Events & Activities
Each year the JSToll Fellows sponsor a number of campus speakers and events as well as an occasional off-campus event. Apprentices and Fellows are specifically encouraged to not only attend these events but have a role in planning them.
A Hitchhikers Guide to Biogeography: Understanding Tick Range Expansions
Robyn M. Nadolny, MS, PhD candidate Old Dominion University Dept. of Biological Sciences, Norfolk, VA
What affects the risk of contracting a tick-borne infection, and how can we predict areas at risk for increased tick-borne disease? Anthropogenic changes to the landscape such as increased urbanization and climate change have contributed to the recent range expansions of ticks, including two Central American species that are now invading the mid-Atlantic United States. The tick species Amblyomma maculatum and Ixodes affinis are establishing populations in coastal Virginia and beyond, and are changing the pathogen dynamics in these densely populated areas. Ongoing research explores the ecology and genetics of these newly established populations to try to understand: where did these invaders originate and where they might be going next?
Brain Wiring Gone Awry
Jennifer Round, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Ursinus College
Advances in genomics have allowed us to link specific genes to many common neurodevelopmental disorders, but the cellular defects that lead to these conditions are still poorly understood. My lab investigates a gene family that has been linked to multiple brain disorders, including Tourette syndrome and schizophrenia. We use zebrafish as a convenient model to explore the roles of these genes in neuron growth, synapse formation, and cell survival during development. As we gain new knowledge of the basic biology of nervous system wiring, we can enhance our understanding of the cellular basis of neurological disease.
Co-Sponsors: The Washington College Chapter of Sigma Xi and the William James Forum