…But the deathstar…. mantis room is fully operational. After a somewhat long move and delays to the live animal space, we finally have praying mantises in and rearing and got our 3D filming re-set up in the new space. The room has much better temperature and humidity control and we organized so filming is in the back of the room away from husbandry. If you ever have to move buildings, know that it is almost like starting your lab up again from scratch. As this is a new space we got new shelves and really set it up for mantids. And we tested out our filming set up and got two prey capture strikes from separate species/individuals. Not a bad start.
We spent today going through and organizing our new, shared research space. There will also be a separate space for live animals, so this space will be used for imaging, morphology, dissections etc. Lap equipment should be moving over next week. We’ll be sharing this space with several other labs, but this bank of tables and desks will be dedicated to our research. To the left is a nice view of York Rd.
With the building of the New Science Complex at TU almost complete, and about ready to move, the research lab will be moving over this summer (a couple of weeks to be exact). The animal rooms will follow in the coming months. Most of our offices have moved over and we’ll be teaching here this Fall, with nice new classrooms and updated technology, like airplay to screens and projectors to be able to use the iPad and not be tethered down and cameras in the ceiling for anatomy and dissections that can be projected. I’ve started packing up the old lab this week, so I’ll update this site as we settle into the new building. Here’s the old lab being packed up, equipment will be split between the research lab and new (state of the art) vivarium. Moving is never easy or fun, but it is exciting to be moving in to the new space.
The lab has a new paper out in Integrative and Organismal Biology based on the recent Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience I taught in Fall 2018. The paper describes the design of the course, its implementation, caveats, and provides a syllabus and several rubrics for others that would like to teach a similar course. If you do teach a similar CURE, let me know as I would like to add links to the courses website. I’ll be teaching the course again in the coming years. For more information you can visit the courses website:
They’ve been in the tank for about a week. Bumble bee dart frogs (Dendrobates leucomelas), Towson colors. Ten total, but they hide well in all the plants. So far they seem to be doing well and are out during the day to say hi to all that come through the Bio office.
….A new frog habitat! Last summer we had to separate donations of 200+ gallon aquaria. One has been adopted in the classroom for fish biology and animal physiology, currently housing some local striped bass. Since we already have a 125 gallon Amazonia aquaria in the main Bio office, we decided to make the other one into a terrarium for poison dart frogs. With the help of Autumn and Nate, and support from the department, we build the terrarium and planted it with some plants from our greenhouse and moss from the Glen Arboretum. We are letting the plants grow, but will be getting some bumble bee poison dart frogs (Towson colors) in this fall. So, stay tuned.
I am teaching a new course-based undergraduate research experience (C.U.R.E.) this coming Fall. The class will focus on student driven hypotheses of animal movement using high-speed cameras. I’ve set up a webpage for the class that provides more details: wp.towson.edu/off-lab