Julia Van Etten just had a new paper published in Trends in Genetics! This is an opinion/review paper that discusses the need to move on from the the traditional debate of whether or not horizontal gene transfer exists in eukaryotes and start to investigate and characterize the extent of HGT and it’s role as a fundamental force of evolution in this domain of life. Check out the new paper here!
This article outlines a series of perspectives, reflections, and recommendations for how early career scientists studying climate change in the fields of agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture can be best supported.
This paper is the result of a collaborative effort of grad students who first came together in 2018 through the Graduate Student Climate Adaptation Partners (GradCAP) Program. GradCAP was organized by the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, and it assembled 15 master’s and doctoral students from several Land and Sea Grant institutions, from West Virginia to Maine. All of the participants were studying climate change resilience in agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture. The goal of GradCAP was to build a network of early career scientists, spark new ideas in a collaborative setting, and provide professional development opportunities. Initially, this occurred through a virtual consortium, a webinar series that took place every few weeks in 2018. In 2019, the GradCAP scholars met for their first (and only) in-person meeting, at a workshop at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Here, the scholars first conceived the idea for the manuscript.
This initiative demonstrates the capacity of early career scientists to engage in productive remote collaboration. Two years before the COVID-19 pandemic, this group of young researchers used a webinar series, teleconferencing, and a single in-person meeting to build a community of practice and publish a peer-reviewed publication in under 18 months.
This article represents the first study of gene expression in coral gametes. We used RNA-seq data obtained from eggs and sperm of the Hawaii endemic broadcast spawning stony coral M. capitata, and found that while egg and sperm gene expression differs considerably from that of adult tissue, both gametes share similar gene expression profiles and a majority of their major functions, likely because they are subject to the same environmental insults while surviving in the water column prior to fertilization. Coral gamete functional capacity and survival is an important topic due to environmental changes like heat stress and lower pH caused by climate change that may adversely affect coral spawning. Read the full article here: https://peerj.com/articles/9739/
The EcoGSA is unwaveringly against all acts of racial injustice and discrimination that continue to plague our society. We are hurt and angered by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Officer Derek Chauvin and his fellow police officers, one of the latest tragedies that stems from the police brutality epidemic that disproportionately affects the Black community in this country. In order to dismantle a culture that perpetuates racially-motivated violence, we believe that we must first acknowledge the major role of the systemic prejudice and racism within our institutions, and demand accountability from those that preserve and act on racist attitudes. As an organization, we support the call to justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, Tony McDade and the countless other victims to racist acts of violence, and we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
As an organization, we commit to:
Because so many species of bats require conservation attention, it is helpful to think of them in terms of the umbrella species concept. To that end, we have organized the bats according to their roost tree preferences. The groups we identified support the idea that if you provide aid to one or two focal species, you will also be helping many other bats who share their habitat preferences. These "roosting guilds", as we call them, can be used to streamline conservation efforts aimed at creating, preserving, or improving bat roosting habitat in the eastern temperate forests of North America. Read the full review here: https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/12/2/76/htm
Katrina recently received an award from the Society for the Study of Evolutio (the Rosemary Grant Advanced Award) for her proposal An Investigation of the Effects of Genes on Larval Swimming Speed and Dispersal Distance. The work is doing a Genome wide association study to look for associations between clownfish (Amphiprion percula) swimming endurance and genotypes.
For more info on this grant, see: http://www.evolutionsociety.org/content/society-awards-and-prizes/graduate-research-excellence-grants/rosemary-grant-advanced-award.html
"Habitat amount, quality, and fragmentation associated with prevalence of the tick-borne pathogen Ehrlichia chaffeensis and occupancy dynamics of its vector, Amblyomma americanum" was published in the journal of Landscape Ecology.
This study examined the effects of landscape context, namely forest area, fragmentation, and type (deciduous vs. coniferous) on the prevalence of the tick-borne pathogen Ehrlichia chaffeensis and the occupancy dynamics of its vector, the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) and was part of Dylan's previous Master's work.
Angler preferences and satisfaction in a high-threshold bucket-list recreational fishery (published in Fisheries Research).
Read the article at the following link:
Julia received a NASA Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) grant. This 3-year grant will support Julia's project: "Generating a mechanistic understanding of horizontal gene transfer as a driver of cell adaptation on the early earth."
For more info on this grant, click here.
We seek to further the social, cultural, academic and research interests of the students in the graduate program in Ecology and Evolution and act as an link between the graduate students and the faculty.