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Student and Post Doc Highlights

Emily Pitcairn and Kyle Jewhurst, doctoral students in the McLaughlin lab, were awarded Graduate Student Travel Awards to attend and have their work presented at the Society for Developmental Biology 73rd Annual Meeting to be held in Seattle, WA July 2014. Kyle was also awarded a travel fellowship from the SDB!

Brook Chernet, Levin Lab, successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis, "Bioelecteric Detection and Control of Tumor Growth in Xenopus laevis". Anne Madden from the Starks Lab also defended her Ph.D. thesis, "Vespid Microbiology: Characterizations and Implications of Paper Wasp Microorganisms Across Levels of Biological Organization". Congratulations Brook and Anne! Congratulations also go to Christine Lattin, Romero Lab, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis, "Beyond plasma hormones: Investigations upstream and downstream of circulating corticosterone".

Anne A. Madden, doctoral candidate in the Starks Laboratory, along with Rob Dunn--a professor of biology at NC State University, presented an educational talk "You fermented my beer with what?!" at the World Beer Festival in Raleigh, NC, as part of a NC Science Festival initiative. She, along with her undergraduate students from the Fall 2013 class "Experiments in Ecology (Bio51)," isolated a wild yeast that was used by the head brewmaster of NC State's Food Science program, John Sheppard, to brew a number of beers showcased at the World Beer Festival.
More information on the collaboration and event can be found at: Your Wild Life and NC public radio.

Matt Kamm, 1st year graduate student in the Michael Reed laboratory, was quoted in a Boston Globe article, "Long-extinct heath hen comes to life in archival film". Read article >

Jen Mortensen, 4th year doctoral student in the Michael Reed laboratory, just came back from St. Lucia, where she participated in an international effort to develop a management plan for an endangered bird species – the white-breasted thrasher. Jen has been working on them for several years, and was invited to give a talk and to co-write the plan (which she is doing now).

Ailene Ettinger, Post Doc in the Crone Laboratory, was awarded a two-year NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology ("Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Engineering").

Ryan McGinty's proposal won a competition for the MinION Access program (MAP); he was chosen to join the very first wave of MAP participants! MAP program was started by Oxford Nanopore to allow scientists in developing sensing applications, such as DNA sequencing, on their proprietary platform. In this platform, DNA is being continuously decoded while travelling through a tiny nanopore. This methodology has huge advantages over the existing sequencing methods, and it might drop the cost of sequencing a complete human genome below $1000. Ryan will receive free Nanopore machine and all necessary supplies to carry out whole genome sequencing for his studies. Congratulations to Ryan for bringing us all into the new era of genome sequencing. Ryan is a 3rd year graduate student in the Mirkin Laboratory.

Carolyn Bauer, a doctoral student in the Romero lab, won the "Aubrey Gorbman Best Student Presentation Award" for her talk in the Division of Comparative Endocrinology at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in Austin, TX. She also recently published a manuscript: Bauer, C.M., Hayes, L.D., Ebensperger, L.A. & Romero, L.M. (2014) Seasonal variation in the degu (Octodon degus) endocrine stress response. General and Comparative Endocrinology 197: 26-32.

Christine Lattin, graduate student in the Romero laboratory, presented her research at two different conferences: the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry meeting in Nashville, TN in November 2013 and the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in Austin, TX in January 2014.

Christine also received travel grants from both the Tufts Institute for the Environment and the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry to attend the meeting in Nashville.

She was also a co-author on three new publications:

Lattin, C. R. and L. M. Romero (2013). "The size of a melanin-based plumage ornament correlates with glucocorticoid receptor concentrations in the skin of that ornament." Biology Letters.

Knapp, C. R., K. N. Hines, T. T. Zachariah, C. Perez-Heydrich, J. B. Iverson, S. D. Buckner, S. C. Halach, C. R. Lattin and L. M. Romero (2013). "Physiological effects of tourism and associated food provisioning in an endangered iguana." Conservation Physiology 1(1): cot032-cot032.

Kennedy, E. A., C. R. Lattin, L. M. Romero and D. C. Dearborn (2013). "Feather coloration in museum specimens is related to feather corticosterone." Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67(2): 341-348.

Carolyn Bauer, a doctoral student in the Romero lab, won the "Aubrey Gorbman Best Student Presentation Award" for her talk in the Division of Comparative Endocrinology at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in Austin, TX. She also recently published a manuscript: Bauer, C.M., Hayes, L.D., Ebensperger, L.A. & Romero, L.M. (2014) Seasonal variation in the degu (Octodon degus) endocrine stress response. General and Comparative Endocrinology 197: 26-32.

Anne A. Madden, doctoral student in the Starks lab, was one of eight individuals awarded a two year Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Microbiology of the Built Environment Postdoctoral Fellowship. She will be pursuing research investigating the contribution of arthropods to the microbial communities of houses in association with Dr. Noah Fierer of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Dr. Rob Dunn of North Carolina State University. Congratulations Anne!