Kent Laboratory University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Wetland Fieldwork (Summer 2010)

We study microbial communities and their activities in restored wetlands in Illinois. Our field sites are in St. Joseph, IL, and in Emiquon in central Illinois.
Ariane also has field sites at Kellogg Biological Station in Michigan.
Winter at KBS.

Microbial Observatory Fieldwork (Summer 2010)

Fearless leader Sara.
Kevin and Elizabeth are hard core!
Kevin prepping for his experiment.

Campus Middle School for Girls (Spring 2010)

We spent six weeks at the Campus Middle School for Girls discussing the urban water cycle and human impacts on water quality. Here are some of the things we did!
We discovered that phosphorus-free dishwashing soap contains phosphorus.
We discovered the filtering properties of different kinds of soil, and connected that to water quality.
We discussed bioaccumulation of toxins in the food web.
We learned about groundwater, and why we have to protect groundwater quality.
We visited the Illinois State Water Survey, and collected some groundwater samples.
We designed a community using best management practices to protect lake water quality.

Holiday Party (December 2009)

Farewell Janaina! Janaina returned to Brazil after spending a semester with us. We said good-bye at our holiday party!

Prelims and thesis defenses (November 2009)

November was a busy month! Ariane passed her PhD prelim, and Yu-rui and Sara successfully defended their M.S. theses! Congratulations everyone!

Halloween (October 2009)

Our first annual pumpkin carving party!

Turkey Run State Park (October 2009)

Behold the rhizosphere!
We went hiking at Turkey Run in Indiana. The rock formations were awesome, and the fall colors were gorgeous!

Ecological Society of America Meeting (August 2009)

Yu-rui received two travel awards from ESA to travel to Albuquerque and present her poster about biofilm microbes and ecological stoichiometry.
Tony also presented a poster about soil microbes and bioenergy crops.
We had time to see the sights. We took the world's longest tram to the top of Sandia Peak.
Angela found her favorite element at the Atomic Energy museum.
Hiking along the crest trail at Sandia Peak.
Angela and Tony drove to Albuquerque, and found some great places to hike in Colorado and northern New Mexico.
Capulin Volcano National Monument in northern New Mexico.
The crater rim of Capulin Volcano offered great views of the surrounding volcano field.
St. Mary's glacier near Denver, CO.
Frijoles Canyon near Los Alamos, NM.
Capulin Volcano was a great find! National parks are awesome!

Microbial Observatory fieldwork (July 2009)

Poultry housing field work (July 2009)

Caroline and ABE collaborator Tatiana (from Angela Green's lab) went to heroic lengths to collect samples for their analysis of poultry-associated microbes.

American Society for Microbiology General Meeting (May 2009)

Philadelphia, PA

Neil attended ASM as an Undergraduate Research Fellow, and presented both a talk and a poster about his research on plant-microbe interactions (part of our bioenergy project theme). Tony also presented soil microbial ecology results related to bioenergy crops. Sara presented her work on bacterial-algal interactions, and Angela presented a summary of wetland microbial ecology research from our lab. We also had time to check out the historic sights in Philly!

ACES Global Academy Immersion trip (November 2008)

The ACES Global Academy group traveled to Brazil to explore the bioenergy industry. We also had time for sightseeing and terrific food.
We were exhausted after the long flight to Sao Paulo, but glad to be in Brazil!
Brasilia is beautiful! The architecture is amazing!
We visited a soybean crushing facility and biodiesel plant in Mato Grosso.
We learned about ethanol production from sugarcane at an Usinas Itamarati facility in Mato Grosso.
We traveled to Ilhabela for a conference about the social and economic aspects of bioenergy.
We had terrific food everywhere in Brazil. This paella was gostoso!

International Society of Microbial Ecology meeting (August 2008)

Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Two trips around the world in 2 months - Angela has achieved "platinum" status as a frequent flyer.
Ariane won a student poster award for her presentation about the ecological drivers of wetland microbial communities. Ariane's poster was one of 9 posters selected for the award from over 1200 posters presented at the meeting. Congratulations, Ariane!
We had to try the smoked crocodile fettucine.
We had time to take in some of the sights around Cairns. We started with the rainforest. We took the train up to the rainforest, and the tram back down.
We also went snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef!

Wetland fieldwork (August 2008)

Fieldwork at The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Wetland Restoration site in central Illinois.
The other summer fieldwork in Illinois took place at Kickapoo State Park. We're comparing microbial communities among restored lakes as part of a class project for Angela's undergraduate field course: NRES 285 Aquatic Microbial Ecology.

Lab photo (July 2008)

Taking a break from our busy summer to go out for ice cream!

Microbial Observatory fieldwork (July 2008)

Wow! The MO lab at Trout Lake Station has been upgraded since Angela was a postdoc!
Fieldwork at Crystal Bog.
Sara traveled to Trout Lake Station in northern Wisconsin to study algal-bacterial interactions, and to help with the Microbial Observatory's big lake mixing project.

Taiwan fieldwork (July 2008)

We made it to Taipei! And so did all of our field gear!
Lucy Hou and her colleagues from National Cheng Kung University are helping us with our fieldwork.
We found mountains of Miscanthus in Yanmingshan National Park!
Sulfur hot springs in Yanmingshan National Park.
We spent our first day exploring potential field sites in Yanmingshan.
We're up to our ears in Miscanthus!
Yanmingshan has lots of geothermal activity - here we are checking out a hot springs pool.
View of Mt. Datun in Yangmingshan National Park (above). Neil and Hao-Jiang collected sample number 100 at the top of the mountain! Great job, guys!

After our hard work at Yangmingshan, we took some time for sightseeing on the northern coast of Taiwan. The view was breathtaking!
Our next expedition was to Yushan National Park in central Taiwan. The mountains were spectacular!
The Starbucks in Alishan is the highest Starbucks in the world at 2170 m.
Alishan is a big wasabi-growing region.
We sampled a wide range of soils. The different colors were really fascinating