PEET Products: Student Training

Two Ph.D. students have completed their degrees with PEET funding. Dr. Patty Wilber (supported 8/95 - 12/96) was instrumental in developing the relational database that we use and she entered the dataset that resulted in the first published monograph. She has co-authored another PEET-related paper and is co-author on 6 presentations/posters at national and international meetings (see PEET Products). She made a life-decision to stay in Albuquerque with her husband (a federal employee) and raise her 2 young children, so she did not enter the postdoc/assistant professor job market. She is an Instructor at Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Institute in Biology and a part-time Lecturer in Biology at UNM, where she still has space in my lab. Dr. John Hnida (funded 8/95 - 8/98) is a tenure-track Assistant Professor, Division of Science and Technology, at Peru State College, Nebraska. His dissertation consists of 4 related chapters, including some molecular phylogenies of closely related Eimeria spp.; the first is published, the second has been accepted, and the other two papers have been submitted. He was co-author on another PEET-related paper and on 6 presentations/posters at national and international meetings (PEET Products).

Two Ph.D. students currently are funded by PEET-1. Mr. Xiaomin Zhao, a third year student from China, has completed his core course work, foreign language requirement, required tool skill (statistics), and his application for candidacy. His dissertation proposal ("Plastid-like DNAs and their phylogenetic relationship within the protist phylum Apicomplexa") was accepted by his Committee on Studies and the Office of Graduate Studies, was submitted (11/98), and is now under consideration at NSF in the Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants program. He will accompany us to China if our supplement request (to be submitted 12/99) is approved. Ms. Ingrid Asmundsson is beginning her second year in our Ph.D. program, but it is her first semester of PEET support. She attended the PEET Workshop at Woods Hole (3/98). Ingrid is the field parasitologist on an NSF S&I grant to Dr. Jonathan Campbell (U.T.-Arlington); she spends her summers in Guatemala collecting parasites from amphibians and reptiles taken in Dr. Campbell's faunal survey. She plans to examine the interesting concept of the effect of hibernation on the intracellular development of coccidia, while preparing (with Dr. Upton) a monograph of the coccidia of all amphibians and reptiles.

Three M.S. students have been supported, in part, by PEET-1. Mr. Damien Scott (M.S., Biology, with honors, 5/98) was a departmental Teaching Assistant, but his research on the coccidia of bats of the world was supported by PEET. Damien is first author on 1 major paper, co-author on 2 others, and he presented 2 papers at meetings on his PEET-related work (PEET Products). He now is finishing his third semester in Physical Therapy school at UNM (another life decision change). Ms. Kim Heckscher-Decker, supported as an RA on another grant, recently published a PEET-supported paper on the coccidia of marsupials in Bolivia and has given 2 PEET-related presentations (PEET Products). She will finish her M.S. 5/99 and will work part-time in my lab for the next year while her new husband completes his Ph.D. in another lab. Mr. Wade Wilson's (M.S., Biology, 5/98) major research effort was supported by my S&I grant, but he did PEET-related work for me this past summer and is co-author on a major monograph (Coccidia of Primates of the World) and on a second paper (PEET Products). He is living in Boston and working part-time, while his wife completes veterinary school (Tufts), at which time he will apply to a Ph.D. program in a university near where his wife will practice.

Others trained by PEET-1.Two high school students, Ms. J. Aragon and Ms. A. Leach, worked on the bat coccidia project with D. Scott during the summer, 1997, and are co-authors on that paper. An undergraduate, Mr. B. Wickesberg, worked on the marsupial coccidia project with K. Heckscher-Decker during the summers, 1996, 1997; he is a co-author on that paper. A second undergraduate, Mrs. K. Greim-Felong, has worked in my lab since 2/96, mostly as a work-study student. In addition to her numerous daily tasks, she has taken on 2 projects as her own: the coccidia of Akodon spp. from Bolivia and the coccidia of Cryptotis spp. from Latin America. She will be the senior author on both papers produced from this work. Finally, Ms. B. Dennis was hired 9/95 as a 0.5 FTE Graphics Designer to do technical illustrations, graphic design, etc.; at the same time she held a 0.5 FTE Graphics Technician position in Biology. On 12/31/97 her position in Biology was eliminated and she took a full-time position in another department. Since her departure, the focus of our PEET work did not change, but the need for technical expertise did. On 7/1/98 Ms. Lee Couch was hired as a 0.5 FTE Research Scientist III (M.S. in Biology/Parasitology) because it was clear we needed someone to keep daily control of samples from collaborative projects, provide quality control of data entry, monitor, update, and trouble-shoot hardware and software problems and work on web page design and construction. She is an author on 3 papers and on 3 presentations. Each of the 12 individuals named above has participated in all aspects of the research process. In all, 11 are co-authors on various papers (PEET Products: Publications) and/or presentations or posters (PEET Products: Presentations and Posters).

Updated 21 January 1999

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