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Turtle Team

Many students are involved with our collaborative project with the Bowden lab to research immunity in turtles.  Our current project focusing on B cells and mucosal immunity is funded by the National Institutes of Health (1 R15 AI140118-01)!  We refer to these students as the “Turtle Team”.  Meet some of the members and see what they’ve been up to below!

Marc Ashford, MS (2018)- Marc was a Master’s student in the lab who started the work on this grant.  His thesis was titled “Out of the shell: exploring phagocytic capabilities of the B cell and isolated follicle-like structures in the red eared slider, Trachemys scripta.”

Marc was helped in summer 2018 by undergraduate Mark Overby, and in fall 2018 undergraduates Beto Araiza, Ceara Abbott and Paige Farchmin joined the group.

Our Turtle Team undergraduates presented at the ISU University Research Symposium in April 2019! Undergraduate Haley Fitzsimmons joined us that spring as well.

Summer 2019 was a busy time for data collection!  Here was the Turtle Team on one of many trips to the field site to collect samples and we were joined by new graduate student Whitney Green.

It’s not all hard work! We celebrated fall with a pumpkin carving party!

Whitney, Tony, and Paige also presented a hands-on workshop for a local girl scout camp in October 2019 so the girls could learn about turtle white blood cells!

Undergraduate Micaela Ryan joined the Turtle Team and also in Fall 2019, we had two poster presentations led by our students:

The Biological Sciences Student Association held their annual research symposium at ISU and some of our students traveled to Chicago to present at the Autumn Immunology Conference.

Even during COVID in 2020, we were able to continue our research (although apparently we forgot to take many photos!) Undergraduate students Hanna Paton, Allison Mool, and Julia Godsey participated in research projects during 2020 although many conferences were cancelled.

In 2021, we welcomed undergraduates Molly Frank, Rachel Karl, and Clare Blaney along with Master’s student Christen Fairow.

(Turtle Team 2021-Rosario Marroquin-Flores, Christen Fairow, Clare Blaney, Tony, and Molly Frank)

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