The Pulse Newsletter - September 2019

Hero Pulse

September 2019

Andrew's Angle

A message from the Director of the Huck Institutes

Welcome to The Pulse – Huck’s new monthly e-newsletter. Our aim with this venture is to bring a bit more cohesion to our uniquely heterogeneous organization, while celebrating our outstanding people and their work. Here you’ll find a round-up of monthly Huck news items and external media mentions, along with episodes of The Symbiotic Podcast, another new Huck venture that explores the trials, tribulations and rewards of transdisciplinary collaboration in the life sciences. I hope you’ll enjoy the content, forward it on to friends and colleagues, and give us feedback through our website...

The Symbiotic Podcast - Episode 1: "Life Evolves Through Collaboration. Science Should Too."

In this pilot episode, Cole and his guests discuss the importance of collaboration as an evolutionary driver and explore ways that transdisciplinary teams of scientists can mimic nature, evolving the way research is done.

Click Here to Watch or Listen to Symbiotic


Carolee Bull Investigates the Microbiome

Editors note: This article has been significantly revised since it was first published. 

Interdisciplinary work truly defines Carolee Bull, director of Penn State's Microbiome Center and professor and department head of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology. Her research centers around translational taxonomy which is the use of bacterial systematics, combined with epidemiology, and population biology of bacterial plant and mushroom pathogens and biological control agents to manage plant and mushroom diseases. Bull’s work spans some of the most pressing issues of food security, such as global seed health.

On The Rise

Jared Ali Tackles Chemical Ecology

Jared Ali thrives on complexity. A visit to survey the ongoing projects in the Assistant Professor of Entomology’s lab can feel disjointed at first, almost scattershot. 

Postdoctoral researcher Swayamijt Ray and graduate student Elizabeth Davidson-Lowe work with various cover crops for corn fields outside the growing season. Grad student Stacy Cibotti and Tori Pocius, another postdoc, study monarch butterflies. Grad student Nursyafiqi Zainuddin is trying to understand the origins of nemotode behavior with the use of a custom-built olfactometer.

For Jared Ali, studying complex relationships between organisms from different links on the food chain is the whole point...


Jean Pierce Sets The Record(s) Straight

Congratulations to senior records specialist Jean Pierce, the first recipient of our revamped Huck staff Kudos program. Though Jean works far from the limelight, her tireless dedication to our graduate students is critically important to the daily functioning of the Huck. 

A record specialist’s work is never done. There are applications to process, campus visit schedules to arrange, orientation materials to prepare, and student handbooks to update. Not to mention retreat itinerary updates to post and candidacy and comprehensive exam paperwork to wrangle. 

Even under “normal” circumstances, Jean’s daily task list is daunting...


Media Mentions in August 2019


Huck News Stories in August 2019