We are NSF funded!

So happy to announce that the lab has been awarded an NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity five-year grant: “Eco-evolutionary Drivers of Diversity in Toxic Algal Blooms”.

In collaboration with Regis Ferriere (UA) and Will Driscoll (PSU-Harrisburg), our work will combine ecological, genetic and phylogenetic data, both observational and experimental, with mathematical and computational models to decipher the structure and function of eco-evolutionary feedbacks in blooms of toxic algae, using the haptophyte Prymnesium parvum as a focal species.

Stay tuned folks!

Jen attends PSNA 2018

Jen traveled to San Lius Potasi, Mexico to attend the 57th annual meeting of the Phytochemical Society of North America. While there she was awarded The Arthur C. Neish Young Investigator Award! The society uses the fund to support young investigators as featured speakers to enrich participation in the PSNA, support a diversity of topics, and provide an important professional and career development opportunity for young investigators. THANKS SO MUCH PSNA! As part of the award, Jen happily gave a talk entitled “Co-expression (more so than co-location) links genes to specialized metabolic pathways in plants”.

Lab attends Botany 2018

Jen and Bob are off to Rochester, Minnesota to participate at Botany 2018. Bob presented his first poster, “Identifying gene candidates of the shikonin biosynthesis pathway in the Chinese medicinal plant Lithospermum erythrorhizon” and Jen gave an invited talk, "Linking genes to lineage-specific metabolic pathways: Gene network analysis of glucosinolate biosynthesis in the Brassicaceae" in the Evolution of Plant Chemical Diversity Symposium.

 Good food and conversation with the symposium organizers (thanks Chris and Stacy!) and speakers.

Good food and conversation with the symposium organizers (thanks Chris and Stacy!) and speakers.

Postdoctoral position on genomics and eco-evolutionary dynamics of toxic algal blooms

An NSF-funded postdoctoral position is available in the lab of Jennifer Wisecaver at Purdue University to study the eco-evolutionary genomics of toxin production in mixotrophic algae. Both the frequency and magnitude of toxic algal blooms are increasing across the globe, yet the genes and pathways responsible for toxin production as well as the ecological and evolutionary drivers of bloom events are poorly understood. Much of the prior genetic and biochemical investigations of bloom-forming species have been limited to analyses of laboratory isolates maintained as monocultures despite growing awareness that algal blooms are diverse assemblages. Thus, there is a critical need to quantify the genetic and toxic diversity present in bloom events as well as understand how this diversity is maintained in nature and impacts bloom cycling. The objective of the project is to determine the functional significance, in terms of both toxin production and bloom cycling, of the biodiversity present in toxic algal blooms. We will focus on the golden algae Prymnesium parvum (Haptophyceae), an invasive species responsible for ecosystem disruptive toxic bloom events, causing devastating fish kills in brackish, inland waters of the United States. 

Research activities for a postdoc on this project may include (but are not limited to): phenotypic characterization and whole genome sequencing of diverse Prymnesium strains, analysis of nucleotide and structural variation across these strains, culture-based abiotic and biotic stress experiments, co-expression network analysis to predict gene function, evolutionary analysis of gene families and integration of these results with gene expression networks and phenotypic data. To accomplish these tasks, the lab is seeking a highly motivated, creative individual with some combined experience in computational, evolutionary, and/or population genomics. 

Dr. Wisecaver is committed to increasing STEM participation across all measures of diversity, fostering a positive and collaborative lab environment, and acting as a mentor and facilitator to enable the career success of all lab members. A postdoc in the Wisecaver lab would be a welcome member of a vibrant community of scientists in the Department of Biochemistry and the Center for Plant Biology at Purdue. In addition, a postdoc would have access to world-class research facilities, most notably the Bindley Bioscience Center and the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing Community Cluster Program. 

If you are interested in joining the lab, please send an email to Jen Wisecaver (jwisecav@purdue.edu) with a statement of research interests, CV, and the names and contact information for at least two references. 

Evaluations of applicants will begin July 15, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.

Jennifer H. Wisecaver
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry
Center for Plant Biology
Purdue University
Ph: 1-765-494-4157
jwisecav@purdue.edu
www.wisecaverlab.com

 

Postdoc position on plant functional and evolutionary genomics

A postdoctoral position is available in the lab of Jennifer Wisecaver at Purdue University to study the genomic basis of metabolic innovation in plants. The lab uses network biology & functional genomics to identify the genes responsible for making specialized metabolites as well as comparative genomics & phylogenetics to untangle the genes' evolutionary histories. Questions we ask include: What are the relative contributions of innovative processes such as gene duplication, gene loss, polyploidization, and genome rearrangement in the origin and diversification of metabolic pathways? What is the speed and importance of gene innovation at the regulatory versus enzymatic level? How does the impact of these processes vary across environments and between lineages? 

The lab has funding to study genes involved in herbivory defense and other specialized metabolic pathways in Setaria viridis, green foxtail, and other wild members of the genus. Research activities for a postdoc on this project would include (but are not limited to): performing plant abiotic and biotic stress experiments, preparing samples for high-throughput sequencing, developing and deploying bioinformatic pipelines to predict gene function, developing new analytical visualization methods of these data, evolutionary analyses of gene families and integration of these results with gene expression network modeling and phenotypic data. To accomplish these tasks, the lab is seeking a highly motivated, creative individual with strong computational and evolutionary genetics skills. 

Dr. Wisecaver is committed to increasing STEM participation across all measures of diversity, fostering an encouraging and collaborative lab environment, and acting as a mentor and facilitator to enable the career success of all lab members. A postdoc in the Wisecaver lab would be a welcome member of a vibrant community of scientists in the Department of Biochemistry and the Center for Plant Biology at Purdue. In addition, a postdoc would have access to world-class research facilities, most notably the Bindley Bioscience Center and the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing Community Cluster Program. 

If you are interested in joining the lab, please send an email to Jen Wisecaver (jwisecav@purdue.edu) with a statement of research interests, CV, and the names and contact information for at least two references. 

Evaluations of applicants will begin July 15, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.

Jennifer H. Wisecaver
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry
Center for Plant Biology
Purdue University
Ph: 1-765-494-4157
jwisecav@purdue.edu
www.wisecaverlab.com

Undergraduate Paige Lippens joins the lab

Paige Lippens joined the lab this week! She is busy learning all about unix and computer clusters. Her research project will be annotating genomes from fungal endophytes and comparing to genomes of other fungi with different ecological niches. She will also be helping Jen maintain cultures of the golden algae, Prymnesium parvum, in the lab. Welcome Paige!

Now Hiring Lab Technician!

The Wisecaver Lab is hiring a Lab Technician. The successful applicant will oversee general operation of the laboratory, including supervising undergraduate students performing basic molecular biology lab work.  Will also grow plants and maintain fungal and microbial cultures, isolate DNA and RNA from various sources, clone genes into expression plasmids, perform real-time and standard PCR, prepare samples for metabolic profiling, etc.  Will be responsible for maintaining the laboratory, ensuring cleanliness, making buffers and biological media, autoclaving biological waste, maintaining laboratory records of freezer stocks and chemicals, etc. 

For more information and to apply online, please visit: http://purdue.taleo.net/careersection/wl/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=1701925