News & Announcements

Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium

The 6th annual UMass Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium will be held on Friday, December 2. The event brings together graduate students from all areas of life sciences research at UMass to present their work in both talks (9:00 am-5:00 pm, Life Sciences Laboratories Building, Room S340) and a poster session/reception (5:00-6:00 pm). This event is open to everyone who wants to learn about the fantastic life sciences work going on at UMass! The schedule for presentations is available on the LSGRC website.

Meghna Marjadi Thesis Defense

1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
209 French Hall
Thesis Title:  River herring conservation in freshwater: investigating fish reproductive success and the educational value of citizen monitoring programs
Advisors: Allison Roy and Andrew Whiteley

 

Boyer tackles major highbush blueberry disease

Boyer in the field

As New England’s blueberry season approaches, OEB doctoral candidate Matt Boyer says a fungal pathogen of highbush blueberries known as mummy berry is a common threat to growers, and if left untreated can destroy up to 50 percent of a crop. It is so named because it produces dead-looking, berry-shaped lumps instead of healthy berries.  Matt is a student in Lynn Adler's lab.  Read more.

Suzanne Cox Dissertation Defense

Mantis shrimp

10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
209 French Hall
Dissertation Title:  The consequences of speed:  Studies of cavitation during the mantis shrimp strike and the control of rapid deceleration during toad landing
Advisor:  Gary Gillis

That's Life [Science] -  interdisciplinary Life Science Blog launching May 1st

That's Life Science staff

An interdisciplinary group of life science graduate students has been working very hard over the last few months to put together a new outreach blog titled That's Life [Science]. Their blog goes live on May 1. To find out more, go to their website:  thatslifesci.com.

Hancock awarded NSF GRF

The National Science Foundation has announced the 2016 recipients of their Graduate Research Fellowships. On the list is 2nd year OEB student Laura Hancock.  Laura was awarded a 3-year, $34,000/year fellowship for her proposal titled "The effects of phenotypic and genotypic variation and growth/fitness tradeoffs on range expansion into a novel habitat for Alliaria petiolata." Fellowships were awarded to 2,000 individuals out of 17,000 applicants. Check here for more information on NSF's GRFP program. Congratulations Laura!

Normark receives Fulbright to study ancient native plants, invasive insect threat

Ben Normark in Gabon

Benjamin Normark, OEB & Biology faculty, was recently selected as a Fulbright scholar and will spend the fall 2016 semester in Mexico documenting the spread of the insect, cycad aulacaspis scale. It is an invasive species that threatens the country's cycads, plants sometimes called "living fossils" because they have changed little in the last 280 million years. Globally, says Normark, "Cycads are under unprecedented assault from armored scale insects and from the global nursery trade that sees cycads as commercially valuable ornamentals." Mexico is home to 55 of the world's 300 cycad species. Most of these are vulnerable or endangered, and many are culturally important, valued for stems that can be pounded into an edible meal, and for their foliage, still used for traditional religious ceremonies.  Read more

Marjadi wins AFS Best Student Presentation Award

Meghna Marjadi (OEB MS student) won the Best Student Presentation Award for her talk, "Evaluating reproductive strategies in alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) using pedigree reconstruction" (co-authored by Adrian Jordaan, Allison Roy, Benjamin Gahagan, and Andrew Whiteley) at the Southern New England Chapter of the American Fisheries Society's Winter Science Meeting on January 14th, 2016 in Groton, Connecticut.

Sarah Goodwin Dissertation Defense

Chipping sparrow

9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
209 French Hall
Dissertation Title:  Song perception in communication networks
Advisor:  Jeff Podos

Scott Schneider Dissertation Defense

Melissotarsus ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and armored scale insects (Hemiptera: Diaspididae)

9:30 a.m.
Monday, March 28, 2016
209 French Hall
Dissertation Title:  The meat-farming ants: Predatory mutualism between Melissotarsus ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and armored scale insects (Hemiptera: Diaspididae)
Advisor:  Ben Normark

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