Speaker lineup confirmed for ‘Session 3: Transforming your research for policy engagement’ at the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium!

The speaker lineup is set for the third day of the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium, which is focused on “Transforming your research for policy engagement”. This session will feature three talks featuring researchers who have experience bringing research to the public and to legislative bodies. So often, the positive outcomes of research are limited because it can be difficult to get the word out to people who can put our results into practice. Our hope is that attendees for this session learn from different perspectives how to write their research to inform the general public, professionals in healthcare, or policy makers.

The program for the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium, “Developing transformative Research Skills”, is beginning to take shape as we continue to confirm speakers for the 5 sessions, the full program for which can be found here.


Session 3: “Transforming your research for policy engagement”

Wednesday, July 20th, 12:30 ~ 16:00 EST. Register for this session, it’s free and will be held over Zoom.

Section leaders:

Mallory Choudoir, Ph.D. Soil microbial ecologist. Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University September 2022. 

Mustafa Saifuddin, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Sustainable Food and Farming Program at Earthjustice

Mustafa Saifuddin, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Sustainable Food and Farming Program at Earthjustice

Amali Stephens, PhD Student, Interdepartmental Microbiology, Iowa State University

Scope: Microbiomes drive processes in all environments and are intimately intertwined with all aspects of our lives. Despite the central role of microbes in shaping systems, microbial researchers are often detached from shaping policies related to conservation, public health, land use, environmental justice, climate and other areas of intersection. Policy engagement is not typically included in the academic training of microbiome researchers, and there is a need for greater coordination between policy needs and microbial research. This session will explore integrated, collaborative approaches to research and policy making.

Learning Objectives of Session: Attendees will discuss 1) how to develop research in collaboration with policy needs, 2) policy levels and types (government, private), 3) how to identify stakeholders, and 4) how to communicate your research to policymakers.

Format of talks:  Three 30-min lecture-style talks will describe interdisciplinary research outcomes which transcend typical academic endpoints and engage in shaping policy.

Format of breakout rooms: Each room will create a policy brief outline or ideas list around a particular topic area (e.g. environmental restoration) to help audience members group by discipline.

Session Speakers: In development, details provided soon!

Dr. Caitlyn Hall, PhD., Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Arizona

Dr. Kathleen Treseder, PhD., Howard A. Schneiderman Endowed Chair and Professor of Biology at the University of California Irvine; Climate Activist; Irvine City Council Candidate

Dr. Sonja Birthisel, Ph.D., Director, The Wilson Center at the University of Maine; Councilor, Orono Maine Town Council; Faculty Associate, University of Maine School of Forest Resources

“Public Policy Engagement & Personal Sustainability: What’s Your “Sparkle Zone”?”

12:30 – 14:15 Introduction and Speakers

14:15 – 14:30 Break

14:30 – 16:00 Breakout room discussions based on skills development, in smaller groups

  • How to talk to your politicians about science
  • How scientists get involved with policy
  • Environmental microbial policy issues
  • Microbial conservation
  • Soil carbon & climate justice issues
  • Agricultural antibiotic use
  • Microbial exposures (residential, worker exposure)

Prior to this session, you may want to watch these recorded talks:

Speaker lineup confirmed for ‘Session 2: Blending biological, social, and humanities writing’ at the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium!

The speaker lineup is set for the second day of the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium, which is focused on “Blending biological, social, and humanities writing”. This session will feature one talk and one panel discussion, featuring researchers who have published, reviewed, and edited interdisciplinary writing and appreciate the difficulty that many microbiome researchers face: getting their work published when it does not fit a typical experimental layout. Our hope is that attendees for this session learn from different perspectives how to write across disciplines, find the right journal and pitch the relevancy of their manuscript to the journal’s scope, how to find reviewers with disparate professional backgrounds (for example microbiology and legal policy), and more.

The program for the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium, “Developing transformative Research Skills”, is beginning to take shape as we continue to confirm speakers for the 5 sessions, the full program for which can be found here.


