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.

Armored scale insect systematics

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. Paid lab assistantships are available for students to prepare DNA and microscope slide mounts from individual armored scale insect specimens. For advanced students, independent research projects are also possible.

Global Patterns of Urban Biodiversity and Socioeconomic Inequality

In some cities, plant and animal diversity is closely tied to the wealth of city residents (more money means more diverse ferns and flowers, for example). But this is not the case in every city. Evan Kuras (graduate student) seeks an undergraduate research assistant to aid in a analysis of biodiversity and socioeconomic that will help us better understand these patterns at a global scale. The student will help compile, manage, and analyze city-level information related to such patterns.

Control of Programmed Cell Death During Development and Pathogenesis

Our lab discovered a new gene that encodes a novel survival protein, Acheron/LARP6, that protects terminally differentiated cells like muscles and neurons from cell death. It is also misregulated in certain cancers and functions to both protect cells from toxic insults like chemotherapy and enhance metastasis. We have found an isoform of this gene that encodes only a small portion of the protein that we believe will antagonize the action of the normal protein.

Bird Nestling Videography Lab Technician - House Wren Project

I’m Aaron Grade (agradeeco.wordpress.com), a PhD student in Dr. Paige Warren’s lab. We are an urban ecology lab based in the Department of Environmental Conservation. I am seeking laboratory technicians in Fall 2017 for an avian urban ecology study. There is the potential to continue working for the project into the Spring semester as well. My study is focused on the effects of perceived predation risk on House Wren nesting biology on an urban-to-rural gradient. During our summer field seasons, we monitor House Wren nests in nest boxes on private homeowner lands.


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