With sadness, we said our farewells to Pablo as he left for his new adventure as a PhD student in neuroscience at Brown University. Its been a productive and fun time during his time here. Looking forward to seeing his future work, as well as what our new fly team puts together this fall!
Aimee, Michael, and Pablo
In memorium of some of the flies that died in the course of Pablo’s thesis
We were all extremely shocked to learn that Lucas Shanker died in an accident at school this week. Lucas was a math and computer science major at Purdue, but we knew him from his time working in the lab as a high school student as part of the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) program. During his summer in our lab, Lucas worked on two experiments testing aspects of decision making in bees (sampling and tracking, and social information use). We all quickly learned that Lucas was very smart, but also had a strong sense of intellectual curiosity about all kinds of topics. Equally important, Lucas was a kind, thoughtful, and truly good human being.
That fall, Lucas was featured in the Science Matters show on our local public television, KETC. He was interviewed during the summer by Jim Kirchherr about the bees and his work in the lab, and at that moment we knew he had not only understood the work at a deep level, but could also explain it with such eloquence. He could explain every single experiment running in the lab. Those of us watching behind the scenes agreed he did a better job than the rest of us probably would have on that day. UMSL Daily did a little story about his interview
Our condolences go out to Lucas’s parents, family, and friends. He was well-loved in our lab, and I am certain that our response is a universal one for everyone who knew him.
Lots of congratulations for Itachi Mills, who successfully defended her masters thesis last week and is submitting her final thesis today! Much more video analysis of gruesome predation events of fruit flies still to come.
We all made it home from the Animal Behavior Society annual meeting in Toronto. Sleep-deprived, but excited to hear and talk about so much cool science. We had a busy meeting: Michael attended as a Charles Henry Turner undergrad fellow, Itachi presented a poster on her thesis work, Andreia organized our outreach efforts, and Aimee gave a talk in the cognitive ecology symposium. Plus we got to visit with lab alumna Isabel and see her excellent talk on sampling in chickadees from her new lab. Thanks to Pablo, Matt, and Randall to holding down the lab while the rest of us traveled.
Aimee, Michael, Andreia, and Itachi
Andreia and Itachi at the outreach fair. Bee decision making games and how to grow a fly.
Itachi’s poster of some cool preliminary data on how flies use patches.
Itachi teaching Andreia the ways of her people (at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport)
Isabel out this on Twitter. Gotta learn to hide better from former students.