We had six presentations at the 2022 Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology Meeting! Four students presented posters based on their 2022 summer research internships in the lab investigating potential gut-patterning mechanisms in tardigrades. 1.) Logan, a student that visited our lab from Mercer University, presented results of her study of the gene HNF-4. 2.) Kennedi presented her investigation of the developmental signaling molecule fgf8. 3.) Taneshia discussed her research into the gene twist, which specifies muscle cells in other animals. Although not directly related to gut development, Taneshia’s research was critical for helping us distinguish between cells that give rise to gut and cells that give rise to muscles. 4.) Tatiana presented her exciting research on goosecoid. Taken together, the team dramatically pushed our understanding of gut development in tardigrades into new frontiers.

Mandy and Raul both gave research talks at SICB. These were the first two student research talks out of the Tardi-lab! 5.) Mandy was honored to be chosen to participate in the Best Student Talk competition in the Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology! Mady discussed her research into the function of the developmental gene orthodenticle. 6.) Raul was part of a session that included representatives from some of the best evo-devo labs in the world! Raul presented his research into the canonical Wnt signaling pathway in tardigrades. Both talks were very well received and led to several exciting discussions.

Overall, we couldn’t be prouder of the excellent job that the Tardi-lab students did representing the lab and the Biology Department at the University of North Florida. Congrats everyone!