Author Archive

A Paper to Help with Methods

By • Oct 31st, 2016 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

I came across a paper that dealt with the identification of novel cardenolides in Ascelpias curassavica, a close relative of the milkweed species I’ve been working with. While their project represents a tremendous undertaking relative to the chemical analysis I’m hoping to complete, they were looking to characterize the very same chemicals in a very similar…
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Next Steps

By • Sep 30th, 2016 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

Now that the HPLC experiment is winding down and the outcome of the “cardenolide chase” is becoming clear – with exciting results – I’m getting ready to move on to a couple of new experiments. Those that follow will supplement the data generated already and will hopefully strengthen the overarching narrative of the project. During…
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Back to Work

By • Aug 31st, 2016 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

The fall semester is here and everyone keeps calling me a ‘senior’. The last of this summer’s data collection will hopefully get finished up in the next couple of weeks; there’s only a few rounds of HPLC left to do and the remaining samples are mostly adult butterfly tissue and pupae. A glanced comparison of…
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Monarch Update: thoughts and notes on the experiment in progress

By • Jul 30th, 2016 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

The experiment is underway and running smoothly for the most part! After some grappling with a surprisingly resilient spider mite infestation in the new greenhouse, one that put a much larger dent in our milkweed stock than we’d expected, I was able to set aside seven populations of genetically and chemically identical milkweed varieties to…
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following the presence of toxins throughout development

By • Jun 30th, 2016 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

A lot has happened in these first few weeks! The milkweed that was repotted out at the Sullivan Greenhouse showed discouragingly little growth and, in places, a worrisome aphid infestation. Because A. syriaca has been shown to induce its chemical defenses when damaged by herbivory and because my project (and those of my lab-mates) requires predictable…
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You Are What You Eat: the Monarch Butterfly and its Milkweed Cardenolides

By • May 16th, 2016 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

Hello, Reader! My name is Jake and I’m a rising senior and biology major with a minor in biochemistry. Though I’m a bit late to the party (and very sorry about it), this inaugural post benefits from the influence of other Honors Fellows’ blogs and it’s already been rewarding (and intimidating) to browse everybody else’s…
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