“Lots of Ws recently,” said Conner on our lab Slack the other day. He’s right. This year has started off with a bang.

We can start with the papers:

  • Celeste got her SAR11 subclade IIIa manuscript published at The ISME Journal.
  • Eric got his Master’s thesis on the AEGEAN-169 clade accepted at mSystems. It’s in press now, but in the mean time you can view the bioRxiv version.
  • Our multi-MAG genome announcement that is Shelby’s first first-author paper was accepted at Microbiology Resource Announcements with no revisions! A “unicorn” in MRA parlance. It details the reconstruction of MAGs from our photo-oxidized hydrocarbon work. It also has the Fall 22 BISC 419L students as coauthors because they did the MAG reconstruction part of the manuscript.

Moving on to awards:

  • Celeste received the William E. Trusten Award in Biological Sciences. The Award is given to the most accomplished graduate student in the biological sciences department. Celeste was commended for her excellent service, teaching, and research. It also comes with a $750 prize. That will buy a few tacos!
  • Chuankai was awarded $250 from a poster competition at the USC Life Sciences Industry Days meeting on campus. He received one of those epic ridiculously large checks (pictured)!
  • Cole received a USC Discovery Scholar Distinction, which is granted to only ~100 students university-wide!

Personnel updates:

  • Anna passed her qualifying exam and is now a Ph.D. Candidate, which comes with a raise!
  • Hasti Asrari has decided to join our lab for her Ph.D. and will be starting a little early, in July.
  • We’ve also hired Irene Zhang, who is finishing up her Ph.D. at MIT, to join our lab as a postdoc on the Microbial Greenhouse Gas Consumption project. She’ll also be starting in July.
  • David BaƱuelas, who is finishing up his Ph.D. at UC Irvine, will be joining our group in August through a joint advisement with Felipe de Barros as one of the inaugural recipients of the USC Sustainability Postdocs.

And some funding news:

  • Eric Webb and myself received funding from the USC Undergraduate Research Associates Program to fund three undergraduates, including Celia, to work on characterization of isolates from the Trichodesmium Rules of Life project.
  • I was selected for one of seven Simons Investigator in Aquatic Microbial Ecology Awards. This is a major award that provides five years of support for advanced research investigating Coastal SAR11 in a Changing Climate. I am humbled and extremely grateful to be selected by the Simons Foundation.