Monthly Archives: October 2013

Second paper from Liz Wason’s dissertation

Liz Wason has published a second paper from her PhD dissertation, this one in Oecologia.

Wason and Hunter, 2013, Genetic variation in plant volatile emission does not result in differential attraction of natural enemies in the field, Oecologia, DOI 10.1007/s00442-013-2787-4.

Milkweed plants show genetic variation in the amount and composition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that they omit (normally and following herbivore damage).  Herbivore damage increases the production of VOCs and alters their composition (they are a mix of lots of compounds). Both VOC concentration and blend affect the attack rate of natural enemies on herbivores (in this case predators that bite artificial caterpillars made out of clay).   However, all the milkweed genotypes were effective at attracting natural enemies, so the genetic differences in chemical ecology did not translate into genetic differences in plant-herbivore interactions.

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Laurie Marczak starts new job

In August, Laurie took a position as a senior ecologist with the consulting company R2 Resource Consultants (http://www.r2usa.com/) in Redmond WA.  She’s moved to Seattle, and is evaluating environmental impacts and developing restoration plans for rivers in the Pacific Northwest.

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Liz Wason starts new job in Michigan

Liz is now writing about science for a magazine published at the University of Michigan.  She’s covering the “natural science beat”, which includes 18 departments in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and a broad array of research work related to physics, astronomy, ecology, molecular biology, earth sciences, and more.  Here’s a link to the sciencey radio show that she produced while on the road after graduation:  http://lizwason.wordpress.com/category/hugabug/

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