June 2023: Congrats to Amanda Vicente for being awarded a Molecular Wildlife & Ecology Grant from Zymo to support pathogen studies of migratory Leptonycteris and Tadarida bats in Mexico! Dan also receives a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from ORAU, which will support of tracking studies of Tadarida migration in western Oklahoma and implications for pathogen dispersal. Amanda also attends the Genomics of Wildlife Disease Workshop at CSU, and incoming PhD student Caroline Cummings attends the North American Comparative Immunology Conference at Auburn. We also publish several collaborative papers with VERENA, including the largest meta-analysis to-date of bat coronavirus prevalence in Nature Microbiology, development of network embedding to study the global virome in Patterns, and identification of enzootic drivers for yellow fever virus in Brazil in PLoS NTDs. Last but not least, we put out our first preprint using field data generated by the lab, focused on surveying rare Neotropical bats for novel hemoplasma bacteria.
May 2023: The lab returns from a very busy two weeks of bat sampling in Belize, including four-year overdue success at GPS tracking vampire bats for our National Geographic grant. We also celebrate lots of recent funding success, including DISC postdoctoral awards to Molly Simonis and Amanda Vicente, another Sutton Scholarship to Taylor Verrett, travel awards from Colorado State University to Amanda to attend the 2023 Genomics of Diseases in Wildlife Workshop and to Kristin Dyer to attend the 2023 Radar Aeroecology Workshop, Robberson Travel awards to Lauren Lock and Meagan Allira for summer conference support, and a Grant-in-Aid from the American Society of Mammalogists to Lauren. Also big kudos to Gracie Hedgpeth for receiving honorable mention for their UROP presentation, Meagan Allira for having their abstract accepted for the Wildlife Disease Association student poster competition, and Anushka Sukhadia for being accepted into OU HSC's Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program.
April 2023: The lab receives funding from the Human Frontier Science Program for a new, three-year grant on Neotropical bat foraging, immunity, and infection in the context of self-medication behavior with Ralph Simon (Nuremberg Zoo) and Rachel Page (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute). We'll be welcoming Bret Demory as our new lab technician, with Kristin Dyer shifting into a MS in August on bat migration and ectoparasites. Lastly, big congrats to Briana Betke, who has received a NSF PRFB to spend the next three years predicting (and testing) bat–virus links in the Americas.