Is relative viral load an important metric for treatment and prognosis of influenza A?

Zane Billings, a student at Western Carolina University, worked with Dr. Andreas Handel and graduate student Brian McKay in the UGA College of Public Health. Abstract Influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) present with several of the same symptoms, including cough, fatigue, and weakness. However, ILIs can be caused by a range of different pathogens with vastly different treatments.

Understanding the dynamics of viral shedding within Norovirus infected subjects

Simran Budhwar from the University of Virginia, worked with Rachel Mercaldo, Brian McKay, and Dr. Andreas Handel to study shedding of Norovirus. Abstract: Norovirus (NoV) is a common cause of acute gastroenteritis. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to complications such as dehydration and also serve to spread viral particles through bodily fluids.

Effects of parasites and predators on heart rates of Daphnia laevis using an innovative electronic stethoscope

Lutchie M. Carrasquillo, a student at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, worked with Christian Hurd and Dr. Andy Davis to study the effects of parasitism on Daphnia heart rate using a new methodology. Abstract: Daphnia are a model organism often used in investigations of chemical toxicity, and for biology classes. Measuring changes in

Wolbachia and its effects on mating preference in two Drosophila species

Kareena Collins, a students at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, worked with Paul Ginsberg and Dr. Kelly Dyer. Abstract: Wolbachia is a maternally inherited intracellular endosymbiont that can manipulate reproduction in many different species of arthropod hosts, enabling its invasion into novel host populations. The most common types of reproductive manipulation is cytoplasmic incompatibility

Reproduction and immunity trade-offs in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Jillian Dunbar, a student at the University of Alabama, worked with Ellen Martinson and Vincent Martinson in the lab of Dr. Michael Strand. Reproduction and immunity are metabolically expensive systems; therefore, organisms with a limited amount of resources have to invest carefully (Schwenke et al. 2016). With the goal of producing offspring, organisms must invest

Virulence-related characteristics of Bordetella pertussis mutants deficient in intracellular survival

Callie Effler, a student at Lee University, worked in the lab of Dr. Eric Harvill. Abstract: Intracellular survival is a common trait among human pathogenic bacteria that has advantages for the bacteria’s protection from the host immune response, persistence, and dissemination within the host. Bordetella pertussis, the gram-negative bacteria that causes whooping cough in humans,

Genomics of bacterial symbionts to determine nutritional roles in plant-sap feeding insects

Michael Lansford, a student at the University of Rochester, worked with Dustin Dial and Dr. Gaelen Burke Abstract: Adelgids are sap-sucking insects that contain bacterial endosymbionts to help them synthesize essential amino acids. The adelgid life cycle alternates between sexual generations that parasitize spruce as a primary host and asexual generations that parasitize a secondary

Effects of larval density on the fitness of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)

Courtney Schreiner, a student at the University of Idaho, collaborated with fellow REU student Taryn Waite, along with Nicole Solano, Dr. Courtney Murdock, and Dr. Craig Osenberg. Abstract: We were interested in studying the effects of larval density on the fitness of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)­­. Aedes albopictus live all around Georgia and

Spiders as a gauge for change: linking spider density to riparian habitat structure

Lily Tanner, a student at New College of Florida, worked with Denzell Cross and Dr. Krista Capps. Abstract: Urbanization often compromises the diversity and abundance of native species living in watersheds (Rodrigues et al., 2015). Research has shown that riparian spiders are susceptible to land use change associated with urbanization (Sanchez-Ruiz et al., 2017).  We

To skip or not to skip: exploring the connections between orviposition behavior and density –dependence in Aedes albopictus mosquitoes

Taryn Waite, a student at Colby College, collaborated with REU student Courtney Schreiner, Nicole Solano, Dr. Craig Osenberg, and Dr. Courtney Murdock. Abstract: Conspecific density in larval habitats is an important factor affecting adult fitness in Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, as it drives competition for food and space. We conducted a larval density experiment wherein mason

Who infected whom? Creating a database of transmission trees for comparative outbreak analysis

Juliana Taube, a student at Bowdoin College, worked with Paige Miller and Dr. John Drake. Abstract: Transmission trees contain valuable details about who infected whom in infectious disease outbreaks. We created a database with 81 published, standardized transmission trees consisting of 12 directly-transmitted pathogens (mostly viruses). We also demonstrated how the database could be used