Laura DiRoberts of the Rotjan Lab was selected as the inaugural winner of the Denton Award for her master's research thesis in biology titled "Nitrogen Cycling in the Temperate Northern Star Coral, Astrangia poculata: Distinguishing Autotrophic from Heterotrophic Nutrient Contributions." This award is given for excellence in scholarship and research accomplishment during a master's thesis in the Department of Biology.
Laura has a BA in Marine Biology from Salem State University and a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Saint Joseph. Prior to coming to BU, Laura interned at the Ocean Alliance in Gloucester, MA on the SnotBot project. She recently won "Best Talk" at the Astrangia Research Workshop at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Dr. Jesse Delia of the Warkentin Lab was selected as the winner of the 2019 Belamarich Award for his doctoral dissertation in Biology titled “Ecology and Evolution of Parent-Embryo Interactions in Neotropical Glassfrogs.” This award is given annually to a recent PhD candidate for their outstanding doctoral dissertation completed in the Department of Biology. While several outstanding dissertations were nominated, Jesse's dissertation stood out based on the new ideas introduced into his discipline by his work, his extensive and detailed fieldwork, his consistently high levels of scientific productivity, as well as his independent approach and success in securing funding for his work.
In Dr. Warkentin’s lab, Jesse conducted dissertation research on the social dynamics of family life in glassfrogs. He is now a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, where he is investigating the mechanisms and evolution of biological transparency in frogs. Jesse is also a past recipient of the Thomas H. Kunz award (2015 & 2016).
As in previous years, there will be a Belamarich Seminar given by the awardee, with the Belamarich Award Ceremony and Reception immediately following. The Seminar will be held on Monday, October 28th, from 4:00pm-5:00pm in BRB 113. The Award Ceremony and Reception will take place down the hall in BRB 117, from 5:00pm-6:00pm. We are honored to have the Belamarich family joining us again to celebrate this year’s award winner.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the Belamarich Seminar and the Belamarich Ceremony and Reception!
More about the Belamarich Award:
Frank A. Belamarich joined the BU Biology Department in 1963 as an assistant professor where he quickly gained international recognition for his research in the field of comparative hemostasis, the process of blood clotting. Throughout his tenure at BU he was a popular teacher of a core course in cell biology which he developed. Belamarich maintained research laboratories in Boston as well as at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole in Falmouth, MA as part of the BU Marine Program.
Sasha Vivelo, PhD student in the Bhatnagar Lab, recently published a meta-analysis in FEMS Microbiology Ecology. An evolutionary signal to fungal succession during plant litter decay is the first study to test a long-standing hypothesis that succession in fungal decomposer communities depends on the evolutionary history of species, such that the loss of individual lineages of fungi in the future could shift one of the largest fluxes of carbon through the biosphere.
MCBB PhD student Sandy Serizier of the McCall Lab won "Best Poster" at the First Annual Underrepresented Graduate Student Organization Academic Research Symposium on September 26th. Sandy is enthusiastic about basic research and is interested in cell communication during development. She is also very passionate about community outreach.
Photo from BU today: [Biology's] Tara Miller gathered data on wildlife health this summer as an intern in the Adirondacks. Portrait by Jackie Ricciardi. Photo of the Adirondack mountains by Robert Cicchetti/iStock
The BU Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health was featured in BU Today. BU URBAN is an NSF-funded research traineeship (NRT) that trains PhD students in Biogeoscience, Environmental Health, and Statistics to address urban environmental challenges.
Biology PhD students Tara Miller and Jenna Rindy are program trainees. Biology's Dr. Pamela Templer serves as the program director; other Biology faculty who participate in BU URBAN include: Dr. Jennifer Bhatnagar, Dr. Adrien Finzi, Dr. Richard Primack, and Dr. Randi Rotjan. Congratulations to all involved!
The full article can be read here.
Congratulations to Tina Barbasch, Rebecca Branconi, Jamie Harrison, and Andressa Mota for being recipients of spring and summer Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Travel Grants!
The next Travel Grant deadline is December 1st: https://www.bu.edu/gso/travelgrants/
Brian Kennedy, PhD student in the Rotjan Lab, led a paper that was recently published in Frontiers of Marine Science. The Unknown and the Unexplored: Insights Into the Pacific Deep-Sea Following NOAA CAPSTONE Expeditions is the culmination of 3 years worth of deep-sea work (187 ROV dives) across the Pacific Ocean. It is the first comprehensive description of the NOAA CAPSTONE campaign (one of the largest ocean exploration efforts the US has ever undertaken), and parses through the initial analyses for Anthozoa, Porifera, and Echinodermata across regions, deep-sea features, and depth.
Bioinformatics Ph.D. student Jessica Keenan and Biology Ph.D. student Ashley Penvose, both from Associate Professor Trevor Siggers’ group, recently published their work on the regulatory specificity of the Nuclear Receptor transcription factors in Nature Communications. Other contributing authors include Bioinformatics Ph.D. student David Bray and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology graduate Vijendra Ramlall (CAS'16).
In May, Biology Ph.D. Student Brian Kennedy was a panelist at the European Commission’s workshop on "Marine genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ): bridging policy, law, science and research and development" held in Brussels, Belgium. The main focus of the workshop was to explore and develop possible pragmatic options with regard to the issues that have emerged as part of the BBNJ negotiations. Brian gave a presentation in collaboration with his BU faculty advisor Dr. Randi Rotjan, and Dr. Peter Girguis from Harvard University. His presentation focused on the logistical constraints of deep sea exploration and novel ways to use genetic resources for conservation and ecology research.
MCBB Ph.D. student Andressa Mota of the Ho Lab recently received a BU Women's Guild Scholarship Award. Andressa studies the role of a transcription factor, FOXR1, and how a mutation on this protein leads to disease pathogenesis.