Session 2: “Blending biological, social, and humanities writing”

Tuesday, July 19th, 12:30 ~ 16:00 EST. Register for this session, which is free and will be held over Zoom

Session leaders:

Ashley Toney, PhD

Ashley M. Toney, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UTHealth School of Public Health, El Paso. Translational/Clinical Nutrition Researcher focused on Latine Health Disparities.

Dr. Kieran O'Doherty.

Kieran C. O’Doherty, PhD., Professor of Psychology, University of Guelph, and Director of the Discourse, Science, Publics research Group

Emily Wissel, Ph.D. candidate, Emory University. MSE Director of Resource Dissemination

Scope: Interdisciplinary experimental designs have been called for in research, but finding a publication venue can be tricky when manuscripts or presentations are deemed not discipline-specific, or are labeled opinion instead of research. This session will explore common gatekeeping problems of interdisciplinary research, cross-disciplinary writing categorization discussions (i.e. theoretical framing, etc.), and writing strategies and publication venues to make the most of your work.

Learning Objectives of Session: Attendees will become familiar with different expectations within research design/publishing across fields, and learn about tangible suggestions from research publishers. Audience members should walk away with more confidence in interdisciplinary publishing.

Format of talks: This will feature a 30-min plenary topic to introduce the concept that theory in psychology/philosophy is regarded as opinion in the natural sciences, followed by 1 hour of a panel of research journal editors to discuss flexible publication guidelines.

Format of breakout rooms: Each room creates a document, and each room has a designated topic area (e.g. environmental restoration) to help audience members group by discipline

Session Speaker:

Dr. Mark Risjord, PhD. Professor of Philosophy, Emory University

“Crossing boundaries, building bridges: some reflections on interdisciplinary writing.”

After which, the Speaker will be joined by additional Panelists to discuss interdisciplinary research, challenges, and opportunities.

Dr. Susan L. Prescott, MD, PhD, FRACP. President, inVIVO Planetary Health @ the Nova Institute for Health, Baltimore, USA; Director, ORIGINS PROJECT Telethon Kids Institute; Professor of Paediatrics, UWA Medical School; Paediatric Immunologist, Perth Children’s Hospital; Editor in ChiefChallenges journal.

Dr. James Stegen

Dr. James Stegen, PhD., Physical & Computational Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Dr. Michela Gambino, professional headshot

Dr. Michela Gambino, PhD. Assistant Professor at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen; mSystems editor

12:30 – 14:15 Introduction, Speaker, and Panel discussion

14:15 – 14:30 Break

14:30 – 16:00 Breakout room discussions based on skills development, in smaller groups

  • Pitching your paper to the right journal 
  • Finding and directing reviewers
  • “Ask a philosopher!”
  • TBD

Prior to this session, you may want to watch these recorded talks:


The Ishaq Lab is hosting Dr. Rabee, a Visiting Researcher from Egypt, to work on rumen microbes

After two years of postponement, the Ishaq Lab is excited to welcome Dr. Alaa Rabee as a Visiting Researcher from now until December of this year!! This is made possible by a prestigious award to Dr. Rabee from the Central Department of Missions at the Ministry of Higher Education, Egypt, which fosters research collaboration between Egypt and the U.A.

Dr. Rabee joins us from the Desert Research Institute in Cairo, Egypt, where his work focus on researching microbial communities in the digestive tract of ruminants and how they can be used for animal production, bioengineering, and sustainable development. 

Last year, Alaa and I published our first collaborative paper together, based on his work on microbial enzymes from the rumen of sheep and camels and potential for use in biofuel production. We are also working on another, based on microbial activity (transcriptomics) in the rumen of camels on different diets. That project has engaged two undergraduate students in data visualization, including Myra Arshad who started in my lab as an REU student last summer.

During his six month stay, he’ll be working with rumen microbes from various livestock, as well as giving seminars and sharing his experience in research.

