The Graduate Program in


Stengle Leading Nine-State Study of Fungus Deadly to Snakes

Rattlenake in den

OEB Ph.D. candidate Anne Stengle, is overseeing a federal grant in nine states that studies a mysterious fungus killing snakes in the Northeast. In less than a decade, the fungus has been identified in at least nine Eastern states, and although it affects a number of species, it's especially threatening to rattlesnakes that live in small, isolated populations with little genetic diversity, such as those found in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. According to Stengle, the fungus has been found in all five rattlesnake populations in Massachusetts, but it doesn't appear to have had the high mortality rate reported elsewhere. Stengle's dissertation research is on habitat selection, connectivity and viability of the timber rattlesnake metapopulation in southwestern Massachusetts.

Adam Pepi Thesis Defense

10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
222 Morrill 2 - CHANGE OF LOCATION
Thesis Title: Density-Dependent Survival in the Larval Stage of an Invasive Insect: Dispersal vs. Predation
Advisor: Joe Elkinton

Yinan Hu Dissertation Defense

12:00 noon
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
222 Morrill 2 - CHANGE OF LOCATION
Dissertation Title: Evolvability of the skull: A study of genetic basis and integration in the teleost craniofacial skeleton
Advisor: Craig Albertson

Chi-Yun Kuo Dissertation Defense

3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
319 Morrill 2
Dissertation Title: A tale of lost tails: a cost-benefit analysis of the variation in an extreme antipredator trait
Advisor: Duncan Irschick

Krzysztof Sakrejda Dissertation Defense

9:00 a.m.
Monday, July 20, 2015
319 Morrill 2
Dissertation Title: Estimation problems in complex field studies with deep interactions: time-to-event models for environmental responses in vital rates
Advisor: Ben Letcher

Evan Palmer-Young Awarded DDIG

Evan Palmer-Young, OEB doctoral candidate in Lynn Adler's lab, has been awarded a $20,735 Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from NSF's DEB for his project "Inter-strain variation and evolution of resistance to phytochemicals in the bumblebee trypanosome parasite, Crithidia bombi." Congratulations to Evan and Lynn!

Curtis recieves NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship

OEB Ph.D. Candidate Caroline Curtis has been awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for her proposal Using Time Series of Remotely Sensed Imagery to Understand Invasive Pine Dispersal. The $30,000 fellowship, renewable for up to three years, allows Curtis to study the temporal patterns of pine invasion in South America. Congratulations to Caroline and her advisor, Bethany Bradley.

Andrew Smith awarded DDIG

Andy Smith, OEB doctoral candidate in Betsy Dumont's lab, has been awarded a $20,131 Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from NSF's DEB for his project "The role of integration in driving the morphological diversity of mammalian jaws." Congratulations to Andy and Betsy!

TLDG Schedule and Readings

The theme for this spring's Thursday Lunch Discussion Group (TLDG) is Interesting papers by upcoming seminar speakers. The schedule and readings are posted here. TLDG meets every Thursday from 12 noon - 1 p.m. in the OEB Seminar Room (319 MOR 2) and, as always, lunch is provided. The full OEB community is invited to join in discussions.

Spring 2015 Science Café

OEB Science Cafe's are back with our Spring Series! Science Cafe's have moved to Amherst Brewing Company and are now on Tuesday nights. The events are free, open to the public, and start at 6 p.m.

February 3
Neighborhood watch: Social eavesdropping in birds, with Sarah Goodwin

March 3
Deja vu: Repeated forms in evolution, with Dr. Daniel Moen

April 7
Developing diversity: The role of nature and nurture in evolution, with Dr. Kara Powder

May 5
Nature knows best: Biologically inspired technology, with Drs. Duncan Irschick and Al Crosby