Postcards from the field: Maya Wilson is on the “Pine Islands” in the Bahamas

From Birds Caribbean

Maya Wilson is a graduate student in Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech and a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program. She is researching the ecology and life history of the Bahama Swallow, an endangered species endemic to the Bahamas. Maya is one of the dedicated young scholars who were awarded the BirdsCaribbean David S. Lee Fund Grant and her work is critical to understanding the Bahama Swallow and informing conservation strategies. Here, she discusses her ...

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Postcards from the field: Gifty is collecting data on Nile tilapia from the Pra River in Ghana

By Gifty Anane-Taabeah

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

“I am currently lodging in Half-Assini, a border town between Ghana and our western neighboring country, Ivory Coast. I spent most of my day at Elubo, another border town about 45 minutes-drive from Half-Assini, in search of O. niloticus samples. Wednesdays are market days in Elubo and an opportune time to scout for wild-caught O. niloticus. This is especially important because Ghana shares the Tano River with Ivory Coast and the data generated will be useful for conserving ...

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Sydney Hope receives NSF GROW travel award

Sydney Hope, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation and a Fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP, recently received a travel award from the National Science Foundation’s GROW Program (Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide). The GROW Program expands opportunities for graduate students to engage in international research collaboration.

During Spring and Summer 2018, Sydney will travel to the town of Villiers-en-Bois in western France to work with a sponsoring scientist, Dr. Frédéric Angelier, at the Centre d’Etudes ...

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Reintroduction of Critically Endangered Frogs in Panama: first release marks important milestone

Smithsonian Scientists Release Frogs Wearing Mini Radio Transmitters Into Panamanian Wilderness

Lisa Belden, Angie Estrada, and Daniel Medina are Global Change Center affiliates in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. Their amphibian research was recently featured in the following video and online article at The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology InstituteThe article originally appeared as a blog post on the website of the Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Project.

“Ninety Limosa harlequin frogs (Atelopus limosus) bred in human care are braving the elements of ...

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PhD defense: Laura Schoenle- The role of glucocorticoid hormones in coping with chronic infection

We are excited to announce:

IGC Fellow, Laura Schoenle, will give her Ph.D. defense seminar on Friday, May 26, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. in 4069 Derring Hall.

Coping with chronic infection: The role of glucocorticoid hormones in mediating resistance and tolerance to parasites

ABSTRACT:
Parasite infections are ubiquitous, but the consequences to hosts can vary substantially. Variation in the consequences of infection can be related to individual differences in the use of two parasite defense strategies, resistance and tolerance. Resistance entails reducing ...
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Second annual IGC Graduate Research Symposium was a great success

The second annual Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Graduate Research Symposium was held on April 21, 2017 in Fralin Hall. The symposium provided a forum for students and faculty to interact and explore connections between labs across campus. The day included 9 oral presentations, a poster session, and a keynote address by former U.S. Congressman, Bob Inglis.

The symposium highlighted the latest research from the program’s graduate student fellows, whose work addresses critical global changes impacting the environment and society. This includes ...

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Tony Timpano receives the 2017 Karen P. DePauw Outstanding Presentation Award

As an Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Fellow, and a doctoral student in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Tony Timpano studies how increased salinization in freshwater streams can impact macroinvertebrate communities.

Timpano, along with other IGC fellows, presented his research findings at a recent IGC Graduate Research Symposium in Fralin Hall. This annual event highlights the latest research from the program’s graduate student fellows, who come from various disciplines, including biological sciences, entomology, fish and wildlife, biological systems engineering, horticulture, plant pathology, and ...

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Carl Wepking receives COS Roundtable Scholarship for Graduate Study

Carl Wepking, a member of the Strickland Lab, is this year’s recipient of the COS Roundtable Make-a-Difference Scholarship for Graduate Study.

The Scholarship, established by the College of Science’s Roundtable alumni advisory board, recognizes graduate students who stand to make a significant difference to the college and the world outside of the university, and comes with a $7000 award. Previous recipients include Kwang-Hyung Kim (2008, Lawrence lab), Sharmistha Mitra (2012, Capelluto lab), and Ariel Leon (2016, Hawley lab).

Congratulations on this ...

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Strickland and Wepking: Agricultural antibiotics impact soil ecosystems

From VT News

Manure from cattle administered antibiotics drastically changes the bacterial and fungal make-up of surrounding soil, leading to ecosystem dysfunction, according to a Virginia Tech research team.

