In bird species, the timing of nestling hatching can be synchronous, asynchronous, or semi-asynchronous (Lee and Lima, 2016). Many songbirds begin active incubation after laying their penultimate egg (second to last), which typically leads to synchronous hatching of all but the last nestling (White and Woolfenden, 1973). This hatching synchronicity results in nestlings of relatively equal size and body condition, except for the final nestling, which often has difficulty acquiring food in the presence of its larger siblings (Soley… Read more
I initiated my degree in 2019 with a branch project from an international research team studying the ecology and conservation of the migratory bird species Progne subis (Purple Martin). The main goal of my research was to find out if this species is facing contamination by environmental mercury in the Amazon Basin and if that correlates with changes to select hormones and/or body measurements. Mercury is a concerning contaminant that can impact virtually any and every system of an… Read more
I had the privilege of spending two days at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (https://www.utsouthwestern.edu/research/) in Dallas with Dr. Will Israelsen in April 2021. Dr. Israelsen studies the meadow jumping mouse, a small hibernating rodent, to understand how metabolic enzymes and pathways are regulated during hibernation. This lab exchange provided me the opportunity to discuss details of hibernation behavior and physiology; learn successful husbandry techniques and methods to similarly care for, create conditions conducive to hibernation… Read more
For the month of February I traveled from Ottawa, Canada to Las Vegas, Nevada to work under Dr. Frank van Breukelen at the University of Nevada to study tenrecs’ response to acute environmental hypoxia.
There are 34 species of tenrecs, ranging morphologically from what looks like a small field mouse to larger species which resemble otters! Dr. van Breukelen’s lab researches the common tenrec and houses the only research population in the world. Although they look like a small hedgehog… Read more
My name is Shannon Medlock, I’m a first-year graduate student from Anchorage, AK studying at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). I study the gut and milk microbial communities of arctic ground squirrels. For the Research Coordination Network (RCN) lab exchange I am collaborating with Dr. Greg Caporaso’s lab at Northern Arizona University (NAU) where I am looking at Aberts squirrels, sometimes called tassel-eared squirrels, and their gut microbial communities using samples collected by Victor Zhang. The project examines… Read more
Through the month of December, I had the privilege of working with Dr. Frank van Breukelen and his lab at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I thought that Las Vegas would just be an odd collection of casinos and flashing lights. While there were a few of those, there was also an entirely separate side of the city that I fell in love with. For instance, the entire city is surrounded by mountains and there are something like… Read more