News and Announcements
With support from RWU, the Sharp Lab hosted an Astrangia Working Group workshop for a large collaborative network of scientists. The main objective of this workshop is to work toward establishing Astrangia poculata as a model organism for studying the biology of corals, coral symbiosis, and response to climate change.
* Some great local press coverage of the Sharp Lab research program in the Providence Journal.
* Koty presents Astrangia microbiome research at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu, HI. Press coverage here
Congratulations to Erin Borbee, RWU '17, who was awarded an NSF SURF Fellowship to work in the Sharp Lab this summer. Her research will be focused on continued development of Astrangia husbandry in the laboratory, as well as methods development for metagenomics applications in Astrangia. Interested in the SURF program? Want to do a summer research project? Check out this link for more information.
Koty presents Astrangia microbiome research at Benthic Ecology Meeting in Portland, ME.
FUNDING!! Congratulations Taylor Kolvek, RWU '16, who was awarded a RWU CEED grant to develop and evaluate a husbandry system at RWU for the coral Astrangia poculata.
Corals in New England??
The Sharp Lab has been working hard to maintain collections of the locally growing Northern Star Coral Astrangia poculata. The students have the tanks up and running so that we can run experiments with the corals.
Koty and Dr. David Hastings delivered a fun-filled educational day for the public at Eckerd College, engaging local policymakers, educators, and even some young budding scientists about the threat of microplastics pollution in Tampa Bay. This one-day workshop was funded by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.
*** Koty joins the faculty of Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI! ***
Stay tuned for exciting news about her research and teaching at RWU.
Eckerd College undergraduates Takoda Edlund and Sam Fortin head to the Florida Keys with Koty and collaborators from the Smithsonian. Their main objective for the research trip is to assay sunscreens on larval settlement in the coral Porites astreoides.
FUNDING!! Koty received a Tampa Bay Estuary Program Mini-Grant, along with Dr. David Hastings from Eckerd College, to do public outreach and education about the problem of microplastics pollution in the Tampa Bay Estuary. Stay tuned for news about our public education workshops and student volunteer opportunities in the spring!
PUBLICATION! Another new publication - it's a worm, it's a clam.....!
This PNAS publication describes our collaborative research using metagenomics techniques to learn more about symbiotic cellulose degradation in Bankia setacea, a species of wood-boring bivalves known as shipworms.
**Our shipworm research paper has been highlighted in Science! Check it out here!
PUBLICATION! Check out our new publication - a review on chemical ecology of benthic marine environments. This was a collaborative effort with scientists from the Smithsonian Marine Station, University of Hawaii, and Chicago State University. Eckerd College Marine Science seniors, class of 2013, worked hard on the literature search, as part of work in their senior seminar, Chemical Ecology.
Welcome, Colleen O'Brien and Sam Fortin, our newest Sharp Lab members!
Welcome back, Takoda!
PUBLICATION! Check out our new publication in Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences on the influence of bacteria on coral larval settlement.
Takoda Edlund starts in the Sharp Lab as an NSSRP student. Welcome, Takoda!
FUNDING!! Koty receives a Natural Sciences Summer Research Program (NSSRP) grant to support a summer research student on a coral microbiome research project.
Koty teaches Comparative Animal Physiology.
Koty teaches Eckerd College Marine Science Comprehensive Exams. Our newest crop of Marine Science seniors passed the comprehensive exams and move onto their final semester at Eckerd College!
Koty is on leave - check back in January for new updates!
PUBLICATION! Check out our publication in Coral Reefs with collaborators on the ecology and physiology of a most interesting coral, Astrangia poculata.
Koty returned to Summerland Key for more fieldwork on reproduction in P. astreoides with collaborators from the Smithsonian Institution and Mote Marine Laboratory. A great trip with outstanding collaborators -- learning a lot of new things about coral reproduction and larval settlement.
Well, this is by far the hardest part of leading a research group. Today I had to see Max and Lexi graduate. What a wonderful moment - a celebration of their hard work and dedication, leading to exciting new beginnings....but now I have to let them leave?? Don't worry, guys - you can run, but you can't hide. Congratulations on a job well done. How thrilled I am that you worked in the lab with me. Oh, the places you'll go!
FUNDING!! Koty Sharp, along with collaborator Dr. Kim Ritchie at Mote Marine Laboratory, was awarded a grant from the FL "Protect Our Reefs" License Plate Grants Program for their research on the microbial ecology of the early life stage of tropical corals.