The team analyzed soil samples from 11 dairy farms in the United States and found that the amount of antibiotic resistant genes was 200 times greater in soil near manure piles compared with soil that wasn’t.

Furthermore, microbes with greater antibiotic resistance showed higher stress levels. Their findings were published March 29 in ...

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David Millican, IGC Fellow, studies impact of climate change & deforestation in Namibia

From VT News

A Virginia Tech graduate student is living in one of the hottest and driest countries in the world this semester so that he can study how climate change, land management, and other human-caused phenomena impact a community of animals known as the cavity guild.

Composed of birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and invertebrates, the cavity guild, biologically speaking, is a group of animals that depend on holes and crevices in trees for their ...

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Max Ragozzino wins big at the Center for Communicating Science’s “Nutshell Games”

We are proud of IGC Fellow, Max Ragozzino, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech. Max recently participated in the Center of Communicating Science’s “Nutshell Games”, where graduate students were encouraged to describe their research “in a 90-second nutshell”.  Max nailed this challenge and tied with two other contestants for first place!

Congratulations, Max!

The Nutshell Games: Science Communication

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Laura Schoenle participates in Scientist in the Classroom

From the blog of the National Center for Science in the Classroom

By this point in the school year, I hope that you have heard of NCSE’s Scientist in the Classroom program. But if not, please check it out!

In designing the program, we wanted to be sure that scientists and teachers were able to work together to come up with a hands-on activity that fit in with what was going on in the classroom as opposed to a prescribed activity. ...

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Dr. Jill Welter discusses alternative careers in academia with IGC students

The EEB Seminar on November 3, 2016 featured Dr. Jill Welter, an ecosystem scientist from St. Catherine University in Minnesota. Dr. Welter’s work focuses on understanding how environmental change, including climate warming and eutrophication, influences species interactions and nutrient cycling in stream ecosystems. Her seminar talk was titled:

“Start seeing nitrogen fixation: the potential impact of cyanobacteria on river ecosystems in a changing world.”

During her visit, Dr. Welter led a brownbag discussion for fellows in the Interfaces of Global Change Program where they discussed alternative ...

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IGC Fellow Angie Estrada awarded a doctoral fellowship to continue amphibian research in Panama

IGC Fellow, Angie Estrada was awarded the SENACYT-IFARHU Doctoral Fellowship 2016. She will receive three years of support to continue her graduate education in the Department of Biological Sciences under Dr. Lisa Belden’s supervision.

SENACYT (National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation) is Panama’s government authority in charge of planning and implementing the national strategy of science and technology. It is the equivalent to the NSF in the United Sates. SENACYT supports outstanding Panamanian students who are pursuing undergraduate, graduate ...

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IGC students float down the New River in Bucket Boats

Postcard from the New River

On a recent Saturday in September, a group of IGC graduate students launched 3 “Bucket Boats” just above McCoy Falls on the New River. The Bucket Boats, which are an older style of raft that are not self draining (thus necessitating the use of a bucket to bail water out of the boat after a rapid), were outfitted by the Virginia Tech Whitewater Club.

The IGC crew spent the day floating downstream, through the series of slow-moving flat-water sections ...

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Tony Timpano’s work in water quality research is at the interface of science and policy

Story by Cassandra Hockman
Fralin Life Science Institute

Along the Mississippi River there is one species many people who live there know well. Mayflies. These long, dragonfly-looking creatures live on the bottom of the river and burrow in the muck and sand. They grow and develop there before they come to the surface to fly away and mate.

When they fly away, they do it en masse.

“They come out in huge swarms so big they show up on Doppler radar,” said Tony ...

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IGC Fellow, Cordie Diggins, defends her dissertation

On June 30, 2016, Interfaces of Global Change Fellow, Cordie Diggins, successfully defended her dissertation in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech.  Her seminar was titled, “Determining Habitat Associations of Virginia and Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels in the Appalachian Mountains from Bioacoustic and Telemetry Surveys”.

Dr. Diggins will start a post doctoral appointment in August with the USGS Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.  She will be studying the federally endangered spruce-fir moss spider, as well as ...

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Postcards from the field: Brandon Semel in Madagascar

POSTCARD from:
Brandon Semel, Ph.D. student in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

“I’m currently writing this at 2:30 am, Madagascar time, as I wait for the local taxi brousse (or bush taxi) to take me from the small town of Daraina to the coastal cities of Vohemar and Sambava where I can finalize my research permits. Let’s just say that things here don’t always go according to a western schedule, as my ride is already half an hour late ...

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