Speaker lineup confirmed for ‘Session 5: MSE Education Practices and Curriculum Design’ at the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium!

The speaker lineup is set for the fifth (and final) day of the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium, which is focused on “MSE Education Practices and Curriculum Design”. This session will feature three talks featuring educators who have brought sociology into their microbiome courses, and vice versa, and who have experience creating out-of-the-box curricula to engage students in learning while helping them to see themselves as scientists. Our hope is that attendees for this session learn from different perspectives how to creatively present microbiology courses which situate learning about the microbiome with learning about social and environmental systems.

The program for the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium, “Developing transformative Research Skills”, is beginning to take shape as we continue to confirm speakers for the 5 sessions, the full program for which can be found here.

Session 5: “MSE Education Practices and Curriculum Design”

Friday, July 22nd, 12:30 ~ 16:00 EST. Register for this session, free and held over Zoom.

Session leaders:

Erin Eggleston, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology, Middlebury College.

Monica Trujillo

Monica Trujillo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, of Biology Queensborough Community College, The City University of New York

Carla Bonilla, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of San Diego

Scope: Curriculum which blends disciplines is highly engaging, and can be used to teach complex concepts, and can help students combine their existing cultural and social identities with their growing researcher identity. However, creating an interdisciplinary curriculum can be challenging. This session frames educational conversations in MSE, and gives perspectives on creating courses that blend microbiome and social sciences for different levels of education.

Learning Objectives of Session: Attendees will 1) identify successes and barriers to entry for MSE curriculum at different education levels (K-12, UG, grad, general public), 2) Share ways in which we incorporate MSE in our curricula (i.e. assignments, class period, multi-day module, full course, etc.); 3) develop ideas for further curriculum design for their own courses.

Format of talks: Three 30-min lecture-style talks from education practitioners who have successfully built courses around MSE topics, including an outline of learning goals, approach to course, lessons learned/challenges, and more.

Format of breakout rooms: Each room creates a lesson plan outline, and each room has a designated topic area (e.g. human microbiome equity) to help audience members group by teaching discipline.

Session Speakers: In development, details provided soon!

Sarah Miller, M.S., Executive Director of Tiny Earth at University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Title TBD”

Dr. Melissa Zwick

Dr. Ally Hunter, PhD., Lecturer, iCONS Program & Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Youth Engagement, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Part of NSF Project RAISE (Reclaiming Access to Inquiry Science Education for Incarcerated Learners), and NSF Project INSITE (INtegrating STEM Into Transition Education for Incarcerated Youth).

Dr. Melissa Zwick, PhD., Associate Professor of Biology, Stockton University

“Science through storytelling: Using case study pedagogy as inclusive practice in undergraduate microbiology”

Dr. Davida Smyth, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Texas A&M University in San Antonio

“Title TBD”

12:30 – 14:15 Introduction and Speakers

14:15 – 14:30 Break

14:30 – 16:00 Breakout room discussions based on skills development, in smaller groups

  • Undergraduate microbiology courses resources/MSE integration
  • Pedagogy as scholarship/publishing mechanisms/resources
  • Assessing case study style teaching
  • TBD

Prior to this session, you may want to watch these recorded talks:


Speaker lineup confirmed for ‘Session 1: Context-aware experimental designs’ at the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium!

The speaker lineup is set for the first day of the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium, which is focused on “Context-aware experimental designs”. The three talks, featuring a total of 5 researchers, will present perspectives on the human microbiome and studying it within broader contexts to better understand our interactions with microbes. Our hope is that attendees for this session learn from different perspectives how to more creatively design or analyze their research to account for the effects that social policy and local environment can have on microbial exposures.

The program for the July 2022 MSE virtual symposium, “Developing transformative Research Skills”, is beginning to take shape as we continue to confirm speakers for the 5 sessions, the full program for which can be found here.

Session 1: “Context-aware experimental designs”

Monday, July 18th, 12:30 ~ 16:00 EST. Register for this session.

