Celeste and Jordan receive accolades

This has been a productive month for Celeste and Jordan!

Celeste received an Honorable Mention for her Graduate Research Fellowship Program application, and had her abstract selected for a talk at the Southern California Geobiology Symposium at Cal Tech. It was her first talk and she crushed it.

Cameron, Alex, Celeste, and Jordan after Celeste’s talk at the SoCal Geobiology Symposium

Jordan received the Biology Outstanding Teaching Award for her services to BISC 307 (Human Physiology)- not even her area of study!

Jordan with her award (photo stolen from her Twitter feed)

Great job both of you! We’re very proud of your accomplishments so far.

Air sampling for BIOL4125

Today, with Professor Gary King’s help (who also teaches BIOL4125 but during the Fall), we did some sampling of the air in and around our classroom building, Lockett Hall. We have samples from multiple classrooms, bathrooms, hallways, and outdoors near the building. Some photos below. Students will be picking colonies next week, and later we’ll id them via 16S. Not terribly scientific, since we didn’t include appropriate controls, but it definitely scores high on nerdy coolness scales (I’ve checked them all).

The impactor sampler, into which we stuck plates with minimal medium:

The basic supplies:

One of the BIOL4125 students sampling the classroom- (glad Gary bought an impactor that was Tiger colors):

Gary King processing some samples:


Prokaryotic Diversity course this semester

Cameron will be teaching Prokaryotic Diversity (BIOL 4125) this semester. Classes are MWF 0930-1020. The course has its own twitter handle @LSUProkDiv, and all participants will be tweeting under the hashtag #BIOL4125. Each class a new microbe will be added to this hashtag from the Around the Tree exercise, which will highlight a suite of important microbial taxa. We will also be covering material across phylogenetic, lifestyle, physiological, and genomic diversity, as well as a unit on measuring diversity. Cameron is partnering with Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis on this module, which will give students an opportunity to sample and analyze microbial communities of the classroom built environment. Finally, students will be creating Wikipedia entries on taxa with no current representations. Links to those will be available from the twitter hashtag and be posted here. Stay tuned!

Update, 1/13/14: Jonathan and I have decided to remove the sampling element at this time. The course was getting a little too complex, and there will be opportunities to analyze microbial communities in other ways.