Today we observed the two year anniversary of the start of the lab and held a lab retreat at the Armitage Center at the KU Field Station. After a productive meeting, we headed to Epic for a round of laser tag and then a delicious dinner at Merchants. I'm so lucky to have these people in the lab and look forward to what we can discover in the next year.
We are thrilled to have Andrea Darby join the lab. Drea joins us from Allen Gibbs' lab at UNLV. She will continue to work on the role of immunity and the microbiome in adaptation to desiccation. Andrea is participating in KU's prep program (prep.ku.edu) and will apply for graduate school for the fall of 2019.
This week Jenna Lea began work as a technician in the lab. She comes from the University of Georgia where she was an undergraduate working in the labs of Andrew Park, Kelly Dyer and Courtney Murdock. At KU she will work on the evolutionary genetics of meiotic drive in Drosophila affinis (see the fly above). Welcome Jenna!
Members of the Unckless lab and other KU scientists took a road trip to the Population, Evolutionary and Quantitative Genetics Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. Top: the road trip - Jamie Walters, Aloy Gu, Fibo Lopez Hernandez (Stowers Institute), Carrie Wessinger, Jo Chapman, Tom Hill, John Kelly and Rob Unckless somewhere in Iowa. Middle: Tom presents someone else's poster. His actual poster was on the genome of Drosophila innubila. Bottom: Jo presents her work on balancing selection in Drosophila AMPs to Yasir Ahmed.
Maureen Dowell (Senior, microbiology major) defended her undergraduate honors thesis on Saturday. She and Rosanna Chan worked on a project for the past year and a half and it was great to see it culminate in a fantastic thesis. Congratulations Maureen!
Both Jo Chapman and Tom Hill were awarded K-INBRE postdoctoral fellowships. Jo will work on gene duplication in antimicrobial peptides and Tom will work on host/virus coevolution in mycophagous (mushroom feeding) Drosophila. Congratulations to both of them!
We've been fortunate to have a great group of undergraduates working in the lab over the past two years. Four of them are graduating and moving on to new things:
Rosanna Chan worked on the genetic basis of natural variation for resistance to infection in Drosophila. She is taking a gap year before enrolling in either graduate school or medical school.
Maureen Dowell also worked on the genetic basis of natural variation for resistance to infection in Drosophila. She will attend Brown University in a Microbiology graduate program.
Judith Ikerionwu worked on host/virus coevolution and is enrolling in a Pre Admissions Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Randie Rudder worked on the interaction between Wolbachia and immunity and graduated in December. Randie now works for Millipore Sigma in Kansas City.