Seminars & Events

Please scroll to the very bottom to see our upcoming seminars!

See also the UMass Consolidated Calendar of Life Sciences Seminars

February 2019

Mon, Feb 4, 2019

Veltsos_research_image

Biology Monday Seminar

Paris Veltsos, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University, Department of Biology
" Insights in Sex Chromosome Evolution from Genetic Mapping"
I am interested in the evolutionary forces that shape sex chromosomes such as sexual selection, and their implications to reproductive isolation. I have worked on a variety of organisms (grasshoppers, Drosophila, frogs, plants) and used theoretical models, field and lab populations (including experimental evolution) to investigate these questions. My main project at Indiana University is testing the prediction that sexually antagonistic traits (those that are beneficial for one sex but deleterious for the other) are enriched on the pseudoautosomal region of the sex chromosomes. We are performing a QTL study on >30 traits, some of which are sexually antagonistic, using a cross between plant populations (S. latifolia) that are adapted to different environments. The associated genetic map also allows to directly identify locations of the genome that are potentially sexually antagonistic by being associated with sex more often than chance.

Mon, Feb 18, 2019

DeAngelis_Research_Image_1

Biology Monday Seminar

Kristen M DeAngelis, PhD
Associate Professor, Microbiology Department
Microbiology Honors Program Director
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Title: Soil Microbes Acclimate to a Warming World
The acceleration of global warming due to terrestrial carbon (C)-cycle feedbacks is likely to be an important, though poorly defined, component of future climate change. Both the sign and magnitude of these feedbacks in the real Earth system are still highly uncertain due to gaps in basic understanding of terrestrial ecosystem processes. This research takes advantage of an ongoing long-term soil warming experiment in which soils at the Harvard Forest LTER in Massachusetts have been heated for 27 years. Our approach includes a combination of soil biochemistry, isotopic labeling, and trait-based modeling methods. By examining this long-term climate warming manipulation, this research targets two of the biggest questions in soil carbon response to climate warming: how will carbon use efficiency and physical protection of carbon alter microbial feedbacks to climate in a warming world?

DeAngelis_Research_Image_1

Biology Monday Seminar

Kristen M DeAngelis, PhD
Associate Professor, Microbiology Department
Microbiology Honors Program Director
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Title: Soil Microbes Acclimate to a Warming World
The acceleration of global warming due to terrestrial carbon (C)-cycle feedbacks is likely to be an important, though poorly defined, component of future climate change. Both the sign and magnitude of these feedbacks in the real Earth system are still highly uncertain due to gaps in basic understanding of terrestrial ecosystem processes. This research takes advantage of an ongoing long-term soil warming experiment in which soils at the Harvard Forest LTER in Massachusetts have been heated for 27 years. Our approach includes a combination of soil biochemistry, isotopic labeling, and trait-based modeling methods. By examining this long-term climate warming manipulation, this research targets two of the biggest questions in soil carbon response to climate warming: how will carbon use efficiency and physical protection of carbon alter microbial feedbacks to climate in a warming world?

Mon, Feb 25, 2019

Biology Monday Seminar: “The Forgotten One: ApoD, Lipoprotein Oxidation and Atherosclerosis”

Kamilah Ali, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Basic Science
Course Director, Pharmacology
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Title: “The Forgotten One: ApoD, Lipoprotein Oxidation and Atherosclerosis”
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The pathogenesis of CAD is complex and is due to the development of plaque, the accumulation of cholesterol in macrophages, in blood vessels that can cause thrombosis, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Some of the key players or steps in accumulation of cholesterol are the levels of plasma lipoproteins, oxidative capacity of LDL-cholesterol, and the inflammatory state of macrophages. Apolipoproteins (apos) are major determinants in regulating human plasma lipoprotein levels, thus affecting plaque formation (atherogenesis) in blood vessels. Our protein of interest, ApoD, is associated with plasma high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), and is ubiquitously expressed in tissues and present in cell types (endothelial cells (EC), vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), macrophages) involved in plaque formation. However, we have a poor understanding of the role(s) and mechanism(s) of apoD in plaque development. We use in vivo animal models on a Western diet, lipid biochemistry and cell culture to address our hypothesis. Our preliminary data suggest that apoD is anti-atherogenic whose effects may be mediated by modulating LDL oxidation and/or downstream activation of macrophage- vascular smooth muscle cells signaling pathways.