Molecular Ecology paper on pollen metabarcoding now onlineSeptember 2018
our Molecular Ecology paper focused on pollen DNA metabarcoding is now online. Led by former post-doc Dr. Karen Bell, this is the first pollen metabarcoding paper to use known, carefully constructed pollen samples to rigorously assess the qualitative and quantitative performance of DNA metabarcoding. The take-home messages are that 1) pollen metabarcoding works in terms of identifying the presence of particular taxa in a sample; but 2) that pollen metabarcoding is not quantitative, that is, read counts are not necessarily related to the proportions of pollen grains in a sample.
Welcome to Laura, Kaysee, and Beth!September 2018
We welcomed Laura, Kaysee, and Beth to the lab in August! Dr. Laura Avila-Segura is a new post-doc who is part of the Emory FIRST post-doc program. Originally from Costa Rica, she completed her Ph.D. last year at the University of Florida. Kaysee Arrowsmith is a first-year Ph.D. student in the PBEE program. Kaysee is an NSF Fellow and 1 of just 14 recipients of the Woodruff Award from Emory’s Laney Graduate School, given annually to the top incoming graduate students across the University. She earned a BS in Environmental Sciences at UC-Berkeley (where she did her Honor’s thesis in Claire Kremen’s lab) and an MPP in Public Policy from Columbia, and worked in Lauren Ponisio’s lab at UC-Riverside before joining the Brosi Lab. Beth Morrison is a Ph.D. student and NSF Graduate Fellow in Rodolfo Dirzo’s lab at Stanford. She is visiting the Brosi lab for the fall semester as part of the QuanTM visiting fellows program. Beth’s doctoral work is focused on how agricultural land use intensification alters pollination and herbivory networks, with field sites in the Salinas Valley. She will work with Berry and others in the lab on ecological network analyses.
good-bye to ToriAugust 2018
Tori Reynolds has completed her Fulbright visiting scholar position with the Brosi Lab and is now back in Australia (just after finishing The Bee Course in Arizona), where she is finishing her Ph.D. in Margie Mayfield’s lab at the University of Queensland. We miss Tori already! We look forward to having her back in the lab for a couple of weeks in October / November.
NSF grant funded!July 2018
In collaboration with Fernanda Valdovinos (University of Michigan) we were awarded a RAPID grant from the NSF’s Population and Community Ecology Cluster to study the effects of severe drought on pollination networks at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory! Our approach tightly integrates theory and empirical data to understand how interactions “rewire” when biological communities experience strong perturbations.
congratulations to Dr. Dynes!June 2018
congratulations to Dr. Travis Dynes, who successfully defended his Ph.D. on the dynamics of Varroa destructor mites in honey bee colonies. Travis was co-advised by Jaap De Roode in Emory’s biology department and collaborated extensively with Keith Delaplane and Jennifer Berry of the UGA honey bee lab for his doctoral work.
goodbye to JamieMay 2018
Jamie Botsch, a former Honors undergrad in the lab who has served as our fantastic lab manager for the past several months, is headed to Iceland for fieldwork and then will start his Ph.D. with Tony Ives at the University of Wisconsin, as an NSF Graduate Fellow. Go Jamie!
Methods in Ecology and Evolution paper available onlineJanuary 2018
Our paper in Methods in Ecology and Evolution is now available early online. This paper details a new software that uses video analysis to track the movement of individual bees or other small organisms (3mm or larger). The paper was a collaborative effort between our lab, Blair Rossetti, Jaap de Roode, and Jun Kong.
Welcome Tori and Alva!January 2018
As the semester begins we are welcoming Tori Reynolds (Fulbright visiting graduate student from Australia) and Alva Curtsdotter (new post-doc, from Sweden) to the lab!
Berry heading to Colorado for fall fieldworkOctober 2017
Berry will be at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory next week to start setting up snowmelt acceleration experiments for next spring (see here for more). Should be a fun few days of intense manual labor, pounding rebar into the ground! I’m excited to check out RMBL at a different time of year, and always excited to be in the mountains and in the field.
Alva Curtsdotter joins the lab as a post-docOctober 2017
Alva has joined the lab to work on modeling network structure / stability relationships incorporating quantitative as well as topological structures. She’ll start out at Stanford, working with Berry while he’s on sabbatical and then will transition to Emory in January. She’s coming from a post-doc with Riccardo Bommarco’s group at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).
Grant funded—quantitative DNA metabarcoding of pollenSeptember 2017
Our work to make pollen metabarcoding quantitative has been funded for three years, starting at the end of September 2017, by the Army Research Office (ARO). Berry is the lead on this grant, with co-PIs Karen Bell and Tim Read. The ultimate goal of this work is to produce a next-generation sequencing pipeline for pollen metabarcoding that incorporates dynamic quantitative corrections. We will be seeking a bioinformatics / statistics post-doc for this work, to begin in early 2018.
Nature Ecology and Evolution review published on honey bee diseaseAugust 2017
We have just published a review in Nature Ecology and Evolution, entitled “Ecological and evolutionary approaches to managing honeybee disease”. Berry and Jaap De Roode co-led the writing of the piece, with our collaborators Keith Delaplane and Mike Boots. We hope this work will lead to new insights for managing honey bee parasites and pathogens, which are thought to be the leading cause of honey bee colony losses worldwide.
RMBL field season completedAugust 2017
Our fantastic field team of grad students Loy and Connor, along with RMBL REU student Leandra Gonzalez (Florida International University) and Emory undergrads Kelly Endres and Ellen Dymit (with Berry tagging along as well), has now wrapped up the field season. We conducted pilot experimental work on the effects of accelerated snowmelt on pollination network structure and pollination functioning, and continued work on quantitative structure in pollination networks. It was an intense, but productive and fun, field season!