- Ryan’s meta-analysis class project focused on the value of bird carotenoids for evaluating individual animal quality has been published. Good job, Ryan! Weaver, R. J., E. S. A. Santos, A. M. Tucker, A. E. Wilson, and G. E. Hill. 2018. Carotenoid metabolism strengthens the link between feather coloration and quality. Nature Communications 9:73.(Website)
- Yang has departed the lab. It has been a great year. We will see you again in Nanjing this August at the SIL meeting!
- I had to drive through Alabama’s earliest blizzard to give a seminar at the University of Alabama. The rivalry between our schools knows no boundaries. Trip was excellent, thanks to Jen Howeth. Roll Tide!
- My teaching and research efforts were recently honored by the College of Agriculture. I truly appreciate both awards but of the two, I am most excited about the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Instruction that would not be possible without the hard work of my many fantastic students. My buddy, Sushil Adhikari, received the College of Agriculture High Impact paper award. Good job, Sushil!
- I was fortunate to spend two days in west Alabama (beautiful Demopolis and Greensboro) to talk with catfish and shrimp farmers about their production struggles. Excellent meetings and even better food!
- I recently learned that all of my service for ASLO has paid off. I am officially an ASLO Fellow!
- This year’s 9th US Symposium on Harmful Algae was a huge success. Not only did Edna receive the best student poster (you rock, Edna!), our (Alison Robertson, Dave Hambright, and Matt Waters) proposal to host the next Symposium in November 2019 at Orange Beach, Alabama, was selected. We have lots of work to do between now and then.
- Mallary Clay’s REU project has finally made its way to Behaviour. This is our 21st publication from our REU Site in warm-water aquatic ecology.
- Two sessions on harmful algal blooms that I proposed with excellent scientists from around the world for the 2018 Summer ASLO meeting in Victoria, British Columbia have been accepted. One session is more general and will focus on marine and freshwater HABs (Bryan Brooks (lead), SS71) while the other session is more focused on cyanobacteria (Ted Harris (lead), SS07). Please joins us.
- Edna was awarded 2nd place for her poster about our drinking water project in the College of Agriculture Graduate Student Poster Showcase. Good job, Edna. We will need to invest in a new shelf to hold all of your awards.
- I had the opportunity to return to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management Annual Surface Water meeting in Montgomery for the third year in a row. This year, I was able to share exciting results from our state-wide drinking water reservoir survey.
- Edna was just formally honored by the AL/MS AWWA for her research. Congrats, Edna!
- My family got a chance to return to Arlington, VA, to see our old friends. It was an awesome reunion.
- My trip to Hanover, Germany, to participate in the DynaTrait conference was incredible. A whole week of eco-evo talks focused on freshwater plankton. How can things get better? Oh yeah, I got to see some of my European buddies.
- Romi’s meta-analysis project has been accepted for publication. This is the fastest turnaround time for any paper from my meta-analysis class. Good job, Romi! Novriadi, R. 2017. A meta-analysis approach toward fish meal replacment with fermented soybean meal: effects on growth performance and feed conversion ratio. Asian Fisheries Science Journal 30(4):227-244. (PDF)
- Edna and I were invited to my alma mater, Young Harris College, to do some recruiting for our graduate program and our new REU Site. Their campus is beautiful.
- Bettina has left the building to return to Germany to start her graduate research. Bettina, you are already missed. Thanks for joining us. You are awesome.
- Nathan Hartline, a past AU student, asked me to help do some limnological sampling of DeKalb county fishing lake to figure out why the fish community is doing so well. I blame good fisheries management.
- Bettina and I were able to sample some catfish ponds in west Alabama before starting a whole pond experiment. Lots of algae!
- Things continue to get busier. We just learned that our USDA-NIFA proposal to use super Daphnia to control toxic and off-flavor producing cyanobacteria in aquaculture ponds has been funded. We finally get to run a huge, funded whole pond field experiment! Thank you, USDA!
- The lab is growing! Welcome to Riley (new PhD student), Trevor (undergrad researcher), Bettina (DAAD Rise scholar), and Madeline (undergrad researcher). Work hard!
- Our friend from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., Dr. Carrie Solomon, visited the lab as part of our NSF INCLUDES workshop to create effective research training programs for students with disabiltites. Check out the NPR story about Carrie’s work with deaf undergraduate researchers.
- Thanks to our friend, Jaquice Boyd, from Birmingham Water Works, and the AL/MS AWWA, the lab had a fun-filled night watching the Montgomery Biscuits. Go Biscuits!
- Mario Barros, a PhD student from the Universidade Federal do Ceará in Fortaleza, Brazil, just joined the lab for a year. Edna, Mario, and I had a chance to get in our green ponds, and Mario is still around. That is a good sign.
- My family just returned from an awesome week at Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. We saw lots of critters, including brown and black bear, pronghorns, elk, many birds, and uinta squirrels. We will be back. Plan your trip today.
