Yearly Archives: 2015

Testing the Effects of the Alaskan Microbiome

Undergraduate researcher Jackson Drew was recently awarded an URSA Spring Project Award. He’ll now be completely funded to complete a pilot project related to microbiome engineering. Having grown up in Interior Alaska, Jackson is keenly aware of how climate warming is inducing rapid large-scale shifts in plant communities in the boreal biome. His research will […]

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Using Nanopore Sequencing to Explore Genomics

I found out today that URSA has generously provided me funds to explore using the MinION nanopore sequencer (Oxford Nanopore Technologies) for undergraduate research. Funds from this proposal will facilitate independent undergraduate genomic research opportunities using bleeding edge technology and a simplified workflow. The MinION at just 87 grams and half the size of an […]

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New tech, MinION

Thanks to the efforts of Ian Herriot who initiated the application to the Oxford Nanopore MinION Access programme (MAP), we have acquired access to a new nanopore sequencer (pictured above). The MinION at just 87 grams and half the size of an iPhone is so portable that it will visit the International Space Station as […]

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INBRE Pilot Proposal funded

The news finally came through this past week that my first Alaska INBRE Pilot grant was awarded. The goal of the proposed research is to develop a general evolutionary theory to understand host-symbiont interactions. This is an important missing component of current investigations of the human microbiome and its interpretation in regard to human health. In […]

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A journey north into the Arctic

September marks the beginning of the new academic year and with it brings a new cohort of graduate students to the Department of Biology and Wildlife. As a bonding experience each year, several researchers lead a trip up to Toolik Field Station in the Arctic. This field station is operated by the Institute of Arctic […]

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The Red Queen Game

We often focus so much on our research, that we forget about opportunities to share our teaching experiences with the science community. While at Indiana University, I had the privilege of attending the Lively lab meeting. One afternoon, Mandy Gibson and Curt Lively asked everyone to play test a new lab they developed to have […]

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Human Microbiome curriculum development

This past month, the Alaska IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program put out a call for  curriculum proposals. INBRE is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. An objective of the Alaska INBRE Research Training Core is to expand curricula in biomedical and health areas across the University of Alaska system. I worked with Dr. […]

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Evolution, Naturally Inspiring

This semester, some of my evolution students wrote blog posts over at Evolution, Naturally Inspiring on recent scientific research as an extra assignment. We know there is a need to communicate beyond our institutions. Making the science we do as public as we can is an important part of public outreach. What better way to help […]

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Alaska arrival

I made the move from Indiana University and joined the faculty at the University of Alaska Fairbanks this January. I have a joint appointment in both the Institute of Arctic Biology (research) and the Department of Biology & Wildlife (teaching).

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