Lab News

Alice Hotopp publishes paper on feather microbiome

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Happy New Year! To start off your science in 2024, check out this new paper recently published by PhD candidate Alice Hotopp and our colleagues at UMaine and UNH who are part of an NSF-funded project, Genomic Ecology of Coastal Organisms. In this paper, Alice describes for the first time the bacterial and fungal communities that are found on feathers of sparrow species that are uniquely adapted to salt marsh habitats.  This research is an important first step in understanding the co-evolution of hosts and microbiomes in the salt marsh environment.

Hotopp AMb, Olsen BJ, Ishaq SL, Frey SD, Kovach AI, Kinnison MT, Gigliotti FN, Roeder MR, Cammen KM (2024) Tidal marsh sparrow plumage microorganism communities. iScience. 27: 108668.

Our Maine: Exploring Its Rich Natural Heritage

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This past year, I had the opportunity to work with a great group of colleagues on a new book describing Maine’s rich natural heritage.  The book, Our Maine: Exploring Its Rich Natural Heritage, is a series of chapters, essays, and photographs that “paint a vivid portrait of Maine’s wild places and wild creatures, as well as of human impacts and the way the state’s heritage has changed.”  My contribution tracks the history and contemporary state of harbor seals in Maine.

To check out our book, you can purchase it online or at many local bookstores in Maine!


Jamie Fogg receives CUGR fellowship

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Jamie Fogg holding an eDNA sampler.

Jamie Fogg, a Maine Top Scholar and undergraduate student working in the Cammen Lab, was recently awarded a fellowship from the University of Maine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR).  We are so excited to work with Jamie on her research project, “Beyond the shoreline: Investigating gray seal eDNA in coastal waters.” Co-advised by Kristina Cammen and Julia Sunnarborg, Jamie will use qPCR to analyze eDNA samples she collected with collaborators at the Center for Coastal Studies earlier this year off the coast of Cape Cod. Her research aims to better understand the dynamics of environmental DNA (eDNA) around gray seal haulouts.