Undergraduate Projects!

Microbial Ecology of Sea Star Wasting Disease

Well, that was another two months of frantic work for the Team Aquatic Virus. We’ve been been busy in the lab following up on samples from the January research cruise in the Pacific Northwest. The team’s been joined by senior Victor Biguma, who has been working with fellow student researchers Chaunte Lewis and Mitch Johnson to extract DNA from all sea stars from the cruise, and perform SSaDV qPCR on their tissue extracts to determine load and prevalence. We’re almost there – it does take time!

Elliot’s been busy working with Dan Buckley’s group at Cornell preparing samples for bacterial analysis. He’s taking a closer look at sea star-associated bacteria inhabiting various animal compartments to understand whether their microbiome corresponds with their phylogeny. This is poised to greatly advance our understanding of the disease as well, since we have a huge data set of disease-associated bacterial communities. We also have…

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