- Edna just received a $3,000 student scholarship from the Alabama/Mississippi Section of the American Water Works Assocation. She will be heading to Pt. Clear later this year to talk about her drinking water research. Congrats, Edna!
- Enrique Doster, a past undergrad researcher in the lab and current DVM/PhD student at Colorado State, was awarded an incredible NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship. You are still awesome, Enrique. Keep working hard!
- As part of our AgR SEED project to study algal toxins in Alabama drinking water systems, we are organizing a workshop to train utility professional and state agency scientists about harmful phytoplankton and their toxins. We even got some folks excited about learning how to measure algal toxins with ELISA.
- Edna and I were invited to talk with incoming freshman participating in the College of Sciences and Math’s STEM Bridge program about undergraduate research. I think we might have convinced them to get involved with research this fall.
- I am thrilled to report that our Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) proposal to extend our REU Site in warm-water aquatic ecology has been funded. The program will occur during the summers of 2018-2020.
- I have recently joined the editorial board for the journal, Harmful Algae, and look forward to seeing many exciting and interesting HABs manuscripts.
- Kai’s persistence has paid off. After several revisions, his interesting paper showing that elevated temperature can impact maternal effects associated with Daphnia tolerance to toxic cyanobacteria has been accepted for publication! Lyu, K., L. Zhang, L. Gu, X. Zhu, A. E. Wilson, and Z. Yang. 2017. Cladoceran offspring tolerance to toxic Microcystis is promoted by maternal warming. Environmental Pollution 227:451-459. (PDF)
- Jess recently received 3rd place for undergraduate oral presentations in the science and technology section of the Auburn University This is Research Symposium. Good job, Jess!
- I recently participated in the Lee County Water Festival where I was able to teach hundreds of 4th graders about (edible) aquifers. This was a great, important event to educate our future leaders about protecting and managing our precious freshwater resources.
- I love this National Geographic story about geniuses. This statement from Terence Tao is so true. What really matters is “hard work, directed by intuition, literature, and a bit of luck.”
- Christian Moldaenke, from bbe Moldaenke, visited the lab to use some of his company’s new tools to study our green ponds. It was a very productive and fun visit and gave the lab a chance to get together for a needed cookout.
- I was able to spend several days in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and got to see beautiful beaches, rainforests, and cities as well as some old friends.
- Edna just got the fantastic news that she is being awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! I am so proud of her. Time to get to work with those pesky Daphnia.
- Auburn just released a nice news release about the 14 new GRFP fellows at the university. This is a record! War Eagle!
- More good news! My past PhD student, Michael Chislock, has just accepted a faculty position at SUNY-Brockport to become their new limnologist. Congrats, Michael!
- Laurel’s REU project was recently accepted at the Journal of Coastal Research. This is our REU Site’s 20th REU student publication. Good work, Laurel and Chris. Low, L. and C. J. Anderson. In press. The threat of a nonnative, invasive apple snail to oligohaline marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Coastal Research.
- Jessica’s meta-analysis project was accepted for publication in Contemporary Economic Policy. This is our 17th class publication and first in economics. Very cool, Jessica! Merkle, J. and M. Phillips. In press. The wage impact of teachers unions: a meta-analysis. Contemporary Economic Policy. (PDF)
- As expected, ASLO in Honolulu was a great time. I was able to participate in a leadership workshop with John Downing and Debbie Bronk, co-organize a 2.5 day-long session on HABs, see many old friends, and hangout on the beautiful beaches.
- Edna and I were able to visit Tutwiler to give an outreach talk about eutrophication. This was our first visit to a women’s prison in Alabama. It was one of the best outreach events to date. Incredibly smart and engaged students.
- Tammy DeVries organized an incredible Wonders of Water program for two local Girl Scout troops. I talked about drinking water treatment as well as what microscopic creatures live in lakes that we don’t want in our drinking water. The Girl Scouts enjoyed looking at phytoplankton, zooplankton, and macroinvertebrates under the scopes. Definitely future aquatic ecologists.
- Edna gave a great talk about our Daphnia consumer offense research at the Association of Southeastern Biologists in Montgomery, AL.
- We just learned that Bettina Welz from the Universitat Heidelberg (Germany) will be joining the lab this summer through a DAAD Rise scholarship. We look forward to seeing you in Auburn, Bettina. Alan
- I recently led a HABs webinar for nearly 100 water utility professionals in KY-TN through the Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association. I discussed some of our findings from our USGS project focused on forecasting blooms in the southeastern US. Participants had some challenging questions for me related to monitoring HABs as well as the effects of wastewater on eutrophication dynamics.
- I had an opportunity to serve on the technical advisory committee for the Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) who will thoroughly evaluate fluorescence-based tools for studying harmful algal blooms in marine and freshwater systems. A week in Monterey, CA, is good for the soul. Plus, I was able to meet with HABs scientists from around the world and watch the jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.