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Joseph M. Casto
Joseph M. Casto
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March 2018:

MS student Jocelyn McDonald received a research grant from the Illinois State Academy of Science​ to study the effects of two commonly used pesticides on ectoparasite infestation in starling nests. The findings from the study will help determine the best method for experimentally limiting nest infestation without producing unintended consequences in developing nestlings. Nice job Jocelyn!

January 2018:
Jocelyn McDonald has joined the lab as a new MS student. Jocelyn, who received her BS degree from ISU, will be studying the effects of ectoparasites on developmental plasticity in songbird nestlings. Welcome to the graduate program Jocelyn!

August 2017:

On 14 August, Leah Pryor MS had a manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Zoology. The manuscript, titled Ectoparasites as developmental stressors: effects on somatic and physiological development is the second from Leah's thesis research. See her first paper here​.

On 10 August, MS student Aderinsola Odetunde successfully defended her thesis titled Effects of parasitism and mite control methods on European starling development. Derin is leaving the lab to begin her medical school training. Good luck Derin.


June 2017:
On 22 June, MS student Amanda Smith defended her thesis titled Real-time monitoring of electrically catecholamine signals in the songbird striatum using in vivo fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. A paper based on her findings recently appeared in the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. Congratulations on completing your degree Amanda.

March 2017: 

On 24 March, MS student Cody Sholtens presented a poster highlighting research involving real-time monitoring of DA release in the striatum of urethane-anesthetized European starlings in response to social vocalizations. Although the findings were preliminary, they generated a lot of excitement. Cody even "dressed up" for the presentation.

January 2017:

On 7 January, MS student Aderinsola Odetunde presented some of her thesis research at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, in New Orleans, LA. Her presentation, Quit buggin’ me: The effects of ectoparasite control methods on mite load and nestling phenotypes attracted positive attention. A portion of Derin's travel expenses were covered by a national Phi Sigma travel grant. Congtratualations to Derin for the grant award and her presentation.

November 2016:

On 10 November, undergraduate research assistant Colleen Quinn participated in the ISU Biological Sciences Student Association's first annual Student Research Symposium. She presented a scientific poster based on research she helped conduct during the summer and fall of 2016. The poster, titled Does blood loss explain ectoparasite-induced developmental trade-offs in nestlngs?, was well attended. Nicely done Colleen!

On 1 November, MS student Aderinsola Odetunde presented her final MS thesis seminar titled Effects of Parasitism and Mite Control Methods on European Starling Development at the weekly Integrative Biology Research Seminar. Derin will be defending her MS thesis inthe spring.

August 2016:

On 30 August, MS student Cody Scholtens presented an update on his MS thesis research at the weekly Integrative Biology Research Seminar. His talk was titled Investigating Mesolimbic Dopamine and its Role in Social Behavior in the European Starling. He obeyed the first rule of the lab, he did not embarass us.

May 2016:

MS student Aderinsola Odetunde received a research grant from the Illinois Ornithological Society to study the effects of blood-feeding ectoparasites on developmental trade-offs in nestlings. Be on the lookout for an article summarizing her research in an upcoming issue of the IOS journal, The Meadowlark. Nice job Derin!

MS student Cody Scholtens recieved a Grant-in-aid of resarch from Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society. The grant provides funding for Cody's research on real-time monitoring of dopamine burst firing in the brain in response to various starling communication signals. Props to Cody!

MS student Aderinsola Odetunde's research was presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, at the University of Western Ontario, in London, ON. Her poster titled Does blood loss explain ectoparasite-induced changes in nestling development? was well received.