Three new papers!

I guess I’ve been negligent about keeping up here, but hey! Look! Three new papers came out later in 2020:

Long‐term research avoids spurious and misleading trends in sustainability attributes of no‐till led by Sarah Cusser

Local‐ and landscape‐scale variables shape insect diversity in an urban biodiversity hot spot led by Max Adams

Flower traits associated with the visitation patterns of bees led by Logan Rowe and Dan Gibson.

Reach out if you have any trouble accessing!

Statement on Anti-Black Racism and Police Brutality

I write today to voice my solidarity for the #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackinSTEM movements and to explicitly condemn the ongoing police brutality, systemic racism, and explicit racist acts against Black people across America. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the many that have occurred before, coupled with the massive disparities in health outcomes in COVID-19 between Black and white Americans, shine a light on the ongoing violence and systemic oppression in our culture against Black people. These events, coupled with numerous examples of police brutality in the ensuing protests, make it clear that this problem is real, immediate and continuing, and it is simply immoral to not do everything in our power to speak out for real change in our systems.

In the Bahlai Lab, it is an explicit part of our mission to actively disassemble the white supremacist, cis-hetero-patriarchal structures that dominate the scientific discourse. Our work in the biological information sciences is not an exception: our work is not neutral in the spheres of environmental racism, consent and information privacy, and land use rights (among others). It is our core work to critically examine how these issues ultimately shape our beliefs and actions, and it is essential that we center justice in our narratives about our work. Science is never neutral, and we must explicitly work to do better: to build more inclusive structures, to stand up against inequity and call it out wherever we see it, to LISTEN to our colleagues and believe them when they tell us about the racist or discriminatory acts of ourselves and others.

Some small actions my lab has taken include developing reading lists for classes that emphasize work of people of color, explicitly unpacking the ‘heroism’ of many dominant voices in the scientific discourse in the classroom, and centering a code of conduct in the lab’s policies. 500 Women Scientists has compiled a helpful guide to other actions we can take. Here is another excellent resource for white academics wanting to do better.

I call on my students, colleagues and friends to stand up as well. We built, and we uphold these structures; we can, and will disassemble them.

Yours in solidarity,

-Christie Bahlai

Congratulations Katie and Christian!

Christian and KatieTwo of our intrepid PhD students, Katie Manning and Christian Bullion, have both won The Graduate Student Senate Research Award! The awarded funding will help them each to further their research projects in 2020. As awardees, both Katie and Christian will present research posters at the 35th Annual Graduate Research Symposium in March 2021. Way to go team!

Congratulations Erin!


Our undergraduate research assistant Erin White has been elected President of the Biology Club! Erin is very passionate about her student career in Biological Sciences and has many big plans in store for her tenure as President. Good luck Erin and congratulations on your win!!

Congratulations Cheyan!

Cheyan_TA Award

Our PhD student Cheyan Pace has won the award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Assistant in Biological Sciences!! Cheyan spent the last two semesters teaching Biological Diversity and Biological Foundations Labs and doing a fantastic job! She really enjoys teaching her students and works very hard to make sure they’re getting the most out of the labs she teaches, so it’s wonderful to see her receive this much deserved recognition of her efforts. Congratulations Cheyan!

Congratulations Christian!

Christian Bullion took home the award for her poster Using Crowdsourced Data to Analyze Patterns in Odonate Phenology at this year’s Graduate Student Symposium in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology category! Part of Christian’s PhD work will focus on understanding citizen science participation in Odonate monitoring and reporting, as well as field work involving ground-truthing reported Odonate findings from Ohio south to Virginia.

Lab Makeover progress

Good ne2018-02-14 12.02.17ws! The renovation is largely complete, and we have a space to sit and chat about science! I can’t wait for the amazing people to show up and think deep thoughts in this space. We’re slowly acquiring all the other stuff that’s necessary to make a lab of this kind happen- computers, microscopes, insect collecting supplies. There’s still a lot of unboxing in our future!