Kayleigh Chalkowski is a PhD student at Auburn University and 2020-2021 U.S. Student Fulbright selectee for Madagascar. For her dissertation research, she seeks to understand how interactions between landscape and transient movements of hosts (such as free-roaming dogs) contribute to parasite spread through communities of endemic mammals in small forest reserves in Andasibe, Madagascar. She is also passionate about scientific illustration and she uses ink painting and linocut printing to portray the beauty of endemic island species, biodiversity, and ecological interactions (her work can be seen on Instagram @ecologyillustrated or Twitter @ecoillustrated). In her spare time, she enjoys learning Malagasy, wood-working, and bad reality tv.
Moira Hough recently finished her PhD in the University of Arizona’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology studying how arctic and alpine ecosystems respond to climate change. Her dissertation investigated the impacts of changing plant communities post permafrost thaw on microbial activity and carbon cycling in arctic peatlands.
Alonna Wright is originally from Morgantown, Kentucky and received her Bachelors of Science in Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology with minors in Psychology, Biological Sciences, and Microbiology from the University of Kentucky in 2017. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at University of California - Davis in the Microbiology Graduate Group with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology, and a member of Dr. Jonathan Eisen’s research group. In Dr. Eisen’s lab, she studies the ecological and evolutionary relationship between bacteriophage and antimicrobial resistance in agricultural microbiomes using metagenomic analyses. She aims to understand the ecological relationship between bacteria and their bacteriophage companions to utilize for future biotechnology applications of combating antimicrobial resistance.
We will use section funds to support the Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) Program and sponsor trainees interested in the microbial world.
For more information (and link to donate), visit ESA SEEDS.
With the COVID-19 disruptions disproportionately affecting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color students, a grassroots virtual summer research program in the microbial sciences was organized and launched. Led by Microbiologists Drs. Michael Johnson (University of Arizona), Dave Baltrus (University of Arizona), and Jennifer Gardy (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), the National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP) was launched mid-June 2020. The NSURP leadership advertised the program through Twitter, and mentors and mentees signed up to participate in this 8-week Virtual Summer Research Program. In less than one week, over 200 mentees and 100 mentors signed up to participate and the program continued to grow and match a second wave of participants.
If you are interested in learning more about this program, please visit nsurp.org. With the immense success of this program, we hope to amplify opportunities between potential ME section mentors (faculty and grad students alike) and potential mentees to participate in NSURP next year! In support of this action, ME section member (and former Chair) Ariane Peralta will organize a platform for Microbial Ecology Section members to virtually gather, share experiences, and talk through best practices to support virtual research experiences.
Created with images by Brittani Burns - "I love Asheville" • lukasbieri - "laptop macbook home office" • Chris J. Davis - "untitled image" • Merakist - "Social Media in Colorful Alphabets" • Brett Jordan - "iphone, ios, home screen, close up, pixels, retina, smartphone, icon, twitter, "