We are super excited to announce that Dakeishla Diaz-Morales will be joining the Wood Lab as a postdoc in January 2024! Dakeishla – Daki for short – will be part of our NSF CAREER-funded historical ecology project, where we are using a before-after-control-impact design to study how parasite abundance changes in response to human impacts like pollution and urbanization. Her PhD – completed in Bernd Sures’ lab at the University of Duisburg-Essen – explored the effect of climate warming on the performance of trematode parasites. Daki also brings experience in environmental toxicology from her Master’s degree on mining impacts in South Africa. Welcome, Daki!
We’re extending a wormy welcome to Gabby Commisso and Connor Whalen, who will join the lab as graduate students in Fall 2023! Both will be part of our NSF CAREER-funded historical ecology project, where we are using a before-after-control-impact design to study how parasite abundance changes in response to human impacts like pollution and urbanization. Gabby comes to us from Cornell University, where she worked at the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates and conducted a senior honors thesis on cypriniform fishes. Connor joins us from New York University, where he is currently Lab Manager of the Primate Hormones and Behavior Lab, having worked as a BSL-3 technician at the National Wildlife Health Center and a research assistant in the Pinniped Cognition Lab at UC Santa Cruz. Welcome, Gabby and Connor!
The Wood Lab’s research will be featured in the May issue of Scientific American. Wondering what we’re up to? Find out in Rachel Nuwer’s article, posted here.
Our very own Natalie Mastick Jensen won the award for Best PhD Presentation at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences’ Graduate Student Symposium last week! Natalie’s talk was entitled, “Opening a can of worms: Historical change in infectious disease risk for marine mammals revealed by archived canned salmon”. Interested? You can watch Natalie’s presentation here or learn more on her website.
Chelsea was featured as November’s “Scientist to Watch” by The Scientist. The article, by science writer Amanda Heidt, describes Chelsea’s transformation from aspiring dolphin biologist into diehard parasite enthusiast. Read the whole story here.
Sara Faiad is on fire! In the past two weeks, she has been awarded:
- a UW Graduate School Boeing International Fellowship, which will provide one quarter of support for a research expedition in Madagascar, where Sara will study the transmission of human schistosomiasis;
- a foundry10 Research Grant, which will support Sara’s laboratory experiments on schistosomiasis here at UW; and
- a Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) 20 for 2020 Dive Training Grant, which will allow Sara to get SCUBA certified so that she can pursue research on how behavior mediates the risk of parasitic infection for marine fishes.
Way to go, Sara – we are all so proud of you!
Chelsea wrote an article for The Conversation, an online new source devoted to translating academic research for a lay audience! In it, she summarizes the results of her recent PNAS paper, which shows that drone imagery can facilitate cheap and easy assessment of schistosomiasis risk in West Africa. You can read Chelsea’s article here.
Wood Lab research was recently featured on the Ecology and Evolution blog! To read more about Chelsea’s new approach for manipulating biodiversity at the scale of entire aquatic ecosystems, click here.