Hood Lab: "The Population Biology of Fungal Invasions"

Recent Publication


Gladieux P, Feurtey A, Hood ME, Snirc A, Clavel J, Dutech C, Roy M, Giraud T. "The Population Biology of Fungal Invasions." Molecular Biology DOI: 10.1111/mec.13028  vol. 24, Jan. 2015.

This review covers the occurrence and importance of invasions by fungi, which are often overlooked due to the cryptic nature of microbial eukaryotes. A local fungal pathogen is used to illustrate the molecular tracing of source populations overseas. 


Published 5 Dec 2014 TLR

Trapani Lab: Recording Field Potentials from Zebrafish Larvae During Escape Responses

Recent Publication

Bryan D. Monesson-Olson, Eileen L. Troconis’15, and Josef G. Trapani. "Recording Field Potentials from Zebrafish Larvae During Escape Responses." J Undergrad Neuro Educ (JUNE), Fall 2014, 13(1):A52-A58.

The Trapani Lab recently published a teaching article in the Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE) on recording field potentials generated by escape responses of larval zebrafish. The article describes an electrophysiological method to record these potentials from intact, behaving zebrafish using both free-swimming or fixed-position larvae. The laboratories described in the article provide an opportunity to follow a physical stimulus through the nervous system to a behavioral response.


21 October 2014 TLR

Hood Lab: Disease in Marginal Populations

Summer field studies in Professor Michael Hood's lab address how a pollinator-transmitted disease of wild carnations interacts with host population densities. Previous theory suggested a "disease-free halo" at population margins. Detailed demography of the plants and the anther-smut pathogen reveals disease up to the edge of host distributions.  This ongoing research is funded by the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Program (EEID) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Hood Field Research 2 Summer 2014

Hood Field Research Summer 2014 Students from Amherst College, University of Virginia, and the University of Turin, Italy

31 July 2014 TLR

Williamson Lab: Substrate Trajectory Through Phospholipid-Transporting P4-ATPases

Recent Publication:

P4 Class of P-type ATPases Patrick L. Williamson. "Substrate trajectory through phospholipid-transporting P4-ATPases." Biochemical Society Transactions 42: 1368 (2014).

The P4 class of P-type ATPases transport phospholipids.  These molecules are much larger than the ions transported by other members of this ATPase family. Gene mutations suggest three different possibilities for this trajectory.  In the best model, transport of these giant phospholipid substrates most closely resembles the transport of the smallest substrate of P-type ATPases, the proton.


9 October 2014 TLR

Trapani Lab: Optical Stimulation of Zebrafish Hair Cells

Recent Publication:

Optical Stimulation of Zebrafish Hair Cells Bryan D. Monesson-Olson*, Jenna Browning-Kamins*’13, Razina Aziz-Bose*’14, Fabiana Kreines'12, and Josef G. Trapani (*equal author contribution).  “Optical Stimulation of Zebrafish Hair Cells Expressing Channelrhodopsin-2.” PLOS ONE. 9(5): e96641, May 2014. 0

Approach: Using optogenetics to study hair-cell function and sensory encoding with transgenic  ChR2 zebrafish.

7 July 2014 TLR

Clotfelter Lab: Nesting Tree Swallows

Ongoing Research:

Hematophagous parasites of nestling tree swallows Professor Ethan Clotfelter's Senior Honors and SURF students* are currently research parasites of nesting tree swallows in the Amherst College Wildlife Sanctuary.  Their research questions include, "What factors predict nest infestation?;" "What are the fitness costs of infestation for nestlings?;" and "Do hematophagous parasites compromise the immune system of nestling tree swallows?"

 *Summer Science Undergraduate Research Fellows Program

Clotfelter Summer Students

Tiffany Lee ‘16, Joely DeSimone ‘15, and Lindsey Bechen ‘16

7 July 2014 TLR

Hood Lab: Hybrid Fungal Pathogen Performance

Recent Publication:

Performance of a Hybrid Fungal Pathogen on Pure-Species and Hybrid Host Plants Amanda Gibson '08, Guislaine Refrégier, Michael E. Hood and Tatiana Giraud. “Performance of a Hybrid Fungal Pathogen on Pure-Species and Hybrid Host Plants.” International Journal of Plant Sciences, vol. 175, July 2014. 

Summary: Hybrids of the anther-smut pathogen may exhibit an infection advantage, but hybrid plants are not a bridge to host shifts.

7 July 2014 TLR

Clotfelter Lab: "Guanine-Based Structural Coloration as an Indicator of Oxidative Stress in a Cichlid Fish"

In Press


Matthew D. Cahn ‘13, Alexandria C. Brown and Ethan D. Clotfelter. Guanine-based structural coloration as an indicator of oxidative stress in a cichlid fish. Journal of Experimental Zoology, in press.

 "We used a novel approach to measure structural coloration in a fish and found that structural coloration can be condition-dependent and indicative of environmental stress."


10 Nov 2015 KAR