Category Archives: research

Antibiotic resistance in a permafrost thaw gradient

Maddie McCarthy has been working for the past year in the lab exploring the presence of antibiotic resistance in microbes found in environmental samples. This week she presented her work finding widespread antibiotic resistance in a Fairbanks permafrost thaw gradient. 

Maddie McCarthy talking to Dr. Mary Beth Leigh at the Midnight Sun Science Symposium

She used a combination of techniques including traditional culturing methods and antibiotic screening as well as nanopore sequencing to explore the resistome. She has just started comparing her sequencing data with the Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance database.

(photo credit: Anne-Lise Ducluzeau)

Maddie’s work was supported by Alaska BLaST who is funded by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers UL1GM118991, TL4GM118992, or RL5GM118990.

Greenhouse Grandeur

There is growth in the greenhouse! Blueberries and cranberries germinated. Now we are testing three nutrient poor soil treatments. Brace yourselves, the greenhouse pilot study is ready for take off!

img_7570 img_7572

Permafrost Premonition

Given winter’s rapid approach, the permafrost experimental plots are getting special attention.  Preemptive vegetation surveying and soil core collections are propelling the Drown lab into a future greenhouse hibernation…and I am excited about it! Do you know what this means? Vegetation surveying, soil samples and an empty greenhouse? Sounds like a pilot study to me. Maybe come January,  this smiling face will be found working alongside the IAB Research Greenhouse coordinator, Mark Wright.

IMG_7128 IMG_7130

Travel to Toolik (68° 38′ N, 149° 36′ W, AK)

On August 20th, Biology and Wildlife graduate students and researchers traveled to UAF’s Toolik Field Station for an awakening taste of arctic atmosphere. Devin and I used this nine hour road trip north of Fairbanks for investigation…in the 68th degree.

IMG_7082
Some of UAF’s Biology and Wildlife graduate students and scientists pose at the Toolik Field Station welcome sign.

Toolik provided an opportunity to use the MinION sequencing capabilities in the field and sample for microbes on the North Slope.

Materials for soil extraction.
Materials for soil extraction.

Soil sampling and DNA sequencing with the MinION was supplemented with an abundance of scarlet alpine bearberry (Arctostaphylos alpina) and characteristically Alaskan Arctic beauty.

IMG_7053
Hiking along the Atigun river outside of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

University of Alaska Biomedical Research Conference

MaddieAnastasia, and Devin attended the 9th annual University of Alaska Biomedical Research Conference (UA-BRC). For the undergraduates, this was their first research conference and they presented their work using the MinION nanopore sequencer to explore genomics. As you can see below, they drew a crowd to their poster.

UA_BRC_2016

This two-day conference showcased biomedical and One Health related research from graduate students, undergraduate students, researchers, and faculty through-out Alaska in the form of oral presentations and poster sessions. There were two workshops about career issues relevant to undergraduate and graduate student training including internship opportunities, STEM student recruitment, networking, entrepreneurship/innovation, and employer expectations.

UA_BRC2016