Nicole had the opportunity to see former lab techs Tarik Acevedo and Tiff Alcaide while visiting Penn State this week. Tarik is currently a grad student in soil sciences at Penn State, and Tiff is a lab tech in soil sciences.

Great to see these two!

ESA 2018

The Entomological Society of America Meeting brought together researchers from around the world studying insect symbioses. Jacob Russell and Molly Hunter organized a great session.

Martin Kaltenpoth, Hassan Salem and Nicole Gerardo after an excellent coffee at ESA in Vancouver.

One worm at a time…


Today, Kim Hoang sent the following:

“I finished experimental evolution!! It took over a year: July 13, 2017 – November 8, 2018”

What an amazing accomplishment. Kim’s experiment focuses on the evolution of a novel beneficial symbiosis between C. elegans and a bacteria that protects them from heat shock. So much work!

Aphids, Wings, Fungus: A Tale of Many Experiments

We recently had a paper come out examining under what conditions aphids begin to produce winged offspring upon fungal infection (Tan et al. 2018). Following on a previous paper from another group suggesting that aphids produce winged offspring upon fungal infection, our research started as a rotation project by Wen Hao Tan to examine whether bacterial symbionts that protect against fungal pathogens would alter the response. Through a set of careful experiments by Wen Hao, Miguel Reyes and Kim Hoang, we show that aphids do produce more winged aphids after fungal infection…. sometimes. Why it happens sometimes and not others, despite our best efforts, is not yet clear. Fredrick Leon, an undergrad in the lab, is following up now.