Welcome to the 2021 Grass Fellows

Welcome to the 2021 Grass Fellows

The Grass Fellowship program, which like all MBL summer programs fell into the black hole of 2020, is back! Five Grass Fellows will arrive in May, while others have deferred until next year.

The Grass Fellows are early-career investigators who spend 14 weeks at MBL pursuing a self-designed, independent research project in neuroscience. The Grass Foundation provides full support for the fellows, who become part of the vibrant intellectual and social dynamic within the MBL scientific community while sharing space in the Grass Laboratory.

Welcome to this summer’s Grass Fellows:

Oscar Arenas Sabogal (University of California/Berkeley) is studying how animals detect mechanical force, and how these cues influence behavior. His research organism is the ctenophore M. leidyi.

Luis Alberto Bezares-Calderón (University of Exeter) is studying the larva of the ascidian Ciona  – an emerging system for neuroscience – to investigate the sensory systems and neuronal circuitries controlling behaviors driven by mechanical cues.

Duncan Leitch (University of British Columbia) is one of the few MBL investigators to study a crocodilian! His research explores the response of small mechanosensory organs in the jaw and teeth areas to natural stimuli.

Bernardo Pinto (University of Chicago) will use the squid giant axon to study the regulation of local protein synthesis within the axon.

Carola Städele (Illinois State University) is investigating the role of multisensory integration in tick host-seeking behavior.

This year’s Grass Lab is directed by  Melissa J. Coleman of Claremont McKenna College; the associate director is Laura Cocas of Santa Clara University. More information on the Grass Fellowships is here.

The Grass Lab at MBL,founded in 1951, has developed many cherished traditions over the years, including fantastic designs for annual lab T-shirt ….

…and, of course, representation in the annual Woods Hole July 4th Parade!

Top photo: 2019 Grass Fellow Laura Cocas in the Grass Lab at MBL. Cocas is returning in 2021 as associate director of the Grass Lab. Credit: Melissa Coleman