Hot Student Papers

Cranial and postcranial anatomy of Cacops morrisi, a eucacopine dissorophid from the early Permian of Oklahoma

24 Apr 2018 - 7:19am
Line drawing of the new referred specimen of Cacops morrisi (OMNH 73206) in dorsal profile

In a new paper in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Bryan Gee (Reisz Lab) describes three new immaculate specimens of an early Permian armoured temnospondyl (~amphibian), Cacops morrisi. The new specimens provide important data on developmental changes of the skull, as well as the first description of the postcranial skeleton (shoulder, forelimb backbone, etc.) of this taxon. With the addition of the new data, C. morrisi is arguably the best-known member of its clade and provides an important foundation for understanding the evolution in early amphibians on land.

Congrats to Bryan!

Canopy cover affects habitat selection by adult dragonflies

10 Apr 2018 - 2:19pm
diagram showing adult dragonfly habitat selection

In a new paper in Hydrobiologia, Sarah French (McCauley lab) examined whether habitat choices made by adult dragonflies, and how their aquatic offspring respond determines where dragonflies are found. They observed dragonflies’ responses to open and closed canopy cover at experimental aquatic habitats. Closed canopy cover reduced the number of adult dragonflies arriving at these habitats, but not the survival of larval dragonflies. Habitat selection behaviour by adults therefore plays a major role in shaping larval distributions.

Congrats to Sarah on her first paper from her work here at UTM!

The involvement of Rhopr-CRF/DH in feeding and reproduction in the blood-gorging insect Rhodnius prolixus

3 Oct 2017 - 10:57am
CRF-like immunostaining in 5th instar R. prolixus

Graduate student Shirin Mollayeva (Lange Lab) recently published a paper entitled “The involvement of Rhopr-CRF/DH in feeding and reproduction in the blood-gorging insect Rhodnius prolixus” in General and Comparative Endocrinology. The kissing bug transmits the parasite that causes human Chagas disease through its urine while feeding on blood. We know that the hormone Rhopr-CRF/DH influences urination after eating, but it also appears to affect female reproduction -- suggesting a more complex role in the insect’s body. By injecting this hormon into kissing bugs, Shirin and colleagues showed that it actually reduces both the appetite and egg laying of kissing bugs.

Induced defences alter the strength and direction of natural selection on reproductive traits in common milkweed

30 Aug 2017 - 8:19am
Journal of Evolutionary Biology cover

Taking a bite crosses the line with sex…in plants. Former MSc student Ken Thompson and NSERC USRA student Katie Cory (Johnson Lab) recently published “Induced defences alter the strength and direction of natural selection on reproductive traits in common milkweed” in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Ken and Katie conducted their field studies here on the UTM campus, where they investigated how insect damage, and the hormonal up-regulation of a plant’s chemical defences alters natural selection on plant reproductive traits in common milkweeds.

Molecular modulators of the circadian clock: lessons from flies and mice

1 May 2017 - 7:59am
Grad students and personnel in Mary Cheng's lab

Are you curious to know more about how our behavior and physiology are tightly synchronized to daily environmental cycles? Or, why do we suffer from jet lag when traveling between different time zones? You’ll find these answers and more in the recent paper “Molecular modulators of the circadian clock: lessons from flies and mice” published by co-first authors Lucia Mendoza-Viveros, Pascale Bouchard-Cannon and Sara Hegazi (Cheng group) in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. This paper provides an extensive overview of the intricate molecular mechanisms underlying circadian timekeeping in Drosophila and murine systems.

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