The review article that I wrote last year with my advisor, Doug Landis was recently picked up by a graduate student, Nathalie Sommer, in the Forestry department at Yale. Nathalie writes for the Yale Environment Review, which provides reviews of current research to the public in an easier to digest format than our traditional research articles. It was a nice surprise that our review paper was chosen and we enjoyed reading Nathalie’s take on our work. Read the article here!
I had the opportunity to attend my second GRC this past month in Ventura, CA. I love the Predator-Prey Interactions GRC for so many reasons; the smaller conference size, the opportunity for interactions through meals and poster sessions, breakout sessions that lead to collaboration and ideas, and the general excitement for expanding our knowledge in this broad area. The theme of this year was “Mechanisms and Outcomes of Predator-Prey Interactions: Scaling Across Space and Time”, which led to awesome talks that not only spanned across taxa, time and space, but also across disciplines. The opening talks discussed the combination of field and laboratory studies – highlighting some of the pitfalls of doing our work solely in one context or the other. Following the plenary, we had 4 days of research talks on the evolution of predator-prey interactions, landscape level considerations, neurobiology, and transgenerational effects of predators on prey. One of my favorite sessions was on prey responses to predator cues – which is what much of my research focuses on! When I got back to the east coast, I came back with lots of ideas, new friendships, collaborations, some jet-lag, and a touch of sun! It is definitely worth experiencing at least one GRC if you can!!
Jared and I did a short radio show this morning about insects and married entomology life ! We even had our little one, Asher, with us in the studio. It was really fun, check it out here.
The show really got me thinking about the path we have been on together and how grateful I am to have worked with so many amazing people along the way. One of the unique things about my current degree is that I split my time between MSU (where my advisor is) and PSU (with one of my committee members and where my husband is a professor). As a visiting scientist at PSU, I have gotten some wonderful opportunities to participate in departmental seminars and outreach events through the university which have been very enriching. While my experience is far from the norm, it has been a good one. Enjoy the short radio show!
Well, truthfully, it has been out for a couple of months now! But, I wanted to share it nonetheless. The review discusses the most current research (past 5 years) that evaluates the influence of predation risk on prey behavior and physiology in insect systems. These non-consumptive effects of predators on prey can have far-reaching implications on population growth of predators and prey as well as the overall community structure. We argue that while the evidence for these effects is there, the current research stops short by not considering longer-term field experiments. By increasing the spatial and temporal scale for which we understand these interactions will allow for stronger predictions and potential application in pest management! Check it out and let me know what you think!
It was a very busy field season full of collard greens, butterflies and ladybeetles and an equally busy fall full of data analysis, paper submissions (and acceptances!), committee meetings and scientific meetings – hence the lack of web presence on my end! So, I wanted to write this post to share some photos from our hot & dry, yet fun, field season!
Placing plants in cages, photo credit Kurt Stepnitz, MSU Photography
meter cages in the field!
checking on butterflies, photo credit Kurt Stepnitz, MSU Photography
measuring larval stage, photo credit Kurt Stepnitz, MSU Photography
so many pieris, photo credit Kurt Stepnitz, MSU Photography
potting ALL the collards!
building meter cages!
thousands of mini collards
sentinel plants are out
carissa counting eggs
An awesome collaborative project I was a involved with this past year as a part of a new class on Open Science and Reproducible Research ( Designed and taught by Dr Christie Bahlai @cbahlai #OSRRcourse practicaldatamanagement.wordpress.com) is now a completed publication!! We have formally submitted the manuscript and are waiting to hear back, for now – enjoy it through the photographs below (credit @cbahlai) and the preprint at bioRxiv: http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/09/11/074633
working on figure order & captions
This week, I have had the pleasure of hosting Dr Velemir Ninkovic, an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology at SLU in Uppsala, Sweden (Velemir’s Website). We have been having a great time discussing our research intersections and imagining new directions that our science may take us in the future.
On Monday, he gave a wonderful seminar to the Department of Entomology here at MSU where he presented his group’s work on many aspects of ladybird foraging ranging from habitat preference, ladybird response to plant volatiles and ending with predator-prey interactions that are driven by predator chemistry.
Tomorrow, we will have another opportunity to hear a seminar on a different aspect of his work, this time focusing on plant-plant volatile signaling. This is a joint seminar with our Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program (EEBB) here at MSU and should yield a wonderful multi-disciplinary audience!
We’ve also been able to take Velemir around to enjoy some of our local breweries and Michigan based craft beers as well as some ‘American cuisine’! Pictured here is Velemir enjoying Chicken and Waffles at the Lansing Brewing Company!
I’m headed to the Gordon Conference on predator-prey interactions at the end of this week! So excited to learn from and interact with all the incredible researchers there. It will be great to catch up with my former advisor, Jennifer Thaler, (Jen’s website!) as well!