September 2, 2020

Greetings from the Rollins-Smith Lab!

What!?  It's September!?  How in the world did that happen!?  Where does the time go!?

While the Year of the Plague seems like it will never end, it's also hard to believe we are closing the chapter on summer and looking towards fall.  Hopefully some cooler weather and changing leaves will boost our spirits in light of the lingering mental and emotional fatigue.

But we have good news to share!  Our lab recently received an NSF award for a new project we are very excited about!  This is a collaborative project with Dr. Patricia Burrowes of the University of Puerto Rico and Dr. Ana Longo of the University of Florida.  This project will look at immune function of the tropical coqui frog (Eleutherodactylus coqui) in light of seasonal dynamics, specifically focusing on the skin microbial community or the microbiome. The skin microbiome for amphibians can be a key player in innate immunity and it is often driven by seasonal changes.  This study will dig into the relationship between amphibian host and chytrid pathogen and how the microbiome may provide protection during different times of the year (cool-dry vs warm-wet).  Doctors Burrowes and Longo are both excellent scientists with whom we'll enjoy working.  I suggest you check out some of their work.

Secondly, we have accepted a graduate student, William Payne, into our lab for this first rotation period.  He will be doing some work looking at the role of leukocytes in response to Bd infection.  We are looking forward to adding an additional member to our crew for the next month or so.  Welcome, Will!

As always, we hope everyone is healthy and staying safe. 

Please be well and check back for updates!


Coqui frog
Photo credit, Wikipedia