Colloquium Schedule

Fall 2022

All colloquia are in TBL 112 at 1:10pm on the dates below (except where noted).

September 30:  Professor Pam Templer, Boston University
Title:  Imagining Future Forests Through Climate Change Experiments

October 7, 14, 21
Honors Talks

November 4:  Dr. Shannon LaDeau, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Biology Class of 1960 Scholars
Title: “Legacies of Disinvestment Shape Vector-borne Disease Risk in Temperate Cities”

Vector-borne disease (VBD) is a growing concern in urban communities across the globe. In recent decades, the emergence and spread of mosquito-borne viruses in temperate cities has highlighted critical gaps in capacity to identify and manage arthropod vectors and associated risk in complex urban landscapes. While predictions are generally at regional scales, variation in mosquito density and human disease often reflects neighborhood boundaries and most control/management tactics are inherently retrospective. Our team employs ecological and environmental justice tools to evaluate mechanisms of mosquito ecology and human exposure in Baltimore City, MD. Our work demonstrates that legacies of race-based investment policies continue to influence variability in mosquito population growth and a suite of phenotypic traits that inform vector competence, as well as specific human behaviors and risk perceptions that influence exposure. We further evaluate how ongoing urban greening processes further refine the heterogeneous riskscape of VBD in temperate cities. 

November 18:  Professor Rebecca Dutch, University of Kentucky
BIMO Class of 1960 Scholars
Title:  “Human Metapneumovirus: Lessons From the Virus You Haven’t Heard Of”

Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a non-segmented, negative strand RNA virus that is a major cause of respiratory tract infections in infants, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. Though HMPV was identified in 2001, there are currently no FDA approved antivirals or vaccines available, and many questions remain about its infection processes. A key feature in the replication cycle of HMPV is the formation of replication and transcription centers termed inclusion bodies (IBs). Our recent characterization of these compartments has yielded important new insights on their formation, characteristics and role in infection. We have shown that the actin cytoskeleton is important for their formation, and that they change in size and position over the course of infection. Recently published work from our laboratory shows that IBs represent a class of phase-separated regions, which is a newer concept in cellular organization. In addition, our unpublished work shows that IBs can be directly moved from one cell to another, identifying a new means of viral infection.