I'm pleased to announce the publication of a new collaborative paper in PLOS One: Lee et al. (2021) Variable host responses mediate host preference in marine flatworm−snail symbioses (Link). In this paper, we investigated how the effects of a symbiotic marine flatworm vary amongst different tropical snail hosts in Panama. We found that the impacts of flatworms can vary from negative to neutral (or even possibly slightly positive) depending on snail host species. Likewise, we found snails that tended to be more negatively affected by flatworms also exhibited a more vigorous rejection response during worm inoculations. This work was initially conducted while [the recently graduated] Dr. Lee was an undergraduate student. (Congrats to the new Dr. Lee!)
The Davidson lab is continuing to advance research, even amidst the pandemic. Sarah has nearly finalized a working flume to test how water velocity may impact algae fragmentation. Jessica continues to analyze her data investigating how wood borers altered structural complexity of woody debris. New graduate students Rebecca and Carla are hard at work researching ideas for their projects. Carla, members of the Kneitel lab, and I are also continuing to sample for aquatic invertebrates and invasive species through the Bushy Lake Restoration Project (pics below). While we suffered a few puncture holes in the inflatable kayak on our most recent trip, we were still able to finish the sampling before the kayak sank. Nothing like some frigid lake water to wake you up on an early Sunday morning. Finally, Cass (with help from Catlinh) are continuing to conduct a meta-analysis to better understand the varying impacts of invasive nutria (a burrowing aquatic rodent).