Semester successes

In addition to passing their quals, Kayla and Sandra also managed other accomplishments this semester. The Society for the Study of Evolution awarded Kayla an R.C. Lewontin Early Award grant to collect field samples for her dissertation research. Only 24 out of over 150 applicants received the award!

Sandra joined the biology department’s volleyball team (in the midst of quals), and they placed second in this year’s Staff Fest tournament! Below is Sandra in action (left) and showcasing her medal (right).

Congratulations, Wen-Hao!

Wen-Hao recently successfully defended his PhD dissertation! The lab made him a graduation cap decorated with various aspects of his research, from hungry monarch caterpillars, to structures of cardenolide and DNA, to fungus-infected aphids. Jaap and Nicole bestowed the cap to Wen-Hao at the defense party, much to his surprise. We hope to keep the tradition going with all future graduates!

We contain multitudes

A couple of years ago, our lab read Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes. This year during the Atlanta Science Festival, we got a chance to hear him give a talk on microbes and participate in a panel discussion on the intersection between science and theater. We also got our books signed afterwards!

A well deserved award

Graduate student Erica Harris received the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Student Mentor award in recognition for her outstanding efforts in mentoring students in and out of the lab. Erica has served as a mentor to numerous undergraduate researchers and to undergraduates in the Mellon Mays and ESA-SEEDS programs. She will be honored at the upcoming Graduate Division banquet.

Happy Birthday, Nicole!

We celebrated Nicole’s birthday today at the Gerardo/de Roode lab meeting with cookies and chocolates! Unfortunately, Nicole (nor Jaap) was able to make it. We still enjoyed the sweet treats in her honor, who always brings us treats every other lab meeting. We wish you a wonderful birthday, Nicole!

Attine 2018

With support from Emory’s SPRINT program with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), we brought a small group of biologists together to explore latest research and  potential for collaboration in studying the evolution of the fungus-growing ant symbiosis. Attendees included (from left to right in the photo): top row, Cameron Currie (Wisconsin), Andre Rodrigues (UNESP-RC – Brazil), Tim Read (Emory), Kendra Autumn (Utah), Bryn Dentinger (Utah), Caio Leal-Dutra (Aberystwyth), Aileen Berasategui (Emory), Ted Schultz (Smithsonian); bottom row, Caitlin Conn (Emory), Nicole Gerardo, Quimi Montoya (UNESP, Emory) and Mauricio Bacci (UNESP-RC).

It was an amazing few days of science.