The last year has been incredibly busy and productive, but I got way behind on my lab news posts... below is the last year in a nutshell - in chronologically reverse order.
WELCOME TO NEW STUDENTS - Fall 2023
Welcome to Garrett Maggio (PhD student) and Mic Schulte (MS student), two new members of the lab! On August 26, they joined us right away for our seasonal field work of the Pamlico estuary for our zombie crab project. Much more field work to come! :)
SHOALS MARINE LAB - June and August 2023: Marine Invasive Species (MIS) and Marine Parasitology & Disease (MPD) classes
I once again had the opportunity to co-teach two classes out at Shoals Marine Lab this summer, which was so fun and so rewarding. The first two images come from our MIS class, co-taught by myself, Dr. Carrie Keogh, Dr. Amy Fowler, and Dr. Aaren Freeman, with my current MS student, Grace Loonam as our TA. The second two images come from our MPD class, co-taught by myself and Dr. Amy Fowler. In both classes, we had wonderful students. Looking forward to next year out on the island again... it's always been a very special place that has been a part of my academic journey for 30 years now.
ISOLBE XIII (International Symposium on Littorinid Biology and Evolution) - July 2023
I served on the Scientific Steering committee for ISOLBE XIII (https://isolbexiii.com/), which took place in Porto, Portugal in July 2023. I presented a talk and also took part in multiple discussions, brainstorming and collaborations. It was so wonderful to be around an international group of people as passionate about snails as I am (especially of the Littorinidae family!!).
My talk was entitled: "Phenotypic and genetic characterization of two prominent ecotypes in Northwest Atlantic populations of Littorina saxatilis"
Inaugural Mid-Atlantic Rapid Assessment Survey (RAS) - June 2023
I assisted with the design and running of this first ever RAS, along with Dr. Amy Fowler, Dr. Jim Carlton, and Dr. Judy Pederson, focused on documenting fouling organisms associated with marina docks. We had an excellent team of ecologists and taxonomists working across multiple animal and algal taxa. My current PhD student, Carter Stancil, assisted during the RAS as well! Please see the recent write-up on this research in an ECU news story: https://news.ecu.edu/2023/08/16/ecu-involved-in-first-ever-survey-of-marine-bioinvasions-from-the-mid-atlantic/
There were so many pictures associate with this event... just posting a few below - the first photo is of all the participants!
Participants of the 2023 inaugural Mid-Atlantic Marine Bioinvasions RAS. Front row, from left to right: El Hartshorn, Samantha Parsons, Rob Aguilar, Judy Pederson, Megan McCuller, Jim Carlton, April Blakeslee, Amy Fowler, Sarah Greenberg, Sara Labbe. Back row, left to right: Danielle Moloney, Drew Davinack, Clara Benadon, Niels Hobbs, Kristen Larson, Carter Stancil, Miranda Andersen, Carol Thornber.
Haley Hagemeier successfully defends her MS thesis - June 2023!
Congratulations to Haley Hagemeier, who defended her MS thesis on June 2, 2023. She gave a truly excellent presentation and pulled together a very nice thesis that we are actively working on her publication. Haley is now a PhD student at George Washington University. Congrats, Haley!!
My lab attended the International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions (ICMB XI) in May 2023
All the graduate students in my lab, and myself, attended ICMB XI (https://marinebioinvasions.info/), which took place in Baltimore, Maryland in May 2023. This included two former students, Haley Hagemeier (MS) and Tim Lee (PhD), and current students, Chloe Gabriel (MS student), Carter Stancil (PhD student), and Grace Loonam (MS student). The conference was fun and productive - so many great conversations after a 5 year hiatus due to COVID. My students all did well, and Tim Lee even won a best presentation award!!
Dr. Tim Lee and Haley Hagemeier graduate from ECU!
