ESA 2014

We were off the interwebs for most of last week, as the entire lab was at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Sacramento. We had lots of fun, talked a lot of science, and caught up with a lot of friends and colleagues. Here’s a brief rundown of what we were up to there:

-Shannon Bayliss won an award for her entry into the Eco-Arts exhibit. In short, Shannon buried some film with some bacteria and then photographed (and is developing) the partially decomposed film. You can read more about this project in her recent blog post.

-Erica Holdridge gave a talk about a recent experiment in the lab using pitcher plant protozoa. She was attempting to determine whether the relative strengths of exploitative versus interference competition varied with the number of individuals in the community. Now she’s working with Catalina Cuellar Gempeler to identify the bacteria species at these different densities to see what role they play in these types of competition.

-Shannon also gave a talk at the meeting about a data set she has been working on. She is determining whether invasive species experience selection during invasion, and which factors (herbivores? disturbance?) impose selection.

-Casey terHorst gave a talk about how to measure selection in response to indirect effects, and how that sort of non-additive selection affects how species evolve in natural communities where lots and lots of species interact with each other.

-Lab collaborator, Mia Stockenreiter, gave a talk about testing The Ghost of Competition Present, using aquatic phytoplankton communities. This project is an ongoing collaboration, but has produced some interesting results about how communities of algae are assembled and how evolutionary history might influence that.

We’re all looking forward to the Centennial celebration of ESA next year in Baltimore.

We’re also anxiously awaiting the arrival of new lab members Nickie Cammisa and Zoë Scott this week!


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