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.

Molecular Genetics Laboratory Seeking Highly Organized Student

The Markstein laboratory studies molecular mechanisms underlying stem cell chemical interactions, in both normal and cancer stem cells. Our work integrates genetic and chemical approaches to study basic stem cell biology, cancer biology, and toxicology, using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism.

You can read more about our work here:

Brain connectomics

We are reconstructing entire brains from serial sectioned electron micrographs. In this way, we can find not only every neuron, but every synapse each neuron makes. We are doing this with simple brains from nudibranch molluscs, which have only 10,000 neurons. That's still a very large number. We are using semi-automated techniques to "segment" neurons and find their connections, but the software still needs humans to guide it. We are looking for students to run this software and trace out neurons from the electron micrographs.

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.

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