Lots of exciting happenings in the lab lately!
-MS student Karen Jorgenson successfully defended her awesome thesis about alpine stream food webs in April. Way go to, Karen!
-Recent UW graduate Katie Bearden joined us as a technician for the spring semester and is moving on to a MS position at South Dakota State this summer to study fish movement. Congrats, Katie!
-Kelsey, Sam, and Chance are gearing up for 2022 defenses.
-We're all going to JASM!
-We had two new postdocs join us in April and we're very excited to work with both of them: Carolina Barbosa (Modelscape project) and Ben Tumolo (STOICH project, co-advised with Amy Krist). Matt Dunkle (currently PhD student at the University of Idaho) will also join the Modelscape project as a postdoc this fall.
We were sad to lose inaugural lab member Jaide Phelps this month, but also very happy to report she is off on an exciting new adventure - pursuing her MS in Marine Biology in Katrin Iken's lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Jaide has done a wide variety of awesome work during her time in the lab and we are all going to miss having her as a local friend in Laramie. So proud of you Jaide, and can't wait to see what you accomplish in grad school!
We made it through a long, zoom-filled spring semester and are excited for a beautiful summer in the field and lab! Three undergraduates are joining us this summer: Emma Román (Middlebury College) will assist with Kelsey's work in Fish Creek and Flat Creek in Jackson, Macy Jacobson (UW) will assist with Sam's HCB survey across Wyoming, and Angela Zhu (UW) will assist with the stoichiometry project.
We also welcomed Casey Brucker in March (technician on the stoichiometry project), Bella Oleksy will join us later this month (postdoc on the Modelscape project), and Linnea Rock will join in August (PhD student on the stoichiometry project).
We are also simultaneously very excited and very sad to lose inaugural lab member Jaide in June! She is headed to the University of Alaska Fairbanks to start her MS in Marine Biology and we can't wait to watch her pursue her long-term goals through this position! Things will not be the same around here without her.
I received the first field selfie of the summer today! Below Kelsey (L) and Clara Bouley (R, MS student in Animal Science) start off E. coli sampling on Flat Creek on a beautiful warm day.
The lab has been doing our best to stay healthy and happy during such a strange year! Lots of great progress on projects and exciting plans for the Summer 2021 field season.
We'll be growing over the next year! PhD student Ashleigh Pilkerton (Walters lab) joins us as a co-advisee. She will contribute to the harmful bloom project as part of a dissertation focused on water quality in Wyoming. Undergraduate student Lisa Harris joined us this spring to work on a project about stream invertebrates and their gut microbiomes. Postdoc Bella Oleksy will join the lab and the Modelscape project in May. Welcome, everyone!
Sarah is also part of another new NSF EPSCoR Track II project focused on Ecological Stoichiometry - website coming soon! We are recruiting a PhD student to start this Summer or Fall (information on this position and other graduate student opportunities with the project here), a technician, and a postdoc to start in Fall 2021 (details TBD, contact Sarah if you are interested).
Sarah is part of an exciting new NSF EPSCoR project! Read more about it here:
Please get in touch if you are looking for a postdoc - we will be advertising and hiring soon!
It's been a busy and unusual summer in Laramie! We've been trying to stay safe and healthy and also move research projects forward:
-Chance has been acting as sample processing maestro in the lab and perfecting his otolith photography skills while Travis Neebling from WGFD collects more samples from Flaming Gorge.
-Karen is gearing up for field collections in alpine streams in the Tetons next month!
-Kelsey and Corey have been hard at work sampling 7 sites in the Laramie River drainage for the WRP E. Coli project and have generated some unexpected results about bacterial counts.
-Our WY DEQ collaborators have been sending monthly samples from Boysen Reservoir for a new project about Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms. Jaide has been leading the sample processing for now and Sam will start next month as a graduate student on the project.
-Jaide is making awesome progress on her first manuscript!
Karen received funding from the Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife fund for her summer field work in the Tetons -- she'll be collecting data about food webs in alpine streams, including a threatened species of stonefly (Zapata glacier).
Jaide presented a poster at the Colorado-Wyoming AFS meeting - she showed data from the North Platte Reservoirs, demonstrating that sulfur isotopes are useful for detecting consumption of stocked fish - and won Best Professional Poster!
Charlotte's paper (with stats collaborator Pavel and Sarah) about using non-stationary spatial models to understand broad-scale water quality data is off to review!
Sarah, Annika Walters, Matt Ross, Willie Fetzer, and Lindsay Patterson (Wyoming DEQ) are starting a new project on harmful cyanobacterial blooms in Wyoming reservoirs and will be hiring a PhD student to start in August 2020. Information for applicants is below, and feel free to e-mail Sarah with any questions.
PhD position: Harmful cyanobacterial blooms
Collins Lab at the University of Wyoming
A PhD graduate research assistantship is available in the Collins Lab in the Department of Zoology and Physiology and the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming. The student will also collaborate with several other scientists: William Fetzer and Annika Walters (UW), Matt Ross (Colorado State University) and Lindsay Patterson (Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality). We are seeking an independent and motivated individual to design and conduct research on harmful cyanobacterial blooms (HCBs) in Wyoming reservoirs. Research will include field collections and experiments, analysis of remote sensing images and historical nutrient data, identification and enumeration of phytoplankton samples. The student may also collaborate on a project to use genomic techniques to identify species composition of HCBs. The successful candidate will work closely with the principal investigators listed above and the anticipated start date is Summer 2020.
Additional Information: The University of Wyoming has a total enrollment of 12,000 full-time students with active ecological research across multiple departments, including Zoology and Physiology, Botany, Ecosystem Science and Management, and the Program in Ecology. The university is located in Laramie, a small college town with a relatively low cost of living that is close to multiple mountain ranges, and within easy driving distance of Colorado’s Front Range corridor (Fort Collins, Boulder, and Denver). The University of Wyoming is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law and University policy. Please see www.uwyo.edu/diversity/fairness.
Required Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, or a related field with undergraduate GPA >3.00. Field and laboratory experience in freshwater ecosystems.
Preferred Qualifications: MS degree, including writing experience (grants and/or peer-reviewed publications) and quantitative, statistical or programming skills. Experience working with state or federal agencies to understand water quality problems and management strategies.
Stipend: $1905/mo. plus tuition and health insurance
Contact: Please email the following materials in one (1) file to Dr. Sarah Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org): 1. Cover letter stating interest in the project and highlighting relevant experience, 2. a CV, 3. names/contact information for three references, and 4. transcript with GPA (unofficial is acceptable).
Closing Date: Submit an application by February 26, 2020 for full consideration. Review will continue until the position is filled.
The joint Collins-Fetzer lab costume won the costume contest at the ZooPhys holiday party. Props to Chance for an excellent idea and to everyone for fantastic execution!