August 2022: We welcome Meagan Allira, who will be doing her MS on TABR immunity and infection in western Oklahoma. The bat half of the lab is also off to IBRC in Austin for a week of presentation and collaborations. NSF also announces our new Biology Integration Institute award with VERENA, which will support large-scale immunological and computational studies in our group on bats and their viruses (see OU press here). As part of this grant, we're also thrilled to welcome Dr. Amanda Vicente-Santos to the lab as a postdoctoral researcher, who joins us from her PhD at Emory. Last but not least, big congrats to Dr. Molly Simonis, who was awarded an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and will join us in October to work on virus sharing and immunity in our two bat systems.
July 2022: The lab has been busy with a combination of TABR fieldwork, bat/bird/herpetofauna hematology, and pathogen diagnostics. Several collaborative papers are out in Animal Behavior (avian malaria and preen oil), Science of the Total Environment (causes and consequences of heavy metal exposure in Australian flying foxes), and Journal of Animal Ecology (climate-driven changes in sparrow breeding phenology). Dan presents on bat proteomic work at the 3rd International Symposium on Infectious Diseases of Bats, and we say farewell to Juliana after four months of DNA extractions, antimicrobial resistance PCR, and bat sampling.
May 2022: We publish a collaborative project with the VERENA team in Nature Ecology & Evolution showing that urban-adapted mammal species have higher parasite richness than non-adapted counterparts (but not more zoonotic parasites). We also coauthor a new paper out in PNAS with a team from the Living Earth Collaborative that combines theoretical modeling and meta-analysis to understand sublethal impacts of helminths on ungulate hosts and the downstream effects on ecosystem functioning. Last but not least, our molecular laboratory is finally ready for BSL-2 work!
April 2022: Kristin and Lauren have a very successful field season in Belize, and our Tadarida brasiliensis team also begins captures of recent migrant arrivals in western Oklahoma. Kudos to Lauren for being awarded an Exploration Fund grant from the Explorer's Club and to Taylor for being awarded a Sutton Scholarship in Ornithology from University of Oklahoma. Extra kudos to undergraduates Jessie Merrifield and Maria Muñoz for accepting graduate offers at Columbia University and University of Illinois. Lastly, our group gets profiled by Carl Zimmer in the New York Times!