New article featuring spring FEMMES outreach activity!


This article by UMich EEB’s Gail Kuhnlein features the ecology activity developed by Clara Shaw and Michelle Fearon, and that was run by Clara, Michelle, and various other folks from the Duffy Lab and broader EEB department. We had a great time at the event!

Michelle Fearon helping students work on the ecology activity



Summer undergrads arrive!


This summer, we have four new undergrads joining the lab and, as of this week, everyone is here! Haniyeh Zamani joined us in May and is working with Katie M. on how recombination and the storage effect influences resistance of Daphnia populations. Justin Ramirez joined us this week and is working with Nina and Katie H. on projects related to a virulent bacterial parasite and to how food quality influences disease. Haniyeh and Justin are both UMich undergrads. Blenna Kiros joins us from Humboldt State and will be working with Mary on projects related to body size and disease risk. Harbria Gardner joins us from Florida A&M and will be working with Nina and Clara on projects related to pathogen diversity and how age influences disease risk. Blenna and Harbria are both taking part in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program and will officially start in the lab on Monday. Blenna, Haniyeh, Harbria, and Justin join Rebecca Bilich who is writing up her honors thesis on pathogen diversity and Morgan Rondinelli who is working on her honors thesis research related to the dilution effect. We’re excited to have such a great group of undergrads in the lab this summer!

We had a pizza party to celebrate the arrival of our summer undergrads and even remembered to get a lab photo. Becca and Katie H. weren’t able to make it, and Camden is off controlling and preventing diseases this summer*, but we got a photo of the rest of us!


Back row: Katie M., Clara, Blenna, Mary, Harbria, and Justin; Front row: Haniyeh, Kristel, Meghan, Nina, Morgan (missing: Becca, Camden, and Katie H.)

*Camden is doing an internship at the CDC this summer!

Meghan publishes Medium post on impact of proposed budget on science


Meghan published a piece on Medium describing how President Trump’s proposed budget will stunt American scientific innovation, both because of cuts to funding for basic research and because of cuts to diversity programs. The Duffy Lab’s work would not be possible without support from the National Science Foundation, and our research has benefitted from various federal programs that help promote diversity in science (including work-study and the McNair Scholars Program).

This piece was related to Meghan’s position as a public engagement fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She’s looking forward to spending the week of June 12th in DC getting more training in public engagement!

Giant Daphnia at the Detroit Zoo!



What animals/organisms do you know that live in a lake? The answers I got during Family Day at the Detroit Zoo were pretty much the same (whether I asked a 5 year old, a 10 year old or a 35 year old person!) fish, plants, ducks…and when asked if they ever heard of water fleas or Daphnia? Most people where surprised to know that a weird looking animal that looks like my masterpiece above, but really really really tiny lives in lakes and are important for lake ecosystems. Since Daphnia are tiny, and only easy to clearly see under a microscope, I decided to make this “gigantic” Daphnia so that kids can really appreciated the beauty of working with them. They could clearly see through some of the main organs but visitors were mainly surprise about 2 things: 1) when they saw a picture of a real Daphnia kids were amazed to see the incredible resemblance (not to brag!!!) of my Daphnia to a real Daphnia. Second they were really stoked to learn that as babies Daphnia have 2 eyes, but when they grow their eyes fused into one. Besides learning basic Daphnia 101 on my booth, visitors also got a glimpse into my research on how different diets impact parasitism (I will blog on a different day on how I got this message through!).

This lady had her debut on May 13 and will have other appearances some time in August again the Detroit Zoo so stay tuned on where you can find her!

posted by Kristel

Meghan speaks at the March for Science in DC


Meghan spoke on the main stage at the March for Science in Washington, DC this past weekend. Her talk focused on the value of basic research and the importance of diversity in science. The weather wasn’t great, but the turnout was! You can watch the speech here (skip to the 1 hour mark) and some pictures from the weekend are below.


Speaker pass!


The stage at the rehearsal, the day before the march


Meghan and Kristel got a selfie with Bill Nye!


Meghan meeting Questlove just before speaking!


Screen cap of Meghan during her talk