Congratulations to two of my (now former) graduate students, Tim Lee and Haley Hagemeier, who attended ECU graduation for their PhD and MS, respectively. It was a wonderful day, and I was so proud of them!! Congratulations, Tim and Haley!! :-D
Tim just started a new postdoc at UNC-Greensboro, and Haley just started a PhD at George Washington University.
Congratulations to my former PhD student, Dr. Chris Moore, for winning the ECU Doctoral Dissertation Award!
I was super proud that my former PhD student, Chris Moore, received the ECU dissertation award for his dissertation at ECU entitled: "Trophically transmitted parasites as cross-taxon surrogates." Chris was unable to attend, so I picked up the award on his behalf. What a fantastic honor!!
CONGRATULATIONS TO DR. TIM LEE FOR SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDING HIS PHD DISSERTATION - April 2023
I was very proud that my former PhD stundent, Tim Lee, successfully defended his dissertation on April 6, 2023. His dissertation is entitled: "Diversity and survival of macrofauna associated with a non-native foundational species." Tim gave an excellent presentation and he is working on publishing his chapters. Tim is now doing a postdoc at University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Graduate and undergraduate students in my lab present at ECU's annual Research and Creativity Achievement Week (RCAW) - April 2023
Several members of my lab presented posters or oral presentations at the 2023 RCAW event. This included: Grace Loonam (MS student), Chloe Gabriel (MS student), Haley Hagemeier (MS student), Carter Stancil (PhD student), Chloe Manning-Moore (undergraduate student), Carrie Adams (undergraduate student), Amanda Riggs (undergraduate student), and Trip Brooks (undergraduate student).
I did a thing!! Nerd Nite - March 2023.
I presented at Nerd Nite on March 31, 2023 during our graduate student recruitment event. It was really fun and a great venue to present on how cool parasites are. SO COOL!
CARTER STANCIL RECEIVES A GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP (GRF) FROM THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION - March 2023!!
In absolutely spectacular news, Carter Stancil, received a GRF from NSF. This provides her with 3 years of funding towards her PhD. It is truly a great honor that Carter received this very competitive fellowship. So proud to be assisting her on her dissertation journey!
Click here for an ECU news story about Carter's accomplishment!
ICES Working Group on the Introduction and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO) Annual Meeting in Athens, Greece - March 2023
I attended the annual meeting of ITMO in Athens, Greece this year, and it was a truly spectacular meeting. I delivered the US National Report and also presented a talk on climate related species range expansions on the Atlantic Coast. A recent ECU news story discussed my work with this group - please see here: https://news.ecu.edu/2023/05/22/aquatic-environmental-changes/
The images below show our working group as well as the women involved for National Women's Day!
Chris Moore publishes a chapter from his dissertation in Ecological Applications - February 2023
Chris successfully published one of his dissertation chapters in the prestigious journal, Ecological Applications. The paper is entitled, "Parasites indicate trophic complexity and faunal succession in restored oyster reefs over a 22-year period", and can be found here: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eap.2825
Here is a Tweet from the journal about the publication: https://twitter.com/ESAApplications/status/1630948003401068544
Keynote speaker for the International symposium of ecology and evolution of marine parasites and diseases in La Rochelle, France - November 2022
I was invited to be one of the keynote speakers at this parasites focused symposium which took place in France in November 2022. I felt incredibly honored to have been selected as one of the invited speakers. The website for the meeting can be found here: https://marineparasites.sciencesconf.org/.
I also took the opportunity to do some opportunistic sampling and to meet researchers while in France... also a bit of sight-seeing along the way. :)
Outreach event: community science festival - November 2022
On November 5, our lab participated in a community science festival organized by ECU in which the public was invited to learn about science and community outreach. We talked about our lab's work in several conservation related areas, including biodiversity and invasive species. And visitors got to meet "zombie crabs"!
Shoals Marine Lab Courses in Summer 2022: Marine Parasitology & Disease, and Marine Invasive Species
We had an amazing time teaching these courses in 2022, and it was the first time for our newly designed MIS class. See pictures below... Shoals is always amazing, and our students were fantastic.