Early season at RMBL is in full swingJune 2021
Our RMBL team is gradually increasing in size, and sampling has started to ramp up! Last week, Annie, Manogya Chandar, and Berry arrived at RMBL and joined the field team. Manogya is an undergraduate student at Northeastern who is doing her co-op with us this summer and fall. After a relatively cold spring, the temperatures are now consistently in the high 60s, which means there are lots of plants to survey and pollinators to collect!
This year, we have two main projects: Kaysee’s spatial gradients project and our Qnest (quantitative nestedness) project. Between those two projects, we have 16 sites to sample every week. When we go to a site, we count flowers, collect data on sampling conditions, and destructively sample the insects that pollinate the flowers in the transects. So far, all of the sites are set up and sampled at least once, but we hope to sample each site at least 7 times over the course of the season.
The Brosi Lab made it to RMBL!May 2021
After an exciting, snowy travel day, Kaysee and Therese arrived at RMBL to kick off the field season! RMBL has experienced very low precipitation this year, and some of the Gothic townsite and Crested Butte is already melted out. With the road to RMBL open, Kaysee and Therese didn’t have to snowshoe in, and they’ll be able to start setting up lower elevation study sites. This week they plan to set up our Brush Creek sites, lower Ohio Pass site, and potentially sites closer to the lab like Gothic Town and Stupid Falls. Within the next few weeks, more study areas will melt out, and the first early wildflower species will pop up in these lower sites.
Laura’s fieldwork is underway!April 2021
This spring Laura Avila, a postdoc in our lab and Nicole Gerardo’s lab, is doing fieldwork to study the impact of agricultural antibiotics on honey bee and wild bee microbiome composition. Her research will also explore the presence of pathogenic bacteria and abundance of antibiotic resistant genes in these bee populations. Laura is conducting her fieldwork in apple orchards around Georgia and other areas in the Southeast. Her work is possible thanks to multiple collaborators at the University of Georgia and funding from the Eva Crane Trust, the Southern Integrated Pest Management Center, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, and the Eastern Apicultural Society. Stay tuned for more about Laura’s bee microbiome work!
Kaysee presents at Entomological Society of America, Pacific Branch meetingApril 2021
Kaysee Arrowsmith presented her work at the EntoSA Pacific Branch meeting on spatial gradients and network rewiring! She presented data from the 2020 field season and showed that rewiring is predicted by pollinator community composition and abiotic variables, such as temperature and soil moisture, but not plant community composition or geography. Her preliminary findings suggest that geographic variation in interaction patterns is primarily driven by environmental variation between sites and altered competitive dynamics between pollinators for floral resources. Kaysee will collect more data on her spatial gradients project in the 2021 RMBL season. Great work, Kaysee!
RMBL team prepares for 2021 seasonMarch 2021
Only 6 weeks until the Brosi Lab is back out at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory! We had our first big team meeting this week, and we’re excited for the new folks who are joining us this year. UW undergraduate student Kyra Woytek and Northeastern undergraduate student Manogya Chandar are joining the team, in addition to entering PhD students Chris Anderson and Madeleine Strait. RMBL veterans Kaysee Arrowsmith, Therese Lamperty, and Annie Schiffer will be leading the team this season, along with Berry, who will be joining later in the summer.
Since the snowpack in Colorado was quite low this year, we anticipate that the snow will melt out earlier than normal. Kaysee and Therese will head out first in early May to set up sites and catch the few early pollinators, until the rest of the team arrives in early and mid-June. We’re looking forward to the 2021 RMBL season!
Therese’s paper accepted in BiotropicaMarch 2021
This week Therese Lamperty’s paper titled “Ecological drivers of intraspecific variation in seed dispersal services of a common neotropical palm” was accepted in the journal Biotropica! Her paper investigates the factors that may influence frugivore diversity and fruit removal at the level of individual plants. Her results suggest that seed dispersal services can be sensitive to fine-scale variation in habitat structure. Therese completed this work while she was a PhD student at Rice University and collected these data in the Chocó forest in Ecuador. Congrats Therese, and we look forward to reading it once it’s published!
Congrats and welcome Chris and Madeleine!March 2021
Congratulations to Chris Anderson and Madeleine Strait for their acceptance to UW’s Biology PhD program, and welcome to the Brosi Lab! Chris and Madeleine received their offers two weeks ago, and made their decision official this week.
Chris has an evolutionary biology and computational background, and has a passion for fungal networks. During his time in the Brosi Lab, he hopes to study how ecological networks are constructed and how we can quantitatively measure these networks. Madeleine has a background in biology and neuroscience, and is very interested in species interactions, particularly those involving plants, in human-altered environments. She hopes to integrate fieldwork and wet lab techniques to understand how mutualisms change with anthropogenic disturbance.
