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 ;-)