Follow the Turtles!

Dr. Omar Attum is a Conservation Biologist.  One study examines the movement and migration routes of green turtles nesting on Egypt's Red Sea island of St. Johns (Zabaragad).  Follow the turtles weekly movements.

So far, one female has traveled over 900 km south passing through the country of Sudan until reaching the Dahlak islands of the country, Eritrea.  Another female has traveled over 500 km north of the resort town of El Gouna, Egypt.  We hope to assist in the conservation of green turtles in the Red Sea by identifying migration routes of nesting females, seasonal feeding grounds, and the relationship between environmental conditions and movement patterns.

The Next Phage

Dr. Pam Connerly is a Cell Biologist. Dr. Connerly’s intro biology students and laboratory researchers are on the hunt…for bacteriophages! Backyards, parks, and flowerbeds all contain these tiny viruses that infect specific species of bacteria. The complete genome of one newly found phage, named Courthouse, is currently being sequenced by collaborators at the University of Pittsburgh.  Check it out at the Indiana University Southeast Phages page in the Mycobacteriophage Database. New data on this important research will be posted as it comes out of the lab. Who will find our next phage?

Pollination Triggers

Dr. Darnowski is a botanist. One of his projects deals with Australian triggerplants. They transfer pollen from one flower to another by an explosively fast pollination mechanism to smash their pollinators in the head (or back, or side, or ...) to deposit pollen. These plants also turn out to be carnivorous, trapping smaller insects using sticky hairs below their flowers, and Darnowski and colleagues, including students, are also studying their roots for the formation of mycorrhizae, symbiotic connections in which fungi help to fertilize the plants. Darnowski and a friend in Sydney, Australia cofounded a society devoted to these fascinating plants which now has over a hundred members on 4 continents and in 17 countries. Anyone can join for free by filling out the form on the homepage. You can also find information on Darnowski’s  book on triggerplants, that is available for sale (~100 pages, full color).