Friday, October 13, 2017

Undergraduate Research Day

Our undergraduate Biology of Behavior Institute (BOBI) summer scholar, Bay Abdullah, presented her work investigating natural populations of D. discoideum through microsatellite variation. Great work Bay!! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mercer Arboretum Collection

On Friday we took a field trip to Mercer Arboretum where Mabel and Jacob took us around the property in search of slime mold soil. While we await the arrival of our slime molds, here are some photos of other interesting things we brought back with us.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Isolating Dictyostelids from Soil Samples

This week, former REU Maria Polo showed UH undergraduates how to isolate dictyostelids from soil samples. They plated out the soil on hay infusion agar plates, and the plates will be checked in ~4-5 days for slugs -- the first multicellular stage of Dictyostelium.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mountain Lake Biological Station Open House

Every summer the MLBS invites the public to come up and see what the researchers have been working on. Every lab puts on their best show and offers a hands on experience to share their interesting organisms.
Alex Novarro showing off his salamander collection

The art lab, providing custom face painting

Cloe Nash and the Ant Lab

Courtney, explaining mouse parasitism

Fish Class

Campanula americana lab

Salamanders are always a hit

Mike being sciency

Maria loves open house!

Juvenile Salamander 

Mature Salamander

Work by Marc Robarge:
Much of his work is clearly inspired by Dicty...

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Let's submit strains to the Dicty World Race!

A great idea for this semester's project?

Dicty World Race is a contest where participants enter their cells in a race to see who has the fastest strain.

The race is just four months away.  Can we come up with a strategy to find the fastest strain?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Visit to Claytor Nature Study Center

Michael and Maria visited a new field station, the Claytor Nature Study Center, in search of slime mold samples. This beautifully preserved 470 acre property spans the Big Otter river, near Bedford, VA and the Souther Appalachians. Here are some of the treasures from the day.
Trying to capture the white slime mold. I noticed something interesting in the background of this photo.

Possible Slime Mold

Part of the observation deck at the main building

Farm House

View from the Farm House

5th Largest White Ash in VA. 

Red raspberry slime mold (Tubifera ferruginosa)

Large Chestnut, likely planted by Claytor

Jelly Fungus (Tremella?)

Astronomical observatory housing a C Optical Systems 20-inch Truss Ritchey-Chr├ętien telescope

Large predatory Beetle, likely Carabus. Feeds on snails and caterpillars. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dicty fieldwork!

Michael and Maria are spending the summer at our field site at the Mountain Lake Biological Station, near Blacksburg, Virginia. They are censusing our populations around the station and will take a road trip throughout the northeast to find new ones. Maria is our NSF-funded REU, and we are excited about her planned research, which will focus on interspecific chimerism.

Hard at work...
Hardly working ;-)