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MCKAY LAB RECEIVES ACS GRANT

October 23, 2017

Daniel McKay, Ph.D. (Biology, Genetics, iBGS) has received a 4-year Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society to explore how the switches that control gene expression get turned on and off during development.

UNC ENDEAVOR’S PHOTO ESSAY FEATURES BRYAN REATINI

October 23, 2017

Bryan Reatini’s (Todd Vision’s lab) work in the Galápagos Islands this past summer was recently featured in a photo essay in UNC’s endeavors magazine. “Reatini wants to learn more about how invasive and endemic species of guava are evolving on the islands, and whether or not hybridization is occurring between them.”

JOHN BRUNO RECEIVES 700K NSF BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY AWARD

October 23, 2017

John Bruno has received a three-year 700K NSF Biological Oceanography award to expand his labs work on temperature, physiology, and metabolic scaling in the Galapagos Islands. Ocean critters including marine iguanas, sea turtles, fishes, and sea urchins consume seaweed in the Galapagos islands. Because the metabolism of these ectotherms is temperature-dependent, cooler upwelled water could reduce their caloric needs and thus the rate at which they consume their prey. Bruno will test the hypothesis that grazing intensity and the biomass of seaweeds is regulated by temperature via the temperature-dependence of metabolic rates. They will also test the hypothesis that grazer populations at warmer sites and/or during warmer seasons are less thermally sensitive, potentially due to acclimatization or adaptation. The grant includes funds to train undergraduate students in predicting the impacts of ocean warming on marine populations.

TANNER FADERO AND PAUL MADDOX PUBLISH ARTICLE IN eLIFE

October 23, 2017

Tanner Fadero and Paul Maddox published an Insight article in eLife titled “Microscopy: Live imaging looks deeper.” In the paper, they highlight the recent advances made in live cell microscopy to look deeper into organisms with fewer aberrations.

VISION AND BALHOFF RECEIVE $328,000 NSF AWARD

October 23, 2017

The Todd Vision lab, together with co-PI James Balhoff of RENCI, has received a three year $328,000 award from the National Science Foundation for an Advances in Bioinformatics project entitled “Enabling machine-actionable semantics for comparative analyses of trait evolution”. Additional funded collaborators are at Duke University, the University of South Dakota, and Virginia Tech. The team will extend software technology developed by Vision and colleagues through the Phenoscape project to address three long-standing limitations to comparative studies of trait evolution: recombining trait data, modeling trait evolution, and generating testable hypotheses for the drivers of trait adaptation.

NICOLE CROWN ACCEPTS CWRU FACULTY POSITION

October 23, 2017

Congratulations to postdoctoral fellow Nicole Crown (Jeff Sekelsky’s lab), who has accepted a tenure-track faculty position in the Department of Biology at Case Western Reserve University located in Cleveland, Ohio. Nicole elected to begin her position on July 1, 2018 and use this year to complete some ongoing projects and initiate others, with funding from her NIGMS K99 award.

HATKEVICH AND SEKELSKY PUBLISH INVITED ARTICLE IN “BIOESSAYS”

October 23, 2017

Talia Hatkevich, together with her PhD advisor Jeff Sekelsky, published an invited Problems and Paradigms article in BioEssaysHer article, titled “Bloom syndrome helicase in meiosis: Pro-crossover functions of an anti-crossover protein,” synthesizes data from model fungi, plants, and animals to propose a unified model for the Bloom syndrome helicase in promoting meiotic crossovers.

TALIA HATKEVICH PRESENTS AT CROATIAN EMBO CONFERENCE

October 23, 2017

Talia Hatkevich, a PhD student in Jeff Sekelsky’s lab, gave a platform presentation at the EMBO Conference on Meiosis held the last week of August in Hvar, Croatia. Her talk was entitled “A novel function for centromere-specific SMC1 in Drosophila prophase I.” Talia was one of only two graduate students (and a similar number of postdoctoral fellows) to give an oral presentation.

ALLEN HURLBERT RECEIVES NSF MACROSYSTEMS BIOLOGY GRANT

October 23, 2017

Congratulations to Allen Hurlbert on receiving an NSF Macrosystems Biology grant titled “Causes, consequences, and cross-scale linkages of climate-driven phenological mismatch across three trophic levels.” This work will examine how climate change is impacting the seasonal timing of spring leaf-out, insect emergence, and migratory bird arrival and breeding. In addition to using the millions of observations of birds and butterflies contributed by “citizen scientists” from across the continent, Hurlbert is also expanding a new citizen science project called “Caterpillars Count!” which aims to monitor seasonal variation in abundance of caterpillars and other insects critical as a food source for birds.

PAUL MADDOX RECEIVES AN NSF CAREER AWARD

October 23, 2017

Congratulations to Paul Maddox, who was awarded an NSF CAREER award for his work on DNA condensation. Chromosomes compact several orders of magnitude upon entry into mitosis via an as yet unknown mechanism. In addition, condensation occurs to varying degrees based on the size of the cell into which the DNA must fit. The Maddox lab will use innovative, quantitative microscopy to discover how these processes occur. This 5-year NSF grant also supports Paul and his lab in participating in several community outreach activities, to educate a broader segment of the population about his research.