Currie Lab

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Student activism & Young Voters: all the info you need for our upcoming elections!

Thursday, August 20, 2020
by Julia Buskirk

“There are so many barriers to voting––if you can vote, you should vote, because not everyone can,” says Olivia Panthofer. Olivia is an undergraduate researcher at the Currie Lab. But this summer, Olivia is also focusing her efforts towards another passion––getting young people registered to vote for the upcoming elections. Olivia has been working on the New Voters Project with WIS-PIRG, the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, a nonpartisan organization that “... is an advocate for the public interest.” 

“We’re trying to register young people to vote because [young people] have historically low voter turn-out rates,” Olivia says. “Our generation is the most diverse and the largest of potential voters,” she explains, and “In Wisconsin, specifically, the youth have the greatest potential to influence the upcoming elections out of any of the states in the country.”

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Tags: #vote, #WISPRIG, #studentactivism, #GetOutAndVOTE, #InfoHere

Kirsten Gotting: How Evolutionary History Can Guide Our Future

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
by Julia Buskirk

Kirsten didn’t join the Currie Lab for the microbes. “The microbiology came along for the ride with me!” she laughs. 

Her primary interest was first in evolution, learning how organisms change over time due to different environments and pressures. This stemmed from her work in the Sánchez lab at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research which studied regeneration––an organism’s ability to regrow parts of their bodies (like humans can with their skin). Her lab-mates studied regeneration in everything from flatworms to killfish. Seeing all these organisms with the same ability got Kirsten thinking, “How are these traits that we see on the ‘leaves’ of the tree of life, where do they come from? And how do they get there?”

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Tags: #gradstudent, #gradlife, #microbialworld, #genetics, #symbiosis, #leafcutterant, #entomology, #fungi, #parasite,

Charlotte Francoeur: A reminder to appreciate the little things in life.

Friday, April 17, 2020
by Julia Buskirk

Charlotte Francoeur, a fourth year graduate student in the Microbial Doctoral Training Program, speaks candidly. “I love microbiology, but I don’t think it’s something I’ve been super passionate about for my whole life,” Charlotte says, laughing. We’re discussing her research, and how on earth she came to study the bacteria living in leaf-cutter ant gardens. 

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Tags: #gradstudent, #gradlife, #microbialworld, #MDTP, #symbiosis, #leafcutterant, #entomology

From Pseudonocardia to podcasts: Jennifer Bratburd on research and science policy

Wednesday, April 08, 2020
by Julia Buskirk

Jennifer Bratburd on research and science policy

When Jennifer Bratburd was a kid, her grandfather gave her a book entitled “Secret Agents.” Bratburd remembers beginning to read it, excited to devour a book about spies. “It ended up being way different than I thought it was!” she recalls. “Each chapter was about a microbe and all this investigation they did… I was so fascinated that there was this whole invisible world that effects our lives so much.”

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Tags: #gradstudent, #gradlife, #CASP, #podcasts, #symbiosis, #leafcutterant,

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