Session leaders:

Dr. Ariangela Kozik, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan, and the Co-founder and Vice President of the Black Microbiologists Association

Sue Ishaq

Dr. Sue Ishaq, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at University of Maine and Founder of the Microbes and Social Equity working group.

Scope: Microbiome research often uses broad categorical factors as proxy factors for complex social or environmental contexts, but these can ignore or obscure underlying trends. This session will unpack proxy terms like race, Western diet, dysbiosis, rural/urban, and more, to differentiate what variables we actually want to measure and how to accomplish this in data collection and analysis. This session will also discuss how to communicate microbiome results in relation to broader contexts of lived experiences, rather than attributing results to broad proxy categories.

Learning Objectives of Session: Attendees will learn 1) the process of identifying more precise and appropriate measurement variables when engaging in human-adjacent microbiome research, instead of using proxy factors, 2) how to include more resolution to factorial data during collection, and 3) examples of how to process complex social data during microbiome data analysis.

Format of talks: Three 30-min lecture-style talks will disambiguate proxy categorizations into more precise variables that consider social contexts, approach to course, lessons learned/challenges.

Format of breakout rooms: Each room creates a concept map which disambiguates a proxy category into specific variables, and discusses how to frame surrey questions or leverage existing data to obtain this information. Each room has a designated topic area (e.g. environmental restoration) to help audience members group by discipline or type of information they are looking for.

Session Speakers:

Dr. Elizabeth Roberts

Dr. Elizabeth F.S. Roberts, PhD., Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan

Making better numbers through bioethnography

“Proposal of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status Based Analysis of Human Microbiome Project”

Dr. Katherine Maki, PhD., Assistant Clinical Investigator, Translational Biobehavioral and Health Disparities Branch, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center

Dr. Nicole M. Farmer, M.D., Principal Investigator, Translational Biobehavioral and Health Disparities Branch, NIH Clinical Center

Dr. Kelly K. Jones, Ph.D., RN, Research Fellow, Neighborhoods and Health Lab, Division of Intramural Research, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Osama Tanous, M.D., Palestinian pediatrician based in Haifa and a board member of Physicians for Human Rights – Israel; Visiting Scientist, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University; Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow of Public Health and Health Policies, Emory University. His recent publication can be found here.

“From bedside to the journal – understanding bacteria in a settler colonial setting”

12:30 – 14:15 Introduction and Speakers

14:15 – 14:30 Break

14:30 – 16:00 Breakout room discussions based on skills development, in smaller groups

  1. Deconstructing race as a biological variable
  2. Common pitfalls/challenges to experimental design 
  3. Matching clinical work to social contexts.
  4. Bioethnography to generate hypotheses
  5. Planning for variables in microbiome and social research
  6. Combining microbiome and social data analysis
  7. TBD

Prior to this session, you may want to watch these recorded talks:


Featured image from Robinson et al. 2022.

Welcome Alexis, for the 2022 REU program!

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) 2022 summer program has begun again, and the Ishaq Lab is pleased to welcome Alexis!

Alexis Kirkendall

Undergraduate Researcher, Biology, Heidelberg University

Alexis is from Ohio and is majoring in Biology at Heidelberg University. Her research interests are in genetics and she has a love for the fascinating world of microbes. She joined the lab through the Summer 2022 REU. She is researching Cryptosporidium in cows, helping in the MSE Symposium, and aiding in the Camel Rumen Microbiome Project this summer.

Across the U.S., REU programs are intended to engage undergraduates in research, including those who have no or very little research experience and no opportunity to do so at their home institution. The program I volunteer for is through the UMaine Initiative for One Health and the Environment, which brings about 10 students to campus for 10 weeks to engage in research and professional development. In addition to participating in research, the students attend workshops of coming up with research plans and questions, professional development plans, their resumes, posters, presentations, and other skills.

