News & Announcements

Search for Darwin Fellow underway

Our current Darwin Postdoctoral Fellow, Dan Moen, has accepted a position at Oklahoma State University and will be leaving at the end of his first year. A search for a new Darwin Fellow is now underway. Details can be found HERE. Applications are due by January 26, 2015.

Alcott's research featured in local papers

Herring & snapping turtle

Derrick Alcott, first year OEB doctoral student, is already garnering press for his work on Cape Cod river herring. Alcott studies alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) and is particularly interested in how the various impediments in the Herring River valley affect the herring’s ability to migrate. His work was recently featured in several Cape publications, including Wicked Local Wellfleet.

Stengle's work featured on Jeff Corwin's 'Ocean Mysteries'

Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)

OEB PhD candidate Anne Stengle's timber rattlesnake research was recently featured on Jeff Corwin's 'Ocean Mysteries'. Stengle studies habitat selection, connectivity, and viability of the endangered timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) metapopulation in southwestern Massachusetts. Watch as Stengle and Corwin visit one of Stengle's field sites.

Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium

The 4th annual UMass Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium will be held on Friday, November 21. The event brings together graduate students from all areas of life sciences research at UMass to present their work in both talks (9:30 am-4:00 pm, Campus Center 163) and a poster session/reception (4:30-6:00 pm, Campus Center 11th floor). 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. Four OEB students will be giving talks (Emily Fusco, Caroline Curtis, Dina Navon and Yong Zhang) and three will be presenting posters (Derrick Alcott, Kit Straley, and Hannah Broadley).

 OEB faculty awarded UMass Industry-Academic Grant to support OEB students

A UMass Industry-Academic Grant with New England Biolabs, submitted by a trio of OEB faculty (Jeff Blanchard, Kristen DeAngelis and David Sela), has been funded by the UMass Grad School. The grant will provide significant research and mentoring experiences in the private sector for a trio of OEB students (Grace Pold, William Rodriguez and Lauren Alteio) as they conduct their global warming projects at Harvard Forest.

Fall schedule for OEB Science Cafés announced

Monday, September 8
In search of the genes that make us human, with Dr. Courtney Babbitt Adults drinking milk, complex thought, paying taxes, and other uniquely human activities.

Monday, October 6
Builders, farmers, and relationship cultivators: how ants are more like us than you think, with Scott Schneider They were farming long before we even began drawing in caves.

Monday, November 3
A bat’s guide to strange sex, with Dr. Teri Orr Sperm storage, penis spines, and other oddities of mammalian reproduction.

Monday, December 8
Bird brain: the science of learning songs, with Dr. Luke Remage-Healey Neural circuits on steroids!

Science Cafés, organized by OEB grad students, are held at Esselon Café on Route 9 in Hadley on Monday nights. All events start at 6:00pm. For more info, check the Science Café website or click on the mug below.

Gilman chosen to participate in Science Communication Workshop

Gilman presents at ComSciCon 2014

Casey Gilman (OEB doctoral candidate) was one of 50 graduate students from across the country chosen to attend the Communicating Science 2014 workshop for graduate students (ComSciCon) June 12-14. ComSciCon, held at the Microsoft NERD Center, was organized by graduate students at Harvard and MIT, and sponsored by Harvard, MIT, and Microsoft. The workshop, first held in 2013, was designed to train STEM students as scientific ambassadors to the public by increasing their science communication skills. The June 2014 workshop included panel discussions with expert science communicators including journalists, authors, public policy advocates, educators, producers, and artists. As part of the workshop, attendees gave a one-minute oral, popular-science presentation of their research, and had peer and expert reviews of popular science pieces they had written. In 2014, a total of 878 students applied to attend the workshop. For more information about ComSciCon, visit http://comscicon.com/

Goodwin and Moseley win grad student paper awards

Sarah Goodwin (OEB Doctoral Candidate) and Dana Moseley (OEB PhD 2014) recently presented papers at the joint meeting of the Association for Field Ornithologists and Wilson Ornithological Society. Goodwin presented her chipping sparrow work, "Team of Rivals: alliance formation in a territorial songbird is predicted by vocal signal structure," and was awarded the AFO's best graduate student talk. Moseley's paper, "Evidence of innate predispositions and learning of female preferences in swamp sparrows", garnered the Wilson Society's best graduate student talk. Both are members of Jeff Podos's lab, making this a Podos lab sweep!

Winners of 'OEB in Action' photo contest

Mr. Mole

Winners of the 'OEB in Action' photo contest were announced at our 20th Anniversary reception on Friday, April 25. The winning photos will be framed and displayed in the OEB seminar room.

May Science Cafe: Sex and Drugs and Plants and Bugs

Bumble bee

Monday, May 5th at 6:00PM Esselon Cafe

Dr. Lynn Adler’s research integrates plant-animal interactions across mutualisms (e.g. pollination) and antagonisms (e.g. herbivory) to arrive at a more complete understanding of how multiple species select on resistance and attractive traits. Come on out and hear all about this fascinating research!  

Also, this will be the last Cafe for the Spring series.  Check back over the summer for our fall line-up.

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