FUNDING!! Koty Sharp is a co-PI on a grant funded by the Mote Marine Laboratory "Protect Our Reefs" License Plate Grants Program for the group's continued coral larval settlement research.
THESIS DEFENSE!! Congratulations to Maxine Tan, who defended her senior thesis, "Shifts in Bacterial Community Composition During Porites astreoides Reproduction."
THESIS DEFENSE!! Congratulations to Lexi Duscher, who defended her senior thesis, "Identification of a Putative Pathogen in the Caribbean Sponge Callyspongia vaginalis."
Koty, Lexi, and Max are off to the Florida Keys for a week of fieldwork and research with the coral Porites astreoides, in collaboration with scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and Mote Marine Laboratory. They'll be working at the Mote Tropical Research Laboratory at Summerland Key. The corals will be releasing larvae this month during the new moon, and they'll be there to catch them in the act and work with the larvae to learn more about coral reproduction. This work is partially funded by the Mote Protect Our Reefs License Plate Grants Program. Koty is excited to show them the art of the midnight snorkel timepoint and to show them the oversized roadside attractions of the Florida Keys.
While in the Keys, Koty, Lexi, and Max attended the annual meeting of the FL Chapter of the American Society of Microbiology. What a great meeting! Max and Lexi both gave outstanding research talks, which were extremely well received.
***Special congratulations to Lexi, who won the 1st place award for Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation!
The Eckerd College Student Research Symposium was a great success - and the Sharp Lab represented! Maxine and Lexi both gave wonderful oral presentations, and the Freshman Research Program crew presented their work at the poster session.
*** Congrats to Lexi, who was awarded FIRST PLACE ORAL PRESENTATION for the talk she gave on her senior thesis work!
Oh boy, was this was a big month.
The long-awaited, exceptional new science facility, the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences, opens at Eckerd College. We are so excited to move into the new lab and get working in our new space! Come visit us on campus, or see more about our amazing new building here.
The Zeiss confocal microscope has arrived and is safely situated in its own room. It looks ready to revolutionize our teaching and research here at Eckerd College. Training begins immediately.
The Eckerd College Science Symposium on January 31 was a HUGE success for Eckerd researchers. Students and alums presented their latest findings, featuring research from environmental studies, biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, physics, and marine science.
Highlights for the Sharp Lab at the Symposium:
-Maxine Tan presented her senior research in an invited talk at the symposium.
-Lexi Duscher presented her senior research in a poster session.
-In the 1st Annual Art of Science Photo Contest, a micrograph taken by Karah, Maxine, and Lexi took the prize in the Scientific Imaging category. Way to go!
Both Lexi Duscher and Maxine Tan decide to pursue a senior thesis, continuing their projects in the Sharp Lab. Nice choice, ladies!!
Karah Niemann, Eckerd '15, joins the lab for an independent research project. Welcome, Karah!
Lexi Duscher, Eckerd '13, joins the lab for a senior year independent research project. Welcome, Lexi!
With the start of a new year, the Marine Science Freshman Research Program starts. This year, 4 freshmen start learning about microbial ecology of reef invertebrates in the Sharp Lab.
PUBLICATION! Check out our review of the latest research in coral-bacterial associations, published in Biological Bulletin.
Koty presents research at the International Symbiosis Society in Krakow, Poland: "Identification of Bacteria that Facilitate Settlement and Metamorphosis in Larvae of Caribbean Corals"
Maxine Tan joins the lab as an independent study student. Welcome, Maxine!
Brady O'Donnell joins the lab as part of the Marine Science Freshman Research Program. Welcome, Brady!
Koty leads a workshop at the Ocean Genome Legacy (in the snowy north - Ipswich, MA!!) on the coral Astrangia poculata. For more details, see the workshop link.
PUBLICATION! Check out our latest publication on bacterial interactions with coral larvae, in advanced online print in The Journal of the International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME-J).
Koty joins the faculty in the Biology and Marine Science programs at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. Stay tuned for more news about the courses she'll teach and her research program at Eckerd!
Maxine and Lexi at the Mote Tropical Research Laboratory, on their way out to do some sampling in the seagrass beds.
Koty in the FL Keys site, getting ready to deploy the equipment.
Congrats, Lexi, for top prize in the undergrad oral presentation at the 2013 FL American Society for Microbiology meeting in Islamorada! Here she is, with other researchers also awarded for excellent presentations.
Freshman students in Biological Oceanography in Fall 2012, hard at work to construct Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) for a laboratory activity.