2017 Archive

December 2017

  • 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!
Yang departure
  • 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!
Alabama visit
  • 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!
Sushil and Alan
  • 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!
shrimp meeting

November 2017

October 2017

  • 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!
Edna award at AWWA
  • My family got a chance to return to Arlington, VA, to see our old friends.  It was an awesome reunion.
pho deluxe
  • 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.
dyna trait
  • 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)

September 2017

  • 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. 
Edna at YHC
  • 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.
bettina welz
  • 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. 
nathan hartline
  • Bettina and I were able to sample some catfish ponds in west Alabama before starting a whole pond experiment.  Lots of algae! 
Bettina sampling west Alabama
  • 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!

August 2017

Carrie Solomon Auburn
Carrie Solomon Auburn
  • 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!

July 2017

  • Mario Barros, a PhD student from the Universidade Federal do CearĂ¡ 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.
Mario with Edna and Alan

June 2017

  • 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.
Yellowstone 2017
Yellowstone 2017
  • 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.
ELISA workshop
  • 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.  
COSAM Bridge

May 2017

  • 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.
Lee County Water Festival
  • 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.”   
Terence Tao
  • 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.
Christian Moldaenke

April 2017

  • 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. 
Doug and Alan - Puerto Rico
Edna and Alan
El Yunque

March 2017

  • 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.
ASLO 2017
  • 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.  
Edna and Alan at Tutwiler
  • 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.
Wonders of Water program
  • Edna gave a great talk about our Daphnia consumer offense research at the Association of Southeastern Biologists in Montgomery, AL. 

February 2017

  • 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.    

January 2017

  • 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.
Monterey, CA, ACT workshop
jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium