Summer/Fall News 2017 for Gibbs Lab

  • New Postdoc, Dr. Alex Ochoa arrived in June to work on the Sistrurus conservation genetics project.
  • Lisle attended the Latin American Herpetology Congress, Quito, Ecuador in July and the Brazilian Toxinologists Congress in Florianopolis, Brazil in August.
  • Mike Broe and Lisle attend a meeting of NSF-FAPESP Venom Grant Participants at the Instituto Butantan, Sao Paulo in September.
  • New PhD student Alyssa Hassinger arrived in August.
  • Lab hosted (along with the Chavez Lab) a visit by Dr. Nick Casewell to Ohio State in October.
  • Jamin and Scott presented papers at the Student Conference on Conservation Science at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC in October.
  • Jamin presented a paper at the North American Society for Bat Research, Knoxville TN in October.
  • Lisle and Steve Smith organized and hosted the Annual OBCP Meeting in November at the OSU 4H Center. Scott, Jamin and Alex gave presentations at the meeting.
  • Lab undergraduate, Marissa Monopoli was awarded an OSU Honors and Scholars Enrichment Grant in December to work with Jamin on the molecular analyses of bat diets.
  • Lab was awarded a Competitive State Wildlife Grant for collaborative work on bats with groups at OSU and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences in December. This will fund Jamin’s PhD research.


Upcoming Changes in People in the Gibbs Lab.

The Gibbs lab will undergo significant changes in people in the coming months.  Pending successful defenses of their theses in the near future (!), PhD students Matt Holding and Rob Denton will be leaving to take up postdoctoral positions. In June, Matt will be moving to Florida to first, take a position with Dr. Chris Parkinson, Department of Biology, University of Central Florida as a postdoc for a year on our NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity Grant on snake venom evolution before then moving to take up his two year NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship on morphological and venom evolution in snakes with Dr. Darin Rokyta, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University.  In August, Rob will move to Dr. John Malone’s lab in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, to work on amphibian genome evolution (including unisexual Ambystoma salamanders).  Congratulations to both – they will be sorely missed!
Three migrants will arrive to join current PhD students, Scott Martin and Jamin Wieringa: Dr. Mike Broe, Dr. Alex Ochoa, and Alyssa Bigelow. Mike will take up a postdoctoral position as part of our NSF venom grant to work on genomic structure of snake venom genes. Alex will be joining us from the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona where he completed his PhD on Florida panther genomics. He will be working on an OBCP-funded project examining the genomic consequences of population bottlenecks on adaptive variation in Massasauga rattlesnakes. Finally, Alyssa will be joining the lab from Florida State University where she most recently has been working as a technician in the Rokyta and Lemmon Labs to take up a position as a PhD student working on the genomic basis of coevolutionary interactions between rattlesnakes and squirrels. Welcome to all!

Rob Denton – Publication in Functional Ecology

21 December 2016
Congratulations to Rob Denton on his recent publication in Functional Ecology  including videos (video) of salamanders on treadmills! (OSU press release) and to former undergraduate, Paul Hudson his publication in Herpetological Review (Hudson et al.).

Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Simley-Walters!

Sarah Smiley-Walters successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Interactions between Pigmy Rattlesnakes (Sistrurus miliarius) and a suite of prey species: a study of prey behavior and variable venom toxicity” on 9 December – congratulations!

The 2016 Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership Meeting

The 2016 Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership Meeting took place at the 4-H Center on the Ohio State University campus. The meeting was attended by over 80 people from OSU, the Ohio Division of Wildlife and other partners from across Ohio. Presentations included talks by Dr. Mazeika Sullivan on stream conservation and Dr. Steven Spear on eDNA and five short talks on OBCP-funded research (see program).