In collaboration with John Pfeiffer and others, a paper highlighting a fifth Ambleminae tribe that occurs in Mesoamerica has just been published in Zoologica Scripta! This work better classifies the diversity in this group. However, there is still a knowledge gap remaining. It was also a great deal of fun putting this work together with John and collecting the animals in Usumacinta River with Krista Capps!
It was fun collecting samples and tracking mussel burial, but Monica's mesocosm experiment has concluded. She is investigating how mussel species identify influences both the green and brown food webs and overall algal community composition. Now it's time to dig in and analyze samples and data! More to come!
The upcoming Dimensions of Biodiversity project was in the news today! The official press release from NSF came out today to announce the awarded projects: http://bit.ly/2O6Lwva
Carla acted as a co-author on Garrett Hopper's (Kansas State grad student) paper, "Biomass distribution of fishes and mussels mediates spatial and temporal heterogeneity in nutrient cycling in streams". Nice work Garrett! This is work funded by NSF and follows up on some of Carla's PhD work. See the paper here: https://rdcu.be/9IW9
Atkapps Exchange, a inter-lab exchange between the Atkinson and Capps lab, was held this past weekend at the Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway. We had an afternoon of short "ignite-style" talks followed by a swimming and snorkeling trip on Friday. On Saturday, Jennifer Howze gave a field talk on gopher tortoises and then we had the privilege of floating Ichawaynochaway Creek! Carla, Hal Halvorson, Brian, and Monica all visited a couple of wetlands and collected crayfish for an upcoming experiment. Overall, a very fun and productive weekend!
We made it through the first 3 days of the semester! The first lab meeting was held today and several things are in works in the Atkinson lab. Glad to have a lot of hands available for getting through samples and several minds for digging through data and discussing results. Think its going to be a great semester! Dan made it fun by bringing an alligator snapping turtle along (this may have not actually happened)!
There is a new paper out from the lab in collaboration with Lora Smith, Amanda Subalusky, Julia Earl, David Mushet, David Scott, Stacey Lance, and Steve Johnson! The manuscript is an overview of the abiotic and biotic factors driving biological connectivity between seasonal wetlands and other landscape features. Check it out here: https://rdcu.be/47iR!
We are conducting a snail feeding study in collaboration with Hal Halvorson (Southern Miss), Kevin Kuehn (Southern Miss), and Bob Findlay (UA). This is a follow-up experiment to their fine-scale microbial characterization of leaf litter and priming under different light and nutrient manipulations. The feeding experiment will allow us to connect our fine-scale microbial characterization (especially biomass and carbon flow into different groups) to detrital versus algal contributions to consumer growth. We collected all our snails over the weekend and have the experiment up and running. Several undergraduate students from UA are helping in the effort. Gabi Dickinson, Abby Rankin, Lucas Glisson, and Maya Owens-Freeman have been helpful in making the setup successful! More to come!
Zach Nickerson successfully defended his master's thesis entitled "Influence of native freshwater mussel functional traits and community structure on nitrogen removal in stream sediments" today. His committee was composed of Carla, Behzad Mortazavi, Bob Findlay, and Lisa Davis (UA Geography). He did an excellent job and we look forward to see his future success and the papers to come! Celebrations ensued at Nicks in the Sticks and other undisclosed locations. Congratulations Zach!
Dr. Carla L. Atkinson
My life is like a float trip!