Lab News & Kudos
The spring semester started off at peak grad student enrollment in the lab at 5 (Jacob, Sam, Shania, Stephanie, & Sydney)! While Sam & Stephanie started their final semesters or writing, Shania was immediately down to business trying to catch enough adult small-mouthed salamanders to breed for her experiments!
We started off 2023 with a trip to the Annual Meeting for the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology in Austin Texas (talks by Stephanie Bristow, Sam Skerlec, and Tom and a poster by Shania Burkhead-Harris. We then made a side trip with the Gabor, Schalk, and Montaña labs to scout some ponds for sirens (followed by me watching UGA win a National Championship - other people socialized).
Stephanie Bristow was awarded the KHS George Toland Award for Ecological Research on North American Herpetofauna for the best student presentation at the 2022 KHS meeting.
Shania Burkhead was awarded a KHS Alan H. Kamb Grant to fund continued research on Kansas snake communities.
The Wild Animal Initiative funded a joint project with Drs. Gabor, Montaña, and Schalk to integrate individual-level welfare of lesser sirens in dynamic habitats across time (2023 & 2024 field seasons)
The lab welcomes two new graduate students: Jacob Kearns & Shania Burkhead.
Sam Skerlec & Stephanie Bristow were each awarded 2022 Midwest PARC Student Travel Grants to assist their graduate research.
Krista Ward Graduated! Thesis: Drying and rewetting of wetland soil increases survival but hinders growth and development of larval amphibians.
Justin Oettle was awarded the Rosa Lee & Alvin Sarachek Award for Scholarly Excellence in Natural Sciences!
A generous donor provided the funds to purchase a 15-passenger van for the students of WSU's Biological Sciences! It took 9 of us (and gear) to Arizona for our first Desert Field Ecology Course!
Sam Skerlec was awarded a 2022 Rachel Snyder Memorial Scholarship from the Grassland Heritage Foundation! These funds helped Sam run her aquatic mesocosm study on wetland dry-rewet cycles.
Stephanie Bristow, Justin Oettle (oral), Sam Skerlec (poster), Krista Ward (poster & oral), Jake Wright (oral) & Tom presented their research at the Kansas Natural Resources Conference.
Krista Ward wins the best poster award at the 2022 Kansas Natural Resources Conference. All those days draining water from cattletanks pays off!
Justin Oettle presents his REU research at the Chemistry & Biochemistry Research Showcase & at the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health Live: Americas conferences.
Sam Skerlec, Krista Ward, Dexter Mardis & Tom present at the 2021 Kansas Herpetological Society Meeting.
Krista takes home the Walter Meshaka Award for Excellence in Ecology & the Howard K. Gloyd-Edward H. Taylor Scholarships from KHS.
The lab welcomes KHS keynote speaker Whit Gibbons to the lab get-together at the Luhring-Smith household. We also took Whit out to see Youngmeyer Ranch.
The lab welcomes 2 new graduate students: Stephanie Bristow & Sam Skerlec
The lab wraps up Year 1 of the Ninnescah Coverboard Snake and Aquatic Vertebrate Projects (380 turtle captures)
An KS NSF EPSCoR REI award to TML funded the lab's acquisition of high-throughput fluid imaging.
KS NSF EPSCoR funded an NSF REU position for Justin Oettle to investigate the effects of drying and rewetting, and vertebrates on water ionomes. Project is collaboration with Dr. Clay Prater (OK State).
Krista Ward & Tom present at the 2021 Joint meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Christine Streid Graduated! Thesis: Response of aquatic microinvertebrates within isolated Tallgrass Prairie stream pools to experimental drying.
Jake Wright Graduated! Thesis: Amphibian larvae distribution amongst intermittent stream pools in the Flint Hills covaries with vegetation and fish colonization.
The first iteration of Field Vertebrate Zoology is a great success (some student photos here).
Stephanie Bristow won second place in the WSU URCAF poster presentation competition! Her presentation can be found here.
Jake Wright had a manuscript accepted as a coauthor in Aquatic Invasions (Assessing the invasion history and contemporary diet of nonnative redear sunfish in an ecotonal riverscape, Whitney et al., In Press)
Stephanie Bristow was awarded the Rosa Lee & Alvin Sarachek Award for Scholarly Excellence in Natural Sciences!
Krista Ward was awarded a 2021 Rachel Snyder Memorial Scholarship from the Grassland Heritage Foundation! These funds will help Krista run her aquatic mesocosm study this summer.
Stephanie Bristow presented her undergraduate research on bacteria-protist interactions at the 2021 K-INBRE (NIH) undergraduate research forum.
Krista Ward was awarded an Alan H. Kamb Grant for Research on Kansas Snakes from the Kansas Herpetological Society at their 2020 Annual Meeting. Krista is working with Dexter Mardis, Jake Wright and undergraduates Shania Burkhead, Justin Oettle, and Emily Stybr on this project in 2021. This grant funded the purchase of coverboards and tin at the Ninnescah Reserve.
Jake Wright was awarded a Howard K. Gloyd-Edward H. Taylor Scholarship from the Kansas Herpetological Society at their 2020 Annual Meeting.
Jake Wright presented: Larval amphibian distribution across intermittent stream pools in the Flint Hills (Christine Streid, Krista Ward, and Tom Luhring as coauthors). Work was largely funded by a Chickadee Checkoff Grant from KDWPT to TML.
Stephanie Bristow was awarded a K-INBRE (NIH) Fall 2020 scholarship (continued through Spring 2021)
Our Percival environmental chambers and Leica microscopes arrived! These were purchased as part of an KS EPSCoR (NSF) First Award to TML.
The lab UTV arrives and we* started our Summer 2021 field season (*Christine Streid, Krista Ward, Jake Wright, Stephanie Bristow, Emily Stybr, TML). This work was funded primarily through a KDWPT Chickadee Checkoff grant to TML and KS NSF EPSCoR
KS NSF EPSCoR funded a First Award Grant to TML: "Hot, dry, and wet again: Effects of drought and warming on wetland microbial communities."
KDWPT funded a Chickadee Checkoff Small Grant to TML: "Flint Hills wetlands and aquatic vertebrate responses to climate change."
The Lab (Christine Streid, Jake Wright, TML, and special guests Jackie Baum & Emily Smith) drove to Reno Nevada for the 2019 joint Annual Meeting of The Wildlife Society (TWS) and American Fisheries Society (AFS). TML presented a talk about the effects of predation on aquatic-terrestrial exchanges of biomass in a special symposium organized by Megan Sabal and Eric Palkovacs on Predation and Migration. Added bonus: I got to catch up with Katie Kierczynski (mentee from Michigan State: 2013 - 2015), Brian Crawford (REU Student at SREL: 2008), and Mike Wagner (Michigan State Postdoc Mentor: 2013-2015).
Our new lab truck is here!.
Our new lab truck is here!.