Cymone Reed Publishes Biology Letters Paper

A big congratulations to Cymone Reed (CAS ’18),  the lead author along with Ph.D. student Rebecca Branconi, Postdoctoral Fellow John Majoris, Research Associate Cara Johnson, and Associate Professor Pete Buston, who published the paper “Competitive growth in a social fish” in the Royal Society’s Biology Letters. The paper demonstrates that clownfish are able to increase their growth rate in response to social competition.

Davies lab members attend SICB Conference in FL

Dr. Sarah Davies and lab members attended the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Conference in Tampa, Florida in early January. Students received financial support to attend the conference from the Biology Department Travel Awards and UROP. They had seven podium presentations and one poster presentation. In addition, Dr. Davies and her postdoc each chaired a session on symbioses and coral reefs.

Diane Lebo Elected President of BU Graduate Student Organization (GSO)

Diane Lebo, PhD candidate in the McCall Lab, has been elected as the 2019 Graduate Student Organization (GSO) President. Diane has been the Biology GSO Representative since September 2017 and has been the GSO Treasurer since December 2017. Recent successful events that Diane helped run with the Executive Board members include several coffee hours for underrepresented graduate student groups as well as a large coffee hour for the entire graduate student population.

The Graduate Student Organization strives to ensure Boston University continues to be a safe and enriching environment for carrying out graduate education. Find out how you can get involved with GSO as a graduate student at Boston University:


Katey Lesneski Receives Best Poster Award at Student Conference on Conservation Science – New York

By Christina HoneycuttNovember 28th, 2018in Grad Student News, News

Katey Lesneski, Ph.D. candidate co-advised by Dr. John Finnerty and Dr. Les Kaufman, was recently awarded the Best Poster Award for “Best Use of Quantitative Methods in Conservation Research” at the 2018 Student Conference on Conservation Science in NYC. Her poster titled “Identifying resilient individuals of an endangered coral for reef restoration” focused on the physiological outcomes of a multi-year experiment she has been conducting at Turneffe Atoll, Belize. 

Nahomie Rodriguez-Sastre Receives Outstanding Poster Award at Developmental Biology of the Sea Urchin (DBSU)

Nahomie Rodriguez-Sastre, Ph.D. student in the Bradham Lab, recently received the “Outstanding Poster Award” at the Developmental Biology of the Sea Urchin (DBSU) in Woods Hole, MA for her poster titled: “Ethanol treatment perturbs skeletal patterning during sea urchin development.”

Nahomie’s research uses the sea urchin to identify the pathway that EtOH is affecting that gives rise to physical defects and some neurological problems that might be similar to fetal alcohol syndrome.

Leah Williams Gives Invited Talk at Cnidofest

Ph.D. candidate Leah Williams from Dr. Tom Gilmore’s lab gave an invited talk at Cnidofest: The Cnidarian Model Systems Meeting, held at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine, Florida from September 6-9, 2018. The title of her talk was “Cnidarian Toll-like Receptor Signaling.” Leah’s research explores the evolutionary origins and molecular mechanisms of immunity in basal marine organisms such as coral and sponges. Her research has been supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the National Science Foundation.

Shawna Henry Receives Best Poster Award at Gordon Research Conference

Shawna Henry, Ph.D. candidate in the Ho Lab, recently received the “Best Poster Award” at the Gordon Research Conference: Neurobiology of Brain Disorders in Barcelona, Spain for her poster titled: “Conformational Switch of Mint1 Controls APP Binding and Processing.”

Shawna’s research examined how perturbing the interaction between Mint1, a neuronal adaptor protein, and amyloid precursor protein (APP) can decrease Aβ production associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Jamie Harrison Awarded Best Student Presentation at Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting

Jamie Harrison, Ph.D. student in the Templer lab, was recently awarded the “Best Student Presentation” by the Biogeoscience group for her talk at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

In her talk, “Effects of climate change across seasons on foliar nitrogen and in situ net mineralization rates in a northern hardwood forest,” she presented results from an experiment in New Hampshire examining the interactive effects of warmer soils in the growing season and colder soils in winter. More information about the CCASE experiment can be found here.

Kate Mansfield Gives Talk at Symbiosis Society Meeting

PhD student Kate Mansfield gave an invited talk at the 9th International Symbiosis Society Congress held in Corvallis, Oregon from July 15-20, 2018. The title of her talk was “Immunity Transcription Factor NF-kB is Modulated by Symbiotic Status in Aiptasia.” Kate is a PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Tom Gilmore, where she carries out research that has implications for the evolutionary origins of the immune system and the molecular mechanisms underlying symbiosis and bleaching in marine organisms such as sea anemones and corals. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and Warren-McLeod Fellowships in Marine Biology.

Katey Lesneski Named as a 2018 Switzer Fellow


Katey Lesneski, Ph.D. candidate co-advised by Dr. John Finnerty and Dr. Les Kaufman, was recently named as a 2018 Switzer Fellow. This prestigious fellowship identifies and supports emerging environmental leaders at universities across the nation. The award recognizes Katey’s demonstrated commitment to coral reef conservation in the Caribbean over the course of her Ph.D. training with Professors Finnerty and Kaufman. Read more about Katey and her research here:

Congrats, Katey!