Current lab members
I study the impact of reproduction under different dietary regimes on the size and activity of the germ stem cell niche. My goal is to determine whether the activity of the germ stem cell niche changes differently in response to dietary stress in reproductively active hermaphrodites vs. reproductively inactive hermaphrodites.
Cellular energetics is tied to cell size, but the exact relationship remains unclear. One possibility is that mitochondrial structure adapts to the energy needs of the organisms to optimize energy processing in a given environment or life stage. My goal is to characterize mitochondrial distribution and connectivity in C. elegans in a variety of tissues in and environments and compare that to whole organism metabolic rate. I am also looking at the effects of temperature and dietary stress on muscle structure.
My project is to quantify tissue size in in response to dietary stress and reproductive activity. I use confocal and epifluorescence microscopy to image nematodes that express fluorescent membrane-bound markers. We expect that certain cell types will vary in size under these conditions whereas others will not. The impact of cell size on metabolic rate remains unclear, but with this work we hope to better understand the relationship between the two.
Past Lab Members
Brett Davis - DIS 2020-2021
Michael Antonucci - DIS 2020-2021
Makayla Molina - DIS 2021