The news finally came through this past week that my first Alaska INBRE Pilot grant was awarded. The goal of the proposed research is to develop a general evolutionary theory to understand host-symbiont interactions. This is an important missing component of current investigations of the human microbiome and its interpretation in regard to human health. In terms of human pathogens, we may better understand the conditions for disease emergence as well as those that favor increases and decreases in disease virulence.
September marks the beginning of the new academic year and with it brings a new cohort of graduate students to the Department of Biology and Wildlife. As a bonding experience each year, several researchers lead a trip up to Toolik Field Station in the Arctic. This field station is operated by the Institute of Arctic Biology here at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The mission of the field station is
to support research and education that creates a greater understanding of the Arctic and its relationship to the global environment.