Each year EMBO YIPs organizes the famous PhD course for advanced PhD students from EMBO YIP labs. This year Philipp is one of those lucky students to participate. If you want to get updated on what´s happening there, please check out updates on Twitter.
(1) Philipp got married: CONGRATULATIONS to him and Sarah, his beloved wife. Pictures of the wedding are still to come. For now I only have the lab present for the happy couple: Champagner glasses with some nerdy and/or fun hand-made engravings.
(2) Liz´s birthday: CONGRATULATIONS! Again, only pics of the awesome American style sweets without anybody actually eating them. Please note the arts 3-D effect of the cinnamon roles. In fact Liz herself had to do some serious pipetting that particular day but we left her some of that deliciousness of course.
Earlier this month, a group of children from the Marie Curie German/French pre-school visited COS. The visit was organised by Alexis Maizel and in total 5 labs from COS including us participated. Every lab gave a short general presentation, and then groups of 6-7 childrens rotated through 5 different stations to learn about DNA extraction, chromatography, plants and flies and anemones. Thanks to the help from Marie, Diana, Gideon and Victor the children had a fun time (at least that´s what it looked liked when I had a peek). Thanks so much for investing your time into educating the next generation.
Iliona Wolfowicz is the first graduated PhD student from the Guse lab. Iliona defended her thesis last week at University of Porto “with distinction”. Congratulations Dr. Wolfowicz! We are looking forward for you to come back to Heidelberg to celebrate your big success.
This year´s COS Symposium “Senses and Sensitivity” was a big success. We had an excellent line-up of international, national and local speakers covering a wide range of scientific topics. Both, Victor and Marie presented Guse lab posters at the poster session and the Symposium concluded with a BBQ thanks to COS group leader Lazaro Centanin who knows his Argentinian meat.
We are very happy to announce that Victor was awarded an EMBO long term fellowship. The fellowship will support his postdoctoral work over the next two years. Congratulations!
There is no need to say that Japanese food is absolutely delicious. We love the Soba noodle soups are at lunch during field work days, all kinds of tempuras, tofu dishes such as Agadashi tofu and the super fresh seafood. There are also many tasty fruits and veggies. The local citrus Shinquesar as juice and ice cream and the Goya bitter melon are our absolute favourite. The Okinawan islands have also many local specialties such as sahimi of many kinds of local fish, peanut tofu as well as (for people with good nerves) goat sashimi and pork knuckles. And let´s not forget the local Aguu pork which is served for example as a fantastic ginger pork set meal including sahimi, soup and seaweed. Oishi!
Ginger pork set meal
This year, Liz, Diana, Philipp and Annika joined again our Japanese collaborators from the Hatta lab (Tokyo), Ueno lab (Okazaki) and Maruyama lab (Sendai) at Sesoko Marine Station on Okinawa to collect coral larvae for comparative experiments in the field. Coral were collected on the 1st of June around Sesoko island and transferred to the water tables. Over the next few days, night snorkelling to watch out for spawning on the reef right in front of the station started. As predicted by the team leader Masayuki Hatta, Acropora corals spawned during the night of the 6th of June and after a busy night of gamete collection and mixing sperm and eggs for fertilization, coral embryos developed into planula larvae which were used for experiments. 4 days after fertilization, coral larvae are ready to be ship and, after a fun night out with delicious Japanese food and beer at our favorite Izakaya in Nago City, our Japanese colleagues went back home to continue their experiments at their home institutes. The Guse lab continued to enjoy the snorkelling and working at Sesoko for another week trying to learn as much as possible about the natural coral reef habitats and rearing coral larvae and metamorphosed polyps. We also brought some coral babies home and hope to keep them happy and alive in Heidelberg. Anyways, we all hope to be back in 2018 to witness that amazing event of synchronous coral spawning induced by the lunar cycle that occurs only once every year.
The reef at Sesoko Marine Station
One of our main activities: snorkeling
Collected corals in water table
Coral are setting to get ready for releasing their gametes
Monitoring the spawning & collecting gamtes
Lab work during spawning night
Izakaya night to celebrate a successful coral spawning 2017
How did it go? Super well!
Starting in 2017, our research on the molecular mechanisms underlying intracellular coral-algal symbiosis will be supported by nearly 2.3 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) for the next five years. This award recognizes the potential of Aiptasia as a powerful model system and allows us to launch many new and exciting projects on two fundamental aspects of symbiosis establishment: symbiont acquisition and the metabolic dependance of the host. Can it get any better? I don’t think so.