Hot Student Papers

Habitat patch shape, not corridors, determines herbivory and fruit production of an annual plant

8 May 2012 - 1:47pm

Nash TurleyThis week we recognize the work of PhD student Nash Turley from the Johnson Lab.

In this paper, which is currently in press at Ecology, Nash and his collaborators examine how habitat fragmentation affects the movement and abundance of insect herbivores, and how this in turn affects insect damage on plants. They find that patch shape and not the connectedness of patches, has the largest effect on insect damage and plant fitness. This provides insight into how conservation corridors can influence species interactions.

Nash will be around for a few more years so we look forward to seeing future developments. Great job, Nash!

Signalling and sex in the social amoebozoans

30 Apr 2012 - 1:50pm

This week we recognize the achievement of former BIO 481 student Alex Keszei from the O’Day Lab.

Alex’s paper was recently published in Biological Reviews. The multicellular development of macrocysts of Dictyostelium is an exciting tale of sexual pheromones, fertilization, cellular imprisonment and cannibalistic phagocytosis. O’Day and Keszei review the complete literature on this alternative lifestyle with a view to setting the stage for future research. Alex is now a graduate student in Molecular Genetics downtown.

Great work and best of luck, Alex!

Read this paper

Development and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers for Conopholis americana (Orobanchaceae)

23 Apr 2012 - 1:52pm

Anuar RodriguesThis week we recognize the work of Ph.D. student Anuar Rodrigues from the Stefanović Lab.

Anuar’s paper recently appeared in American Journal of Botany. This paper develops new molecular resources for studying population genetic diversity in an obligate root parasite. Their initial screen shows that C. americana populations appear to be highly inbred. These markers will now be used to initiate a larger scale study of the population genetics and phylogeography of Conophilis.

Keep up the great work, Anuar!

Read this paper

Regulation of MAPK/ERK signaling and photic entrainment of the suprachiasmatic nucleus circadian clock by Raf kinase inhibitor protein

12 Apr 2012 - 2:26pm

This week we recognize the work of PhD student Pascale Bouchard-Cannon from the Cheng Lab.

Her paper was just published in The Journal of Neuroscience. In this paper Pascale and her collaborators identified the RKIP gene as a key regulator of light-induced MAPK signaling and entrainment of the suprachiasmatic nucleus circadian clock. This represents Pascale’s first paper as a PhD student at UTM, and an exciting one at that!

Congratulations, Pascale!

Read this paper

The utility of body size indices derived from optical plankton counter data for the characterization of marine zooplankton assemblages

26 Mar 2012 - 2:27pm

This week we celebrate the MSc research of Karla Krupica, who recently completed an MSc with Gary Sprules. This also represents an impressive hat-trick for the Sprules lab, who have had the last three Hot Student Papers!

Karla’s paper appeared in a recent edition of Continental Shelf Research.

In this paper, Karla and colleagues show how simple statistical indices derived from digital size data on marine zooplankton, collected with an automated Optical Plankton Counter, can be used to characterize temporal and spatial patterns in the structure of zooplankton communities on the Scotian Shelf off Nova Scotia. Karla is now a Biologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in Lindsay.

Great job, Karla!