We’re so excited for Chris and Madeleine to join us!
Brosi Lab members attend the Washington Botanical SymposiumMarch 2021
The Washington Botanical Symposium, hosted by the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and the Burke Museum, was held on Thursday, March 4th and featured presentations from botanists across the state. Annie Schiffer and undergraduate students Kyra Woytek and Christy Garrett attended the day of virtual talks and learned about the region’s plant communities. The symposium covered topics such as plant restoration strategies, climate change impacts on plant communities, and rare plants of the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to the organizers for such a great event!
Kaysee passes her qualifying exam with flying colorsFebruary 2021
Kaysee Arrowsmith officially became a PhD candidate on Monday, when she passed her qualifying exam! For this exam, Kaysee presented her proposal on network rewiring and answered questions about the proposal and other ecology topics from her committee (Dr. Elli Theobald, Dr. Lauren Buckley, and Dr. Briana Abrahms). Her presentation covered network rewiring across spatial gradients, which she started at RMBL in 2019, and the effects of network rewiring on seed production in Delphinium barbeyi. Her hard work and many hours of reading paid off, and she passed without any reservations from her committee. Great job, Kaysee!
Loy successfully defends his dissertation!February 2021
On Friday, Loy Xingwen successfully defended his dissertation titled “The effects of anthropogenic change on pollination in plant-pollinator communities” at Emory! He presented on the importance of pollination function, the impacts of bioenergy pine plantation management practices on bee communities, and species-dependent effects on plant fecundity in a community phenology manipulation experiment. Loy collected data at RMBL for the past few years, and he led the snowmelt manipulation experiment with Connor Morozumi.
When he graduates, Loy will work at the Atlanta Botanical Garden as the Conservation Ecology Coordinator. He has worked with the Garden for a few years now, and we’re excited that he’ll be close to our Emory and Atlanta friends. We’re so proud of you, Loy! Congrats!
Welcome back, ThereseJanuary 2021
Dr. Therese Lamperty is back with the Brosi Lab as a postdoc! After completing her PhD at Rice University, Therese did a postdoc at the National University of Singapore, in collaboration with the University of Queensland. In the Brosi Lab, she is going to be working on ecological-networks questions, including expanding some of our work to seed dispersal networks, and integrating our network and molecular ecology components. Welcome to UW, Therese!
We moved to the University of Washington!September 2020
This summer our lab moved from the Environmental Sciences Department at Emory University to the Biology Department at University of Washington. While 5th-year PhD students Loy Xingwen, Connor Morozumi, and Donna McDermott are still working at Emory for the remainder of their graduate program, Dr. Brosi, our lab manager Annie Schiffer, and 3rd-year PhD student Kaysee Arrowsmith headed west to Seattle. Laura Avila, one of the post-docs in our lab, also remains at Emory to continue her research and collaborate with Dr. Nicole Gerardo in the Biology Department. Meanwhile, our post-doc Tori Reynolds is working from the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) in Colorado.
The Brosi Lab is very excited about this new chapter at UW. We look forward to continuing collaboration with scientists at Emory and RMBL, while forming new connections at UW. Come visit us at the Life Sciences Building on the UW Seattle campus!
Congratulations, Annie!March 2020
Annie Schiffer defended her Honors thesis today, receiving highest honors. Her findings suggest that deviations in floral phenology impact plant reproductive success, but that this impact is species-dependent. Annie’s research included hand-pollinating over 250 individual plants twice a week, and monitoring more than 500 total plant individuals at the Rocky Mountain Biological Station in Gothic, Colorado. Her hard work in the field coupled with her elegant analysis of the data in R made for an incredibly strong body of research. Amazing work, Annie!
Welcome Back, Tori!October 2019
Tori Reynolds is returning to the lab as a post doc this semester! Tori previously worked in the lab in 2018 as a Fullbright Visiting Scholar. Tori has a PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia, where she worked with Prof. Margaret Mayfield to develop her thesis on “The role of wild pollinators in highly fragmented agricultural landscapes”. As a post-doc, Tori will continue to pursue her interests in developing current DNA metabarcoding practices, examining pollination networks in alpine communities that are impacted by climate change, and understanding the role of pollinators in mediating plant coexistence. Welcome, Tori; we’re glad to have you back in the lab!
Welcome, Therese & Melissa!September 2019
Melissa Caspary and Therese Lamperty are visiting the Brosi Lab this semester!
Melissa Caspary is an Associate Professor at Georgia-Gwinnett College who is on sabbatical with us this fall, and who joined us this summer at RMBL as a Research Fellow. Melissa’s research program focuses on isolated glade habitats in the southeastern US. Therese Lamperty is a PhD student at Rice University, and is joining us as an IQTM visiting fellow this semester. Therese was an Emory undergrad and was one of the first two undergrads Berry brought to RMBL!