Zach Nickerson's (former MS student) first thesis chapter is now available online and published in Biogeochemistry. This study highlights the functional roles of three species of freshwater mussels in facilitating the removal of nitrogen from aquatic ecosystems via the processes of denitrification and anammox. Specifically, through their excretion, mussels enhanced ambient nitrogen removal and their biodeposits enhanced potential nitrogen removal. This is one of the first studies to link animal functional traits to nitrogen removal and further highlights the role of this endangered faunal group.
Dan Knapp successfully defended his thesis, Development and life-history traits affect larval anuran stoichiometry and role in wetland ecosystem nutrient storage on 10/24/2019. His thesis examines tissue stoichiometry in several species of tadpoles as they undergo development and uses those data to scale nutrient storage across several wetlands. Several faculty and students attended the public portion of Dan's defense and he survived questions from Drs. Lora Smith, Jon Benstead, and Carla. Great work Dan! Can't wait to see the article to come.
Dan drove up from the Jones Ecological Research Center to come present on his master's research in the Department of Biological Sciences seminar series at the University of Alabama. Dan conducted a practice talk Thursday night at Druid City Brewing Company with the lab group and visitors from University of Mississippi. Same talk, but slightly different atmosphere. Dan's research is on the role of life history and developmental traits on larval anuran stoichiometry and he will be defending his master's in only a couple of weeks!
Carla co-authored a paper with Hal Halvorson (new assistant professor at Central Arkansas!) examining the total flux of egesta and excreta from aquatic consumers. This paper is being published as part of a special issue on Ecological Stoichiometry for Aquatic Ecosystem Studies in the journal diversity. The paper is open access, so you can easily view the full text of the paper here: https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/11/10/189
Dan hit the Ecological Society of America meeting in Louisville, Kentucky with his poster on stoichiometric development of larval anuran development which will comprise his first thesis chapter. He had some good conversations and saw a bunch of interesting talks. The mussel biodiversity crew was also very busy the past two weeks and completed sampling at two Sipsey and two Buttahatchee River sites! The summer has flown by and now it is time to get back into the academic year here!
We attended the 2019 Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Basin mussel workshop this past week at the Jones Ecological Research Center. It was great continuing seeing mussels over this past week after fieldwork on the Paint Rock River and Bear Creek the weeks before. It was a a good musselcation and nice to meet and catch up with other colleagues in the southeast. It was a great time exploring different streams and learning about other mussels! We also were able to catch up with Dan Knapp and give him comments on his poster for the Ecological Society of America meeting. Looking forward to getting back down there.
The semester is nearly completed and the lab is getting geared up for lots of summer fieldwork. However, we are having several departures. Lucas Glisson, Jillian Hochstrasser, and Jane Kunberger are all graduating! We will miss them dearly and wish them the best in the future. Lucas is working up his snail study for publication, Jillian is going to Oregon for a job in freshwater fisheries, and Jane is off to graduate school at LSU. Jane has been working in the lab since her freshman year, so things are going to be a lot different without her. Here's a message from Jane:
It has been a busy week! Brian and Carla both gave oral presentations on ongoing research in the lab at the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society meeting. It was a wonderful meeting held in San Antonio, TX that allowed us to meet new scientists and catch up with old colleagues. Additionally, Carla got back in time to receive UA's President's Faculty Emerging Research Scholar Award. It was quite the ceremony!
Carla, Brian van Ee, Lucas Glisson, and Jane Kunberger went over to Jackson, MS for the Mississippi Water Resources Conference. Carla gave a oral presentation the first day and all of the students gave poster presentations on their work. Jane Kunberger, an undergraduate researcher in the lab, received 3rd place for her poster! The crew finished up their visit in Jackson with a visit to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
Dr. Carla L. Atkinson
My life is like a float trip!