French connection

Jason was at the European Conference on Fungal Genetics in Paris this April and had a chance to deliver a lecture. It was a great meeting of science and there was a lot of social media coverage by participants.

Jason and Ousmane also attended the 1st conference on multicellular development in fungi where Ousmane presented his work on the Neolecta genome and comparative biology of the Taphrinomycotina fungi.

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An ascus of Neurospora biologists…
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It was a bit imposing to be on stage with bright colored backdrop
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I showed some colorful trees
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Little Jason and big slides

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Mural at a school with a mushroom little red riding hood and mushrooms in the forest
Mural at a school with a mushroom little red riding hood and mushrooms in the forest

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A desert foray

We started some explorations on fungi in desert crusts this week with a project in Joshua Tree National Park. Nuttapom received a Robert Lee Graduate Student research grant to explore impacts of visitor disturbance on biodiversity of desert crusts in JTNP.  Nat with the help of Claudia, Derreck, and Prof Mike Allen did a first exploration of a few sites.  We are happy to see some rain falling this week so there should be some changes to the crusts in some subsequent visits this week and weekend and coinciding with a workshop on desert crusts in the park this weekend. Here’s a few pictures of the team out in the field last week.

Mike leads the team
Mike and Derreck ahead in Hidden Valley
Nat Sampling
Nat, getting his first taste of sampling in the desert.
Claudia looking for sandtsone associated fungi
Dereck and Claudia helping to look for crusts. Claudia is researching sandstone associated fungi from a variety of habitats.
Cyano Crust
Cyanobacteria dominated crust
Moss crust
Moss & crusts

Soil crust site

Migrating fungal biologists

  • We said bye to Marco Marconi, visiting student from the Wilkinson Lab in Madrid, in December. He worked on some data mining from the 1KFG project and brought some new R tools for looking for enrichment across the CAZY, Interpro, and Pfam differences in species.

Marco

  • We welcome Plant Pathology graduate student Derreck Carter-House to the lab in January – after spending time working on molecular biology projects in plants and plant-microbe interactions in another lab. carterhouseweb
  • Jason went across to England to serve on Ensembl Genomes  SAB and give seminar at University of Exeter – he came back with more appreciation for sunny California winters.
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Recent lab news

The past few months have passed quickly but wanted to share a few updates.

Jason presented at the EMBO Eukaryotes meeting in Spain, Mexican Mycology Congress, Univ of Arizona, attended the Kavli Frontiers meeting, co-organized the Southern California Eukaryotic Pathogens meeting held again at UCR and taught graduate course on Programming and Data analyses.

The past few months we hosted Yinka Odebode from University of Lagos from August to November. He was supported by the West African Research Association. Yinka learned about ITS sequencing of fungi to identify his isolates in his work in Africa. He also explored properties of dust associated fungi in Nigeria before he returned home in November.

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We also welcomed Marco Marconi from Madrid for a few months and is working on comparative genomics of fungi using the 1KFG datasets.

Starting in  September we welcomed new graduate student in Plant Pathology, Nuttapon Pombubpa (right). Here he is (right) enjoying lunch along with visiting student Claudia Coleine and graduate student Sawyer.

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We gathered to say goodbye to project scientist Peng Liu who returned to China in December. Here she is with postdoc Jinfeng and visiting student Zhinquan.
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Undergraduates Dillon and Jericho joined us for lunch as well. They have both worked closely with Peng this Summer and Fall.lablunch4

Most of the lab together for a farewell lunch for Peng including Deane on the far right.lablunch5

Happy trails!

A quick note to say congrats and good luck to postdocs and students who finished up the summer.

Graduate student Steven Ahrendt who graduated from the GGB program and is now a postdoc at the JGI / UC Berkeley.

Postdoc Ousmane Cissé finished his fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation and moved on to the NIH on a fellowship to work on Pneumocystis.

Postdoc Rod Olarte moved to the University of Minnesota on a NSF postdoctoral fellowship.

Undergraduates Dillon McDonald and Christina Uriarte also finished their summer projects in the HSI-STEM and MARCU programs.

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