Clancy Short

Mentor
Clancy Short
Project Title
Getting Fat for Winter? How Macronutrients Affect Diapause.
College
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Time Commitment
11-15 hours/week ,6-10 hours/week ,Variable
Method
Depends on lab funding Research Credit Unpaid with future paid opportunities
Location of Research
On-Campus
Possible Co-Authorship
Yes

Project Description

PROJECT CURRENTLY STAFFED – NO VACANT VOLUNTEERSHIPS

Just like a bear stores fat to survive the winter, insects store fat and protein before entering their equivalent to hibernation, called diapause. However, life is difficult for an insect – insects may struggle to find food conducive to fattening or storing protein, or the risk of predation may prevent them from finding high quality food items. If an insect has a poor diet, and can’t store nutrients, will it abort or delay its diapause? I’m investigating this question using the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, as a model. Because diet is complicated and comprises many nutrients, we’re focusing on two major nutrients: protein and carbohydrate. As the project progresses, we will also use advanced techniques like pharmacology and RNAi to decouple nutrient stores from nutrient intake and test whether diet or stores affect an insects decision to diapause (or not). This research project will provide the groundwork for future studies to investigate the genetic pathways that insects use to sense their nutrient stores, pathways likely implicated in human obesity as well. This project may also have practical application in predicting which crops help pests survive the winter, so farmers can tailor their growing plans to take advantage of winter to kill pests without the use of additional insecticides.

Volunteers that excel in the lab can advance to a paid position, and will learn molecular techniques like BCA assays, gravimetric hexane extraction, and qRT-PCR, and may learn additional techniques. If you are interested, please email Clancy Short (cashort@ufl.edu) with a copy of your resume or CV. We’re especially interested in freshmen and sophomores, and individuals that can work over the summer of 2022.

Additional Requirements
None

Contact Information

Email Address
cashort@ufl.edu
Phone Number
5742388045
  • cashort@ufl.edu
  • 5742388045
  • PROJECT CURRENTLY STAFFED - NO VACANT VOLUNTEERSHIPS

    Just like a bear stores fat to survive the winter, insects store fat and protein before entering their equivalent to hibernation, called diapause. However, life is difficult for an insect - insects may struggle to find food conducive to fattening or storing protein, or the risk of predation may prevent them from finding high quality food items. If an insect has a poor diet, and can't store nutrients, will it abort or delay its diapause? I'm investigating this question using the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, as a model. Because diet is complicated and comprises many nutrients, we're focusing on two major nutrients: protein and carbohydrate. As the project progresses, we will also use advanced techniques like pharmacology and RNAi to decouple nutrient stores from nutrient intake and test whether diet or stores affect an insects decision to diapause (or not). This research project will provide the groundwork for future studies to investigate the genetic pathways that insects use to sense their nutrient stores, pathways likely implicated in human obesity as well. This project may also have practical application in predicting which crops help pests survive the winter, so farmers can tailor their growing plans to take advantage of winter to kill pests without the use of additional insecticides.

    Volunteers that excel in the lab can advance to a paid position, and will learn molecular techniques like BCA assays, gravimetric hexane extraction, and qRT-PCR, and may learn additional techniques. If you are interested, please email Clancy Short (cashort@ufl.edu) with a copy of your resume or CV. We're especially interested in freshmen and sophomores, and individuals that can work over the summer of 2022.

  • None