October 25, 2014

2013 Brown MBL Partnership Retreat

Mai Tran, a Brown MBL graduate student demonstrates imaging equipment at the Brown MBL Retreat in Woods Hole, MA.

Mai Tran, a Brown MBL graduate student demonstrates imaging equipment at the Brown MBL Retreat in Woods Hole, MA.

The annual Brown MBL Program Retreat took place on Friday and Saturday November 8 and 9, 2013 at MBL Speck Auditorium in Woods Hole. Over 70 participants from Brown University and MBL attended the two day event. It featured a student poster session and social on Friday evening, a mini-symposium on “Imaging Across Biology” which featured invited talks on novel science on biological imaging across scales from molecules to microbes to remote sensing and a display of microscope and imaging equipment used at MBL in the past and present. In addition, the Brown MBL Program hosted 36 undergraduates from Brown University on a tour of MBL that highlighted summer internship and semester opportunities for students to engage in research in Woods Hole. The undergraduates had a private tour of MBL facilities including the Marine Resources Center and a field trip to a salt marsh restoration and research project on South Cape Beach, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

For more information on the event a complete agenda can be seen here:  2013BrownMBLRetreatAgenda

Brown MBL Student Lindsay Brin Defends PhD Dissertatation and Receives a NSF Postdoc Fellowship in Canada

Brown-MBL student Lindsay Brin successfully defended her PhD dissertation on September 6th, 2013 at Brown University. Lindsay, a student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University, conducted her doctoral research in the labs of Brown University Assistant Professor Jeremy Rich and MBL Ecosystems Center Senior Scientist Anne Giblin.

Brin’s research focused on the relationship between environmental factors and microbially-mediated nitrate reduction processes in coastal sediments, particularly denitrification, anammox and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). The rates and relative importance of these processes affect how much nitrogen (N) is available in coastal ecosystems for primary productivity and eutrophication, and are linked to climate through global marine N cycling. Understanding the controls on these processes is essential for predicting the effects of climate change and other environmental alterations on coastal ecosystems.

Brin illustrated the role of temperature, organic matter and nitrate in determining rates of nitrate reduction in New England coastal sediments, providing some of the first seasonal data on these processes and the first measurements of anammox and DNRA in these sediments. She demonstrated that warming and changes in organic matter availability could affect positive feedbacks on primary productivity by altering fluxes of N between the sediments and the water column, and further showed that DNRA may be an important unappreciated process in temperate continental shelf sediments.

During her graduate studies, Brin’s research was supported by a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, a Stanley Watson Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Studies, and a Sounds Conservancy Grant.

In October, Lindsay will begin a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology at the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, NB, Canada, to study the effects of climate change, particularly altered snow cover, on N cycling in agricultural soils. Through a two year field study she will address the question of how does altered snow cover affect soil N cycling and microbial communities in the winter and through the following growing season.

Former Brown MBL Student, Pedro Flombaum, Publishes Article in Oecologia

Former Brown-MBL student Dr. Pedro Flombaum recently published a new journal article entitled Interactions among resource partitioning, sampling effect, and facilitation on the biodiversity effect: a modeling approach.  Pedro was a 2008 graduate student in the Brown University EEB Program and a former student of Dr. Ed Rastetter at MBL.  He now works at the Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y de la Atmósfera (CIMA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  His journal article can be found here.

Brown MBL student Cassandra Bilogan successfully defends her dissertation

Cassandra Bilogan defends her dissertation at Brown University

Cassandra Bilogan defends her dissertation at Brown University

Cassandra Bilogan successfully defended her dissertation on August 5th, 2013 at Brown University in Providence, RI.  Cassandra described her doctoral research that was completed in Dr. Marko Horb’s lab at the MBL’s Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering. Cassandra’s research focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in endoderm development and pancreatic organogenesis in Xenopus laevis. Specifically, she identified a novel role for a well-conserved RNA-binding protein during endoderm development. This research provided new insights into a previously unappreciated role of the spatial-temporal regulation of germ layer patterning during gastrulation. During her graduate studies Cassandra published two first author papers and a second author review paper.

Cassandra is also the first Ph.D. student to graduate from the Bell Center. Her research was supported by grants to Dr. Horb from the National Institutes of Health and a Canadian Institute of Health Research fellowship to Bilogan.

In October, Cassandra will start a postdoctoral fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in the lab of Dr. Takuya Sakaguchi.

For more information on Cassandra click here