Ishaq Lab and MSE at ASM Microbe 2022 conference

Ishaq Lab posters

Initial Descriptions of the Microbes of Farmed Atlantic Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) Veligers and Rearing Tanks. S. Hosler, E. Grey, A. Dankwa, J. Perry, T. Bowden, B. Beal, S. Ishaq. Poster Session AES10 – Marine Microbiology, June 10, 2022, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Exhibit and Poster Hall. Presenter available during Poster Presentation 1 (10:30 am – 11:30 am) and Poster Presentation 2 (4 pm – 5 pm) at their assigned poster board.

Prevention of Inflammatory Bowel Disease by Broccoli Sourced and Microbially Produced Bioactives
J. M. Holman, S. Ishaq, Y. Li, T. Zhang, G. Mawe, L. Colucci, J. Balkan. Exhibit and Poster Hall. Poster session HMB06 Microbiome-Host Interactions III. June 12, 2022, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Presenter available during Poster Presentation 1 (10:30 am – 12:30 pm).

The Microbes and Social Equity working group is hosting a special session

CTS16 (PPS). Microbes and Social Equity: the Microbial Components of Social, Environmental, and Health Justice

June 11, 2022, 1:45 PM – 3:45 PM, Room 206

Microorganisms are critical to many aspects of biological life, including human health. The collective microbial community, our microbiome, can be impacted by the details of our lifestyle, including diet, hygiene, health status, and more, but many are driven by social, economic, medical, or political constraints that restrict available choices that may impact our health. Access to resources is the basis for creating and resolving social equity, access to healthcare, healthy foods, a suitable living environment, and to beneficial microorganisms, but also access to personal and occupational protection to avoid exposure to infectious disease. This special session explores the way that microbes connect public policy, social disparities, and human health, as well as the ongoing research, education, policy, and innovation in this field.

5 Presentations

1:45 PM – 3:45 PMMicrobes and Social Equity: the Microbial Components of Social, Environmental, and Health Justice
Suzanne Ishaq; Univ. of Maine, Orono, ME
1:45 PM – 2:15 PMInvited Speaker
Monica Trujillo; Queensborough Community Coll., New York, NY
2:15 PM – 2:45 PMInvited Speaker
Ariangela Kozik; Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
2:45 PM – 3:15 PMInvited Speaker
Carla Bonilla; Gonzaga Univ., Spokane, WA
3:15 PM – 3:45 PMPanel Discussion

Upon completion of this Cross-Track Symposium, the participant should be able to:

  • Recognize the connections that microbiomes have to social equity. This will be demonstrated with examples/case studies presented by speakers.
  • Discuss relevant issues in microbiomes and their connection to social equity and identify issues which could be explored further.
  • Appraise your own work for these connections between microbiomes and social equity, to designate places for professional growth and applying equitable design.

After this session, MSE will be having an informal meet up, as most of us have never met in person!

Presentations and posters from some of our Microbes and Social Equity group members

Please note, the presenters’ names are bolded, and this is not to denote which author is part of MSE. We have included these in order to cross-promote talks, but these presentations may be independent of members’ MSE activities. This is a non-exhaustive list.

In-depth Symposium. EEB05. Interacting Stressor Effects on Microbial-Climate Change Feedbacks
June 10, 2022, 8:15 AM – 10:15 AM, room 144ABC, Convener, Adriana Romero-Olivares
 
8:15 AM – 8:45 AM
Fungal responses to drought and disturbance in a desert ecosystem and potential feedbacks to climate change, Adriana Romero-Olivares

