Lab Visitor — Nathan Nieto

We had a great time last week when Dr Nathan Nieto from Northern Arizona University visited the department at Tech. Kendra invited him as we plan to work with him on the bat ectoparasite collection she made during her research on the response of cave bats to disturbance in the Philippines.

Nate’s research focuses on the emergence of infectious diseases from (primarily) wildlife reservoirs, and he gave a super talk that illustrates integrative approaches (from vertebrate reservoir communities to the molecular phylogeny of the pathogens) entitled “Sylvatic maintenance of endemic disease: pathogen evolution through a host community filter”. 

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Rodrigo Medellin visit to TTU

We had a lovely day today with Dr Rodrigo Medellin visiting. Maria invited him to give a departmental seminar in the department, which went over very well and was entitled “How to do mammal conservation science, implement it, and not die trying” . It was also a great chance to have chat … here he is with the lab

Visitor from Auburn University – Dr Wendy Hood

The semester ended with a wonderful visit from Dr Wendy Hood – Tigga’s academic sister from grad school days, now an assistant prof at Auburn University. Wendy studies nutritional ecology of vertebrate growth, reproduction, and performance and gave the departmental seminar  ‘Investigating the roles of nutrition, lactation, and bone metabolism in reproductive performance’, as well as going over some of her bat research in our lab meeting. We then found time for a quick jolly to Caprock Canyon…..

Wendy in Caprock Canyon

Wendy in Caprock Canyon

Tigga and Wendy at Caprock Canyon -- grad school sisters since Fall 1994!

Tigga and Wendy at Caprock Canyon — grad school sisters since Fall 1994!

Visitor from the Max Planck Institute

It was a real delight to have Daniela Schmieder visiting for a week at the beginning of the month. Dani worked with myself Julie and Ain in Malaysia a few years ago, where she was looking at echolocation performance in Kerivoula and Murina species for her Diploma (got some very nice papers out of it too, which you can learn more about here and here). She is now finishing up her PhD work on the role of functional morphology in resource partitioning of syntopic European bat species (primarily Rhinolophus species), at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen (which I visited earlier this year) where she is part of the late Bjoern Siemers’ Sensory Ecology Group.

She gave the lab a great presentation on her PhD research, and worked with me on one of her dissertation publications, but there was plenty of time for fun, as we did a day hike out to the Lighthouse at Palo Duro Canyon. Hopefully we will catch up with her at the IBRC (International Bat Research Conference) in Costa Rica, later this year. Below are some pics of her visit….

At the Lighthouse -- what cool bat nerds. From left to right, Tigga, Dani, Julie, Maria, Ain and Danny

At the Lighthouse — what cool bat nerds. From left to right, Tigga, Dani, Julie, Maria, Ain and Danny (honorary bat nerd) – 6 people, 5 nationalities 🙂 — Joe was studying for his quals or we would have had a sixth.

Lighthouse in the background, Dani (the tall one) with Julie and Ain. Intraspecific variation in action

Lighthouse in the background, Dani (the tall one) with Julie (right) and Ain (left).

Guns up! On campus with Julie (left) and Ain (right)

Learning Tech traditions – on campus with Julie (left) and Ain (right)