2012-06: Tami McDonald recipient of 2012 Harold Sanford Perry Prize.

June 2012 – Tami McDonald is the recipient of the 2012 Harold Sanford Perry Prize!

Tami Mcdonald was awarded the 2012 Harold Sanford Perry Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis research in Plant Sciences, Department of Biology, Duke University. Among all candidates competing for this award, Tami’s doctoral research stood out: 1) by being developed independently, 2) in addressing key questions in genomics, evolutionary biology, and botany, and 3) by being high on the impact index.Congratulations Tami!!

2012-08: Welcome, Edgar Medina.

August 2012 – Welcome, Edgar Medina.

Edgar Medina is a new Ph.D. student in our lab. He was admitted through the University Program in Genetics and Genomics. As part of his admission at Duke, he was awarded the International Chancellor’s Award. He is also the co-author of an article that will soon be published in the journal Science. Congratulations Edgar!!

2006-10: Welcome Ester Gaya, Postdoctoral Research Associate

October 2006 – Welcome, Ester Gaya, Postdoctoral Research Associate

We are excited to welcome Ester Gaya, who is just beginning a post-doctoral position here in the Lutzoni Lab. Ester is currently visiting on a Fulbright fellowship in order to continue work on the systematics and phylogeny of the lichen-forming fungi family Teloschistaceae (Teloschistales, Ascomycota). She is especially interested in the genus Caloplaca, which is considered to be one of the most complex and diversified crustose lichen genera. The delimitation among genera included within the family Teloschistaceae is still highly artificial and in need of revision, especially for the closely related species within Caloplaca, Fulgensia, Teloschistes, and Xanthoria. The main goals of her phylogenetic studies are to resolve relationships among the main lineages of this family and also the order Teloschistales, specifically to provide a more stable classification of these lichen-forming fungi. To reach these goals, she is using an integrated approach based on detailed morphological, anatomical, chemical (secondary compounds), biogeographical, and molecular data.


2006-09: Welcome Constantino Ruibal, Visiting AFToL Researcher

September 2006 – Welcome, Constantino Ruibal, Visiting AFToL Researcher

The Lutzoni Lab is excited to welcome Constantino Ruibal from the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS) in the Netherlands. He joins our lab as an AFToL visitor, and his research will focus on the phylogenetic placement of various groups of melanized, meristematic rock fungi. This work ties in well with the ongoing, NSF-funded research in the Lutzoni Lab to Assemble the Fungal Tree of Life (AFToL), since a number of these organisms are closely related to lichenized fungi in the Chaetothyriomycetidae. As a result of this research, we may gain insight into a number of interesting questions concerning the ecology and evolution of fungal lifestyles, including the origins of lichenization. This work is in collaboration with Sybren DeHoog (CBS) and Cécile Gueidan (Lutzoni Lab).


2006-04: Congratulations Drs. O’Brien and Rydholm!

May 2006 – Congratulations Drs. O’Brien and Rydholm!

Drs. Heath O’Brien and Carla Rydholm have both successfully defended their theses and now become distinguished Lutzoni Lab graduates. Heath wrote his thesis on Nostoc systematics and the specificity of associations between fungi and cyanobacteria in the lichen genus Peltigera. He will be staying on as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in our lab. Carla’s thesis focused on Aspergillus systematics and population biology. In the fall, she will begin a program in law here at Duke. Congratulations and good luck to our recent graduates!


2006-02: Welcome, Louise Lewis, Visiting Researcher

February 2006 – Welcome, Louise Lewis, Visiting Researcher

We welcome Louise Lewis from the University of Connecticut! In our lab, she will continue her study of the evolutionary relationships of symbiotic green algae. She is investigating the relationships between the green algae (“zoochlorellae”) engaged in symbioses with different sea anemone species. The “zoochlorellae” are related to lichen algae such as Coccomyxa, connecting her work with research in the Lutzoni lab.