GSPA April 2022 Newsletter

GSPA April 2022 Newsletter
March 30, 2022

Greetings from the Biology GSPA! In this monthly newsletter, we're featuring the wide array of accomplishments from around the Biology Department, announcing April events, and advertising the JEDI Reading Group's next book. 

Department Happenings:

Congratulations to Phoebe Cook, who recently defended her thesis! Her public defense, "Group phenotypic composition shapes emergent network structures and selection regimes in Bolitotherus cornutus," is today, March 30th.

Congratulations to Xiaomu Zhang (Danna Lab) on her public dissertation defense! Her presentation, given March 29th, was titled "Transport of amino acid and sugar regulated by MAMPs triggered immunity in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Phoebe Cook (Brodie Lab) has a paper published in Biology Letters titled "Group composition of individual personalities alters social network structure in experimental populations of forked fungus beetles."

Robin Costello (former Brodie Lab member) and Phoebe Cook (Brodie Lab) have a new paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology titled "Group and individual social network metrics are robust to changes in resource distribution in experimental populations of forked fungus beetles."

Alan Bergland received HHMI funding to host a Fall 2022 workshop featuring Dr. Brian Donovan (BSCS Science Learning) that will address connections between genetics instruction and the psychological biases underlying racial stereotyping.

Congratulations to Joaquin Nunez (postdoc, Bergland Lab) was awarded a DeLill Nasser Award from the Genetic Society of America!

Kendra Liu (Kucenas Lab) will be presenting a poster at WUSTL BIG Symposium titled, "Investigating aberrant phagocytic neural crest cells in early zebrafish neural development."

Kendra Liu (Kucenas Lab) is the co-first author of a review paper, "Clearing your mind: Mechanisms of debris clearance after cell death during neural development," published in the Annual Review of Neuroscience.

Congratulations to Lizzie Godschall (Ali Güler & Campbell Labs), Connor Murray (Bergland Lab), and Sarah McPeek (Brodie Lab) who were recently awarded EXPAND Fellowships!

Rathina Kumar Shanmuga Kani (postdoc, Wu Lab) has a paper accepted in the Journal of Medical Microbiology titled "An isothermal amplification-coupled dipstick for the rapid detection of COVID-19."

Congratulations to Abbas Ghaddar (O'Rourke Lab) for receiving a Dissertation Fellowship from the Society of Fellows!

April Events:

GSPA Meeting: Thursday, April 7, 1:00 - 2:00 pm, PLSB 200

Join us for our April public forum meeting! Snacks provided. This month, we will be discussing graduate student courses, including course options versus program requirements and the degree of emphasis placed on course-based training. If there are anonymous concerns you would like to share ahead of the meeting, please fill out this form.

Care Package Distribution: Wednesday, March 30, Scott Stadium E3 Parking Lot
The Diversity Influencers Board has organized 100 care packages for current grad students and postdocs, sponsored by the Diversity Programs Council of OGPA. Packages are first-come, first-serve (valid UVA ID required).

Graduate Biosciences Society (GBS) Social: More details to come; watch your email!

Green Labs Resource Fair: Thursday, April 14, 12:00 - 3:00 pm, Pinn Hall (Ground Floor)
In celebration of Earth Month, join UVA Sustainability to learn more about resources to support lab sustainability!

Biology Outreach & Inclusion Program (BOIP): Monday, April 25, 4:30-5:30 pm, PLSB 200
Learn about ongoing initiatives to get UVA Biology promoting science education in the Charlottesville and greater Albemarle community. Check out their website to learn more, or join the listserv

GSPA Happy Hour: Tuesday, April 26, 5:00 - 7:00 pm, PLSB 4th Floor Balcony
Come enjoy food, drinks, and camaraderie at our April happy hour! Open to all graduate students and postdocs.

Friday Seminar: All seminars begin at 12:00 pm

  • April 1: Erik Dopman, "Genetic causes and population consequences of behavioral and life history evolution in the European corn borer moth" (Host: Alan Bergland). Zoom only.
  • April 8, Konigsberg Lecture: Sánchez Alvarado, "Understanding the sources of regenerative capacity in animals" (Hosts: Ari Pani and Sarah Siegrst). Gilmer 390 and Zoom.
  • April 15: Gina M. Leinninger (Host: Ali Güler) 
  • April 22: Jennifer Brisson (Host: Alan Bergland)
  • April 29: Zac Cheviron (Host: Bob Cox)

Recurring Events:
Writing Hour: Monday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Gilmer 430 and Zoom
Devote a few hours per week to writing in the company of your fellow biologists! Open to all grad students, postdocs, and faculty.

Coding Hour: Monday, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, PLSB 403
Have a coding problem, or just want some company while you code? A shared workspace for data science and bioinformatics!

Grad Student & Postdoc Lunch Hour: Wednesday, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, PLSB 300
All graduate students and postdocs are invited to come together for lunch! Conversation may be around a particular topic or whatever is on people's minds.

Coffee Hour: Thursday, 2:00 - 3:00 pm, PLSB 4th Floor Lounge
Take a break from your desk for coffee and conversation with your fellow biologists. All are welcome!

JEDI Reading Group: Braiding Sweetgrass

The UVA Postdoc Association's Diversity and Community Outreach Committee, in partnership with the UVA Health Sciences Library's IDEA, has organized the UVA Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Reading Group. The group's next book is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, which centers on indigenous knowledge of nature. There will be a discussion of the book on Thursday, May 5th at 4pm in the UVA Amphitheater; snacks will be provided. To learn more about the group, receive updates, and start connecting with fellow JEDI's, join the Slack. Please feel free to reach out to Megan Sayyad if you have any questions.

Spread the Word

The Güler Malaria lab is looking for a post-doctoral fellow to join our group! No infectious disease research or sequencing experience required. The ideal candidate should have prior molecular experience and an interest in genomics and analysis - they will join a team focused on cutting edge research in the area of single cell genomics and population dynamics. Please help spread the word!  (Ad)