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Soil Bacteria Adapt to a Warming World, K. M. DeAngelis, A. Narayanan, A. Eng, M. Choudoir
Benchmarking Software to Predict Antibiotic Resistance Phenotypes in Shotgun Metagenomes Using Simulated Data.
E. F. Wissel, B. M. Talbot, B. Johnson, R. Petit, III, V. Hertzberg, A. Dunlop, T. Read. SESSION Rapid Fire. S102. Rapid Fire: Omics and Machine Learning on the Fight against AMR. June 10, 2022, 8:15 AM – 9:05 AM/ Lounge and Learn 1.
A Model within a Model: Using Cheese Microbiomes to Investigate Host-Phage Interactions within a Community. T. Spencer, A. Sarabia, G. Heussler, S. Villareal, R. Dutton. Session HMB07 Phage-Host Interactions. June 10, 2022, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Exhibit and Poster Hall.
Peril And Healthy Trichosporon Asahii: The Similar Capability To Adhere And Form Biofilms. S. H.S, S. Mandya Rudramurthy, N. Nayak. Poster. CPHM06 Diagnostic Mycology. June 10, 2022, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Exhibit and Poster Hall
Dispersal Limitation and Density-Dependent Processes Structure Streptomyces Populations at Small Spatial Scales. J. Hariharan, D. Buckley. Rapid Fire. S107. Rapid Fire: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity. June 11, 2022, 8:15 – 9:05 AM. Lounge and Learn 2.
Comparison of Antibiotic Resistance in Biofilm, Sediment, and Planktonic Communities in an Urbanized River. M. B. Coughter, R. Franklin. Session AES03 – Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment 2.  June 11, 2022, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM  Exhibit and Poster Hall
Microbes and Social Equity: what is it and how do we do it?.
S. Ishaq. Session AES018 – Field Work & DEI: Fostering Equitable Partnerships with the Communities in Your Field. June 11, 2022, 11:45 AM – 12:30 PM. AES Track Hub, located in the Exhibit Hall.
Panel discussion: Encouraging culture change for open data
Pajau Vangay. Session ASM Town Hall Title: Advancing collaborative research with the National Microbiome Data Collaborative. Panel discussion: Encouraging culture change for open data.  June 11, 2022, 11:15 AM – 11:30 AM.  202AB
Antibiotic Resistance at the Human-Animal Interface in Southeast Asia.
M. Nadimpalli, M. Stegger, R. Viau, V. Yith, A. de Lauzanne, N. Sem, L. Borand, B-t. Huynh, S. Brisse, V. Passet, S. Overballe-Petersen, M. Aziz, M. Gouali, J. Jacobs, T. Phe, B. Hungate, V. Leshyk, A. J. Pickering, F. Gravey, C. M. Liu, T. J. Johnson, S. Le Hello, L. B. Price. SESSION Poster. EEB01 – Ecology of host-associated microbiomes. June 12, 2022, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Exhibit and Poster Hall. Presenter available during Poster Presentation 1 (10:30 am – 12:30 pm).

MSE Research Design Skills course will be piloted this summer!

In conjunction with the Microbes and Social Equity virtual symposium being held in July, I will be piloting a special topics graduate course called AVS 590: Research skills combining microbes and social equity. Information about enrollment can be found through the UMaine Summer University program.

The symposium will convene researchers from different disciplines, foci, and geographic locations, and fosters in-depth conversations and research skills development. It is an ideal venue for training graduate students and incubating their burgeoning ideas. Thus, students in the class will attend the symposium, engage in conversations before and after attending sessions to reflect on how our perspectives changed, and create written assignments that will receive peer and instructor feedback. If the course is successful, I hope to add additional instructors and enrollment, we will expand the course and host it again each year we host the symposium.

Collaborative paper accepted on winter wheat, weeds, and climate.

The last paper to be generated from the large-scale, multi-year, collaborative research I participated in as a postdoc at Montana State University in the Menalled Lab in 2016 has finally been accepted for publication! At the time, I was working on the soil bacteria associated with winter wheat crops under different simulated climate change scenarios, and with added stressors like weed competition and different farming strategies. I was part of a large team of researchers looking at various aspects of agricultural stressors on long-term food production, including several agroecologists who led the development of this paper.

Weed communities in winter wheat: responses to cropping systems and predicted warmer and drier climate conditions.

