Lisa Belden’s research on Bd reveals new information about amphibian disease resistance

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 26, 2015 – A team of scientists including Virginia Tech researchers is one step closer to understanding how bacteria on a frog’s skin affects its likelihood of contracting disease.

A frog-killing fungus known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd, has already led to the decline of more than 200 amphibian species including the now extinct-in-the-wild Panamanian golden frog.

In a recent study, the research team attempted to apply beneficial bacteria found on the skin of ...

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Facing my fears, headlamp-on in Panama

By Lindsay Key, Fralin Life Science Institute Communications Officer

This is Lindsay Key’s second blog report from Panama. She is traveling over spring break with Angie Estrada and Daniel Medina, who are conducting field research near Gamboa.

One thing is for sure: field research is messy. Not just in the sense that nature is full of mud and water and bugs, but in terms of logistics. You have to learn to expect the unexpected.

On Wednesday, we leave Gamboa bright and ...

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Postcards from the field: traveling with VT graduate student researchers in Soberania National Park

We’re going on a frog hunt!

by Lindsay Key, Fralin Life Science Institute Communications Officer

Hello from the extremely bumpy backseat of a white pick-up truck that is barreling down a washed-out pothole-ridden trail known as Pipeline Road (left, below) in Gamboa, Panama. This is a famous road— known for its wildlife viewing capabilities and accessed by thousands of scientists around the world who come to study and work at the nearby Smithsonian facility in the tiny research town of Gamboa.

It ...

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Laura Schoenle wins poster award at the SICB meeting

Laura Schoenle, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Ignacio Moore‘s lab, recently presented a poster at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in West Palm Beach, FL.

Laura won the Best Student Poster Award in the Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology division for the poster, “The relationship between corticosterone and haemosporidian parasites: are stress hormones key to tolerating infection?” See the abstract below.

Congratulations, Laura!

ABSTRACT

The relationship between corticosterone and ...

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Cordie Diggins’ research featured in Nature Conservancy Magazine

In West Virginia, conservationists have set out to revive heavily logged red spruce forests in hopes of saving an endangered flying squirrel from extinction. Cordie Diggins, a Virginia Tech doctoral student and an IGC Fellow, is featured in the following Nature Conservancy Magazine article.

Flying High

“Craig Stihler holds the squirming rodent in his gloved hands. “It’s a biter,” warns the bespectacled biologist as he handles the animal using only calm, deliberate movements. ...

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Lisa Belden receives the Innovator Award

From VT News

Lisa Belden, an associate professor of biological sciences and a faculty member in the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP, was recently recognized for her commitment to advancing the university’s research initiatives in engineering and the life sciences.

The Innovator Award, a new initiative jointly sponsored by the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Sciences and the Fralin Life Science Institute, recognizes outstanding faculty members and includes a $25,000 stipend to be used to advance innovative research projects.

Dr. Belden studies ...

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Amy Pruden receives the 2014 Busch Award

Amy Pruden, professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate dean and director of interdisciplinary graduate education in the Graduate School at Virginia Tech, is the 2014 recipient of the Paul L. Busch Award which includes a $100,000 research grant.

A well-recognized researcher in her field, Pruden is instrumental in developing a new way of thinking about controlling aquatic pathogens and expanding the use of recycled ...

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Rhododendrons, nitrogen cycling, and global change

From VT News:

Global change research in Jeb Barrett’s lab is featured this week in VT News :

“How important is the soil beneath our feet to what grows above it? 

The short answer is very, according to Virginia Tech’s Mahtaab Bagherzadeh of Annandale, Virginia, a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science and a 2014 Fralin Life Science InstituteSummer Undergraduate Research Fellow.

Bagherzadeh recently participated in a ...

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Tamara Fetters receives NSF Research Fellowship

From VT News:

tamarafetters_resizeTamara Fetters of Warrenton, Virginia, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Tamara is a doctoral student in biological sciences in the College of Science. She works with Joel McGlothlin, assistant professor of biological sciences, on the project  “Thermal trait variation in an invasive lizard: adaptation or plasticity?” ...

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Leandro Castello studies the impacts of extreme weather events on Amazonian floodplains

Dr. Leandro Castello and his colleagues at Woods Hole Research Center and University of California Santa Barbara recently received a grant from NASA to study the impacts of extreme weather events (floods and droughts) on aquatic plants, forests, and fisheries of the central Amazonian river floodplain. This study was recently featured in VT News. A Public Radio interview on WVTF also highlighted this project.

Read the full VT News ...

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