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Is Japanese knotweed out-competing forest trees on river bars?

Japanese knotweed is a major invasive plant in the United States that has occupied many of the roadside edges and riverside plant communities throughout the Northeast. We are seeking a student to work on Japanese knotweed ecology and its competition on river gravel bars with seedlings of native forest trees. Failure of tree seedlings to thrive in such sites due to knotweed dominance of bars may affect forest colonization of new land created as rivers change position.

Conservation ecology of the endangered Puritan Tiger Beetle 1: field study

Conservation for all threatened and endangered North American tiger beetle species depends on an understanding of their population dynamics. Ecological life tables are a central tool for the study of population dnyamics; and the similarity of tiger beetle life-histories would make a life-table developed for one species applicable to all species - yet this has never been developed.

Evolution of Osmoregulation: salinity tolerance in sea lampreys

The Karlstrom and McCormick Labs investigate how hormones control osmoregulation in fish, and have an NSF-funded project to examine the evolution of hormonal control of salinity tolerance in a basal vertebrate, the sea lamprey. This position is for students ready to pursue a serious honors thesis project, including summer research. The student will work with a graduate student and/or postdoctoral fellow, and research will be performed in the Karlstrom lab in the Biology Department and/or in the McCormick Lab the U.S.G.S. S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish research facility in Turners Falls, MA.

A student-run organic vineyard on campus: getting involved in set up

There is a growing awareness of the possibilities of viticulture in cool climates thanks to newly bred varieties adapted to the New England local conditions. These new varieties are much more resilient to the sudden climate variations that we are now experimenting due to global climate changes. Because of this new opportunity, an increasing number of small, family-run vineyards has been opening in New England. New courses of viticulture that we have developed emphasize in particular the challenges and opportunities of the growing local cold climate industry and small-scale vineyards.

Emerging grape varieties for a changing climate: cold hardiness

Facing unpredictable climate changes, maintaining a sustainable agriculture depends on the availability of genetically diverse cultivars. The traditional European grapes (e.g. Pinot Noir) are cultivars of a single species. In contrast, emerging grape cultivars (European-American hybrids) take advantage of the tremendous genetic diversity of the native American grape species (about 30 species). The traditional European grape varieties have little cold hardiness.

Taming emerging wine grape varieties: juice quality

Facing unpredictable climate changes, maintaining a sustainable agriculture depends on the availability of genetically diverse cultivars. The traditional European grapes (e.g. Pinot Noir) are cultivars of a single species. In contrast, emerging grape cultivars (European-American hybrids) take advantage of the tremendous genetic diversity of the native American grape species (about 30 species). In the traditional European grape varieties, shoot and fruit thinning is known to influence fruit juice quality (ripening time, sugar, acidity) and help reduce pesticide usage.

Avoiding aneuploidy - how do cells maintain the correct chromosome number?

Our research focus is cell division, a fundamental biological process. Cell division is complex with many opportunities for errors to occur. One potentially devastating outcome of errors in cell division is aneuploidy, which is defined by cells getting an incorrect number of chromosomes. Aneuploidy causes genetic disorders such as Down's Syndrome and has been implicated in tumorigenesis, tumor evolution and cancer metastasis.

Global Invaders Project

Invasive species reduce biodiversity and are considered a major threat to ecosystems worldwide. Despite general knowledge of their widespread impacts, we still lack a consistent list of which species are invasive, where they have been studied, and what sorts of specific impacts have been identified. This information is critical for understanding the conditions that lead to invasion and informing effective monitoring and management.

Invaders for Sale: Invasive Species in the Plant Trade Industry

Invasive plants have well-documented negative ecological and economic impacts. Ironically, humans deliberately introduce the majority of invasive plants, with over 50% of introductions attributable to import and planting of the species as ornamentals in our homes and gardens. Although over 1300 plants have been identified as invasive in the U.S., preliminary data suggest that many of these species remain commonly sold by nurseries and other online vendors (like Amazon and eBay).

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