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Student and Post Doc Highlights

The Department of Biology congratulates Crista Wadsworth for being selected the first recipient of the Lily Glidden Award. Crista will be using the award to backpack in the mountains near Crested Butte, CO for two weeks in June and July. She will use this opportunity to observe and collect butterflies to continue her research on dormancy in Lepidoptera. Crista is a 5th year Ph.D. candidate in the Dopman laboratory.

Congratulations to the Tufts Synthetic Biology Team for winning Gold at the iGEM competition! Read more about iGEM in the Tufts Daily.

Livia Baer-Bositis, Ph.D. candidate, BA, Biological Sciences, Northwestern University, 2013

Cassandra Donatelli, Ph.D. candidate, BA, University of Rochester, 2014

Rory Fuller, Ph.D. candidate, BS, Biology & Biotechnology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2006

Prasong Mekdara, Ph.D. candidate, BA, Psychology & Biology, California State University Fresno, 2010; MA, Biology, California State University Fresno, 2014

Esther Miller, Ph.D. candidate, BA, Biological Sciences, University of Oxford, 2005

Ritwika Mukherjee, Ph.D. candidate, BS-MS, Biological Sciences, IISER-Thiruvananthapuram, India, 2014

B. Taylor Sands, Ph.D. candidate, BA, Biological Sciences, Cornell University, 2011

Anthony Scibelli, Ph.D. candidate, BS, Neuroscience, Western N.E. University, 2014

Eric Scott, Ph.D. candidate, BA, Biology, Whitman College, 2006; MS, Ecology, Evolution, Cons., U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2010

Ekaterina Spivakovsky-Gonzalez, MS, Biochemistry, University of Oxford, 2013

Allison Levine, Coursework MS, BA, Psychology, University of Michigan, 2008; MA, Science Education, 2010

James Schultz, Coursework MS, BA, Biology, Carthage College, 2014

Michaela Snead, Coursework MS, BA, Biology, Mt. Holyoke College, 2011

Elyse Bolterstein, a postdoctoral fellow in the McVey lab, took an assistant professor position at Northeastern Illinois University, starting September 1, 2014. Congratulations Elyse!

Kelly Beagan, a graduate student from the McVey lab, won the Best Poster prize at the Zing DNA Polymerases conference for her work on DNA polymerase theta.

Jen Mortensen, PhD candidate in the Reed laboratory, presented at the following conferences:
2014. Mortensen, J. L. and J. M. Reed. Population viability of an endangered avian cooperative breeder following habitat loss. Presented at the 2nd North American Congress for Conservation Biology (NAACB), Missoula, MT & the Joint meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists & Wilson Ornithological Society, Newport, RI. Jen Mortensen also presented her research at a White-breasted Thrasher conservation planning workshop held in Saint Lucia in February of 2014, where I was invited as the species technical expert. The conservation action plan, which includes scientific research, education, and media components, and was assembled over the course of a few weeks based on outputs from a 2-day workshop attended by individuals from Saint Lucia government ministries, Saint Lucia media, and local and international NGOs. The citation for the action plan that she co-wrote: Felix, M. L., J. L. Mortensen, M. N. Morton, and J. Tschirky. 2014. The Gòj Blan Plan: an action plan for recovering the white-breasted thrasher on Saint Lucia. Report to the Trust for the Management of Rivers, Saint Lucia Forestry Department, Saint Lucia National Trust, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, and the American Bird Conservancy. Jen also co-wrote the White-breasted Thrasher species account for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Birds online publication. Citation: Mortensen, J. L., K. F. Freeman, M. N. Morton. 2014. White-breasted Thrasher (Ramphocinclus brachyurus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online.

Leone Brown, currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Crone lab, was awarded a "Mathematical Biology" (Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Engineering) postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Lee will be leaving Tufts at the end of February to start her project at the University of Georgia.

Kirsi Alahuhta, a Ph.D. student at the University of Oulu in Finland, arrived in September for a 6-month Fulbright fellowship in the Crone lab. She will be building empirically-based population models to study life histories of northern orchids.

Rachael Bonoan, graduate student in the Starks lab, had a publication this past spring in Naturwissenschaften (Bonoan, R. E., R. R. Goldman, P. Y. Wong and P. T. Starks (2014) Vasculature of the hive: heat dissipation in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) hive. Naturwissenschaften 101(6): 459-465.) and presented results from this study at the International Society of Behavioral Ecology this summer. The same study was also reviewed in The Economist, ScienceDaily and TuftsNow.

Kelsey Graham and Rachael Bonoan, PhD candidates in the Starks lab, had a featured story in Tufts Now, Keeping Bees Healthy. This research was done with the assistance of a summer REU student, Marlen Rodriguez from Fullerton College.