July 2019: Dr. Yopak presents for Summer Ventures in Science & Mathematics (SVSM)!
SVSM is a cost-free, state-funded program for academically talented students who may pursue careers based in science and mathematics.
The program brings rising juniors and seniors together for four weeks of intensive study on university campuses including UNC Wilmington. Dr. Yopak spent the evening with this amazing group of students, where we talked sharks, brains, and career paths.
May 2019: Graduation and Bittersweet Farewells!
ZoMBiE lab members Sam Barker, Will Anthony, and Krista Laforest are graduating! Each of them are heading off to new and exciting opportunities and we couldn't be more proud of them. We bid farewell in true ZoMBiE lab style, with a BBQ and brain hats!
You are welcome back any time guys! Remember, once a ZoMBiE, always a ZoMBiE....
April 2019: Krista Laforest defends her honors!
It was time for the big finale! ZoMBiE Lab honors student Krista Laforest defended her thesis, “Ontogenetic shifts in the brain of Rhizoprionodon terranovae.” She’s worked unbelievably hard and passed with flying colors!
Stay tuned for updates as Krista stays with us for the summer to head to the field and publish her results!
April 1, 2019: The 14th annual UNCW Spring Showcase of Student Research and Creativity, sponsored by CSURF.
ZoMBiE lab members Krista Laforest and Sam Barker represent the lab with posters of their amazing research. Not only that - we swept the awards!
Samantha Barker - SURCA project
SURCA are offered each year through a partnership between ETEAL and CSURF at UNCW and provide funding to support undergraduate students engaged in research, creative scholarship, or other independent academic work outside of their courses.
Sam presented her work from Spring 2019 in a poster entitled, "MR Imaging of the epaulette shark, Hemiscyllium ocellatum" to contribute to the PhD project of ZoMBiE Lab member Emily Peele.
Sam won the award forBest Non-Honors Poster given by an undergraduate in the Department. Congratulations Sam!
Krista Laforest - Honors project
Honors student Krista Laforest presented her research exploring "Ontogenetic shifts in brain organization in the sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon terranovae." This was a hard won project, given that Krista has to triumph over setbacks like Hurricane Florence.
She did an amazing job and it shows - Krista won the award for Best Honors Poster in the Department. Congratulations Krista!
January 2019: The ZoMBiEs take over Tampa, FL for SICB!
PhD student Emily Peele and Dr. Yopak traveled to Tampa for the Society for Integrative and Comparative BIology's annual meeting. SICB fosters research, education, public awareness and understanding of living organisms from molecules and cells to ecology and evolution. SICB encourages interdisciplinary cooperative research that integrates across scales, and new models and methodologies to enhance research and education.
They presented their work and were able to catch up with a number of colleagues. They were also (as usual) on the hunt for brains, and may have produced some tissue for upcoming projects! Stay tuned....
November, 2018: The ZoMBiE Lab heads to San Diego, CA for the annual meeting of the JB Johnston Club for Evolutionary Neuroscience
JBJC is an annual 2-day meeting that joins together international researchers with a shared interest in the field of comparative and evolutionary neurobiology. The two day meeting comprised the Karger Workshop, "The Role of Species Diversity in Neuroscience" and the second day of varied abstracts.
PhD student Emily Peele presented a Datablitz talk on her research an Dr. Yopak stepped in to give a last-minute presentation to fill in for an ill colleague. It was a fantastic meeting, including introducing Emily to mentor and colleague, Prof. Glenn Northcutt.
July 2018: NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island
Dr. Yopak traveled to the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island for Shark Awareness day! There were a ton of sharktastic events, ranging from Shark Trivia to shark jaw identification. In the midst of it all, Dr. Yopak spoke about all of the things we can learn about a shark but studying its brain.
Thanks two the amazing staff of NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island for making us feel so welcome!
June 2018: New England Aquarium
Dr. Yopak gave a public talk at the New England Aquarium on 21 June entitled, “Are Sharks Smart?” There were a wide range of people in attendance, including several members of The Gills Club!
June, 2018: The ZoMBiE Lab heads to Joao Pessoa, Brazil for Sharks International!
Sharks International is an internationally recognized meeting that occurs once every four years and is a consortium of shark researchers worldwide, joining together the American Elasmobranch Society (AES), the Brazilian Society for Elasmobranch Studies (SBEEL), and Fundación Squalus (the Squalus Foundation, Columbia). The goal of this meeting is to bring together professionals and students, with the objective of discussing the advances and challenges in the research and conservation of cartilaginous fishes.
Emily Peele presented part of her MSc research with an excellent talk entitled, "Hot Brains: The Effect of Temperature on Brain Development." It was her first talk at a large internationally recognized conference, and I could not be more proud with the way she represented the lab. You can read more about Emily's research here.
Victoria Camillieri-Asch gave a fantastic presentation exploring the "Neurobiology of Olfactory Sensitivity in Elasmobranchs and Teleosts." This was also her first presentation at an internationally recognized meeting, and she impressed the entire audience with her beautiful visualizations. You can read more about Victoria's PhD research here.
Dr. Yopak presented some recent work exploring brain morphology in some of our more mysterious shark species, the Somniosids. Can we use patterns of brain organization to make inferences about behavior? Stay tuned for the paper...
April 2018: DIS Student Benjamin Slay presents his poster at the Spring/Summer Undergraduate Research and Creativity Awards (SURCA) Showcase!
SURCA are offered each year through a partnership between ETEAL and CSURF at UNCW and provide funding to support undergraduate students engaged in research, creative scholarship, or other independent academic work outside of their courses. Ben presented his hard work from Spring 2018 in a poster entitled, "MRI Analysis of the Little Skate: Effect of Temperature on Brain Development" to contribute to the MSc project of ZoMBiE Lab member Emily Peele.