With the semester concluded, the lab is busy writing up manuscripts (5 in total) with the goal of summers end. Students have worked hard on their data and now its time to get their projects out. If that is not enough work for my "summer break" we have been invited to submit a full proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for our research on the role of steroids in mediating aggression during food insecurity. As part of this proposal, we plan to develop some great teaching labs to enable us to integrate our research with undergraduate teaching at Rollins. We are also looking forward to submitting abstracts for upcoming meetings in New Orleans and Okinawa, Japan. A busy summer makes for a happy, fulfilled summer, just not for much of a break.
To start the new year, I taught a week-long intensive intersession class on Animal Conservation. The 16 students in the class visited a variety of habitats in Central Florida from the Mangrove Swamps of Merritt Island to the Florida Sandhill Forests of the Wekiwa Springs State Park. Students gained hands on exposure to wildlife survey and conservation techniques and learned about how different governmental and private agencies practice animal conservation. Rollins photographer Scott Cook joined us for bird banding at Tosohatchee, and our ongoing turtle and fish survey at the Mead Gardens, and took awesome photos of the students at work. We might have even uncovered a new county record at the Mead Gardens for an invasive cichlid species, the Black Acara. This would be by far the most northerly record for this South American species, according to the FWC and UF Ichthyology department websites.
The lab has been busy writing and submitting and resubmitting manuscripts for publication, based on work here. Here are the highlights.
A collaborative project headed by Dr. Nora Prior from University of Saint Etienne- Jean Monnet, in France, and including collaborators from the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Prostate Centre, and Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Comparative Physiology A. The paper is titled "Sex steroid profiles and pair-maintenance behavior of captive wild-caught zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)". Might make for a good discussion in my Sex on the Brain class.
Congrats to Sarah Wright, a Rollins alum for landing the internship position with the reproductive endocrinology laboratory in Disney's Animal Kingdom. The lab is actually an exhibit at Disney, so she will be running assays behind the glass with public watching. Glad to see all those labs in the glass-strewn Bush building prepared her for the real world.
BTW, we also received positive reviews from General and Comparative Endocrinology for the cardinal paper that was submitted with the lead author being our own Sarah. Believe it or not, we had so much data they suggested splitting the paper in 2 or even 3 for resubmission. Not bad, better than the opposite problem.
We also have other manuscripts in the pipeline, with Zoe Mack (at UF Vet School) and Ben Radin (at Temple U Pharm School), so we are keeping busy and stay tuned for updates.
Read about Rachael's work with captive brown anoles on the Rollins 360 webpage. They are highlighting the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship here at Rollins.