Monday, October 31, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
|One of the mice we captured in 2009 with a botfly infection. Notice how big it is compared to the size of its body!|
|Illustration of bot fly lifecycle from Catts 1982. The host is on the right side, and two alternate pathways are shown for infection (direct contact with larvae or females laying eggs on host, which is less common).|
|Animal 595 with a big bot fly infection. The dark circle is the warble pore made by the developing larva. Hopefully you can see how huge this infection is at the time.|
|Same mouse, no bot fly. The pore is bloody from the larva emerging and his torso looks much more normal-shaped. But the mouse doesn't look too happy!|
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I have been a bit lax on the blog posts lately due to some fall travel and trying to get lab work done before teaching gets too crazy. Speaking of teaching, that is what inspired the subject of today’s post. I will be heavier on the education (less on the musing) today because the biology majors students in our Evolution class seem to have more misconceptions on the basics of evolution than we expected. This prompted me to try to do my part to try and teach some of the non-sciencey people who read this blog a bit about evolution, maybe enough to pass on to someone else or decipher some of the spinning that happens in the popular media.
|Modern corn/maize on the left, the primitive cultivar teocinte on the right. A bit different, right?|
Sunday, August 28, 2011
|Thanks to my brother Jake for altering this comic for me.|
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
This week is ESA (the Ecological Society of America) meeting in Austin, TX. Where 3,000 ecologists get together to talk about anything you can think of that goes under the umbrella of "ecology" (which is a lot!). I am giving a talk on my research Friday morning (the last session, where an unfortunate number of friends are giving overlapping talks). I am going to try some mobile blogging again, adding to this post throughout the day.
Me and my lab-mate Dan got in yesterday (Monday) afternoon. Pretty successful so far. Saw some mediocre talks go before my friend's very good talk, saw a couple people I've met at EEID meetings, and saw a former Madison classmate (we did a project on leaf-cutter ants for our tropical botany class) who will be defending his PhD from Princeton next week.
First session on trait-based approaches to disease ecology was pretty interesting. The best thing to come out of it was a discuss with a few of the other women working with tick-borne disease. Have a meeting with one of them who is worked on things really similar to me, immune function and how that relates to ticks and disease, since she will miss my talk on Friday. Its so nice to have the people who have the possibility of being academic rivals are actually really nice!
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Plenary speaker this morning, theme was immune function and animal behavior. Talk was a bit too general for me, which was shared by a fellow eco-immunology student. I guess thats necessary for a talk of this kind, but was hoping to get more out of it than I did. Some interesting examples of direct trade-offs between stress and response to bacterial infection in crickets, though.
High competition in females comes with the term "role reversed species". Funny to hear that in relation to animals. Of course, any female can tell you that females are very competitive, just in a different way.
Female topi deer have intense competition for males in leks. Highly preferred males "become physically exhausted" and "sperm depleted" because all the females have synchronized estrus, lasting for about a day. Quite intense!
Talk from Caroline Drea on masculinized female spotted hyenas. I did a report on this phenomenon for my physiological ecology class. Google this, its pretty crazy.
Apparent this also happens in lemurs. Lots of pictures of lemurs "junk" (the actual term used in the talk).
Presenting at the second poster session of the meeting. It was very crowded, but I ended up getting a spot on the outside row, very nice. Only about 5 people came to my poster, 4 of them were my friends or professors. Very different from the response I have gotten at the last meetings, talked for 3 hours about the same poster at EEID. Oh well, I enjoyed talking to the few people that came by.
Pretty tired now, was at the meeting for 12 hours today. One more talk tomorrow and I'm done.