Tim Seipel, Suzanne L. Ishaq, Christian Larson, Fabian D. Menalled. Sustainability 202214(11), 6880; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116880. Special Issue “Sustainable Weed Control in the Agroecosystems

Abstract

Understanding the impact of biological and environmental stressors on cropping systems is essential to secure the long-term sustainability of agricultural production in the face of unprecedented climatic conditions. This study evaluated the effect of increased soil temperature and reduced moisture across three contrasting cropping systems: a no-till chemically managed system, a tilled organic system, and an organic system that used grazing to reduce tillage intensity. Results showed that while cropping system characteristics represent a major driver in structuring weed communities, the short-term impact of changes in temperature and moisture conditions appear to be more subtle. Weed community responses to temperature and moisture manipulations differed across variables: while biomass, species richness, and Simpson’s diversity estimates were not affected by temperature and moisture conditions, we observed a minor but significant shift in weed community composition. Higher weed biomass was recorded in the grazed/reduced-till organic system compared with the tilled-organic and no-till chemically managed systems. Weed communities in the two organic systems were more diverse than in the no-till conventional system, but an increased abundance in perennial species such as Cirsium arvense and Taraxacum officinale in the grazed/reduced-till organic system could hinder the adoption of integrated crop-livestock production tactics. Species composition of the no-till conventional weed communities showed low species richness and diversity, and was encompassed in the grazed/reduced-till organic communities. The weed communities of the no-till conventional and grazed/reduced-till organic systems were distinct from the tilled organic community, underscoring the effect that tillage has on the assembly of weed communities. Results highlight the importance of understanding the ecological mechanisms structuring weed communities, and integrating multiple tactics to reduce off-farm inputs while managing weeds.

The related works from that project include:

Similar work has been done by that group, including:

Sue talking a selfie in the UMaine parking lot in full regalia.

2022 graduating students

UMaine and many other universities are having in-person graduation ceremonies, and welcoming students who are graduating this year, as well as those who finished in 2021 and 2020 who were not able to walk in a regular ceremony. I made it to the ceremony for the graduates, so I could cheer on Sarah, where over 400 of the more 600 total graduate students matriculating got hooded and recognized for their achievement.

This year, many Ishaq Lab members walked across the stage and off into the next step in their life.

A graduate student and a faculty member, both in full graduation regalia, posing for a photo in a gymnasium.

Sarah Hosler, Animal and Veterinary Science Master’s of Science student, who will be defending her thesis this summer and is considering her next career step.

Person in a research facility holding up their arm with a mouse on it. Person is wearing a hairnet, nitrile gloves, surgical mask, and a surgical gown. They are holding their left arm up to the camera to show off a mouse with dark brown fur sitting on their arm. In the background is a metal shelf with containers of research materials.

Johanna Holman, Food Science and Nutrition Master’s of Science student, who will be defending her thesis this summer and returning this fall for a PhD!

A woman in a lab coat wearing a face mask and latex gloves is using a thin yellow swab to spread bacteria on a culture media plate. She is sitting at a biosafety cabinet with the glass door pulled down.

Rebecca French, AVS undergrad who did her Capstone project as part of the squirrel pilot project I ran this past year. Rebecca won a research grant for this work. She is heading to vet school in Long Island!

Morgan Rocks, AVS undergrad who did her Capstone project as part of the squirrel pilot project I ran this past year. She is heading to vet school in the midwest!

Natalie Sullivan, AVS undergrad who did her Capstone project as part of the Cryptosporidium pilot project we are running. She is planning to work for a year before pursuing vet school.

Woman standing on the ocean shoreline.

Jade Chin, AVS undergrad who defended her Honor’s Thesis in 2021 and was awarded High Honors for it, has been in Glasgow, Scotland, for her senior year/first year of veterinary school there.

Myra Arshad

Myra Arshad, an REU student who is graduating from Stoney Brook University. She’s taking a year to work in research before pursuing a graduate degree.

In addition, we had a handful of other undergraduate students who performed their independent research for their Capstone projects in the Ishaq Lab graduate this year.