URSA Research Day 2016

URSA Research Day 2016
URSA Research Day 2016

Undergraduate research activities at UAF cover a broad spectrum of disciplines, from climate science to life science, engineering to anthropology, and music to theater.  This year, Jackson Drew presented his URSA sponsored independent research project on the Alaska Soil Microbiome. The MinION Hackathon crew also presented their work using nanopore sequencing technology. Continue reading URSA Research Day 2016

Identification antibiotic resistance in the microbial communities of a Fairbanks permafrost gradient

IMG_20160405_190655Undergraduate researcher Maddie McCarthy was recently awarded a BLaST Undergraduate Research Experience. Maddie will have a completely funded summer of research ahead of her. She’ll be digging into the soil microbial communities of the Fairbanks Permafrost Experimental Station. Continue reading Identification antibiotic resistance in the microbial communities of a Fairbanks permafrost gradient


Devin and Jackson Drew headed down to Port Townsend, Washington for EVO-WIBO 2016, a gathering of evolutionary biologists of the Pacific Northwest. This regional evolution meeting provides an intimate meeting where researchers at all levels are welcome. One of the best things about the meetings is the lack of concurrent sessions. We all share the same experiences. The majority of talks are by graduate students and post docs. This time around the plenary  talk was by Prof. Sarah Otto.


Continue reading EVO-WIBO 2016

Does permafrost thaw alter methane cycling via a shift in the microbial community composition?

Undergraduate researcher Alex Wynne was recently awarded an URSA Summer Research Project. This includes funds for his project and a stipend for the summer. He’ll use next-generation sequencing to characterize the relative abundances of methanogens and methane oxidizers found within a permafrost thaw gradient. By analyzing the relative amount of methane related microbes associated with each disturbance treatment, he will deduce how the thawing of permafrost may contribute to the net amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere.

Honor Program Award

Honors Program, Piacenza Award
Sarah Hartman nominated Devin Drown for the Piacenza Award

Today, Devin was awarded the Robert Piacenza Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Honors Program here at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  In her nominating statement, Sarah says

Dr. Drown is directly involved with students’ mastery of the material. He will converse with us one on on, comes to lab, and offers thoughtful feedback on in class exercises. He expects a lot…but he also offers a lot with a positive, engaging teaching style.