’s career stage, and presentations at conferences
- Demonstrated ambition, creativity, independence, and ability to work well with others
- A strong background in experimental design, data analysis, and data management
- Experience with analysis and interpretation of genomic data and design of mapping studies
- Interest and confidence in developing new techniques, notably molecular genetic tools, for hypothesis testing
- Experience in mentoring undergraduate students and a dedication to promoting underrepresented groups in STEM
- An enthusiasm for nematodes
The Biology Department at UVA (http://bio.as.virginia.edu/) is an excellent training environment for curious, highly motivated scientists. The successful applicant can expect to interact frequently with the department’s strong, collegial group of evolutionary ecologists and geneticists (https://www.eebvirginia.org/). There may be opportunities for research, training, and outreach at Mountain Lake Biological Station (https://mlbs.virginia.edu/), in southwestern Virginia.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Apply online at https://uva.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/UVAJobs and attach a cover letter, curriculum vitae, 2-3 writing samples (preferably first-author publications, published or in prep), and contact information for three individuals who can provide professional reference letters. In the cover letter, please address your fit with the qualifications above and your experience in mentoring undergraduates. Applications by members of all underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged.
Please note that multiple documents can be uploaded in the box.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review of applications will begin on August XX, 2020, but the position will remain open until filled. The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to employment.
This is a one-year appointment; however, appointment may be renewed for an additional two, one-year increments, contingent upon available funding and satisfactory performance.
Interested applicants are invited to email Amanda Gibson, Assistant Professor, at email@example.com to discuss the position.
For questions about the application process, please contact Richard Haverstrom, Faculty Search Advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on the benefits available to postdoctoral associates at UVA, visit postdoc.virginia.edu and hr.virginia.edu/benefits.