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Development of Social Understanding

We are seeking dedicated students to assist with a set of studies exploring how social cues influence cognitive and emotional function in children and young adults. These studies incorporate behavioral, emotional and neural markers of reactivity. People who can stay on for 2 semesters are preferred. Potential RAs should have good time management skills and be comfortable interacting with children.

Evaluating the Effect of Interplanting Oyster Mushrooms with Vegetables

Looking for a motivated independent study student interested in interspecies interactions between saprophytic fungi and vegetable crops (Pleurotus spp. (Oyster mushrooms) and Brassica spp.). Oyster mushroom mycelium release enzymes and acids that help break down organic matter in the soil and release potentially useful compounds for crop production. When interplanted with brassica plants some species have increased the yield of these crops by over 20%, while some have negative effects on plant yield.

Avian Bioacoustics - Urban noise and bird song.

Noise affects how birds communicate. Conservation biologists have become interested in how anthropogenic noise may impact behavior and physiology, which in turn may impact population dynamics, evolution of behavior, and community structure. This project is investigating how nightingales and other species of European birds respond to anthropogenic noise. The investigation focuses on how noise might change the acoustic characteristics of songs.

Research Assisstant Position in Dr. Elizabeth Jakob’s Spider Lab

I am a second-year Ph.D student looking for an assistant to help me design experiments, read scientific literature, and run trials in a visual ecology lab. I study behavior and visual capabilities in jumping spiders using a custom-made machine that tracks retinal movements. The selected applicant will be trained to use this machine, work outdoors to collect spiders, and help with other tasks around the lab.

Molecular genetic mechanisms of host-microbe mutualism

The Wang Lab, located in the Life Science Laboratories, is interested in the mechanisms of beneficial host-microbe interactions. Our experimental system is the symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, with important economic and environmental relevance, as well as similarities to pathogenic interactions. The BURA student will be engaged in dissecting the genetic basis of the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis, in particular characterizing the defects in host mutants unable to sustain a successful symbiotic relationship.

Discover genes driving cell migration in the frog-killing chytrid fungus

The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) causes an infection that is devastating amphibian populations world-wide. We have recently discovered that this fungus can migrate (crawl) like an amoeba during a few hours of its lifecycle, potentially during amphibian infection. To learn more about crawling by chytrid fungi, our recent paper can be found here: http://jcb.rupress.org/content/216/6/1673

Using cutting edge microscopy to study high-speed cell migration

Cells within your own body crawl over surfaces and through three-dimensional environments. Some cells crawl slowly, while others crawl very quickly. Conventional microscopy is good for imaging slow-moving cells on flat surfaces but cannot keep up with white blood cells like neutrophils that migrate a thousand times faster through 3D environments. To understand how high-speed cells interact with and crawl through complex environments, we use cutting edge lattice light sheet microscopy that has the necessary speed and resolution to image fast-moving cells and complex environments.

Characterizing cell wall mutants in the model grass B. distachyon

Grasses represent some of the most agriculturally and economically important plant species around the world. Cereals are a cornerstone of food security, and several high biomass grasses are candidate biofuel crops. Understanding the genetic factors that regulate growth dynamics in grasses is key to bettering our ability to improve and implement these important crops species. In the Hazen lab, we study the transcriptional regulation of secondary cell wall biosynthesis in the model grass Brachypodium distachyon.

Lab Librarian

Our laboratory uses DNA sequences and morphological characters to investigate the diversity, evolution and ecology of armored scale insects (class Insecta: order Hemiptera: family Diaspididae), especially in tropical rainforests. We discover many undescribed species from around the world. The lab librarian is responsible for managing the lab's diverse array of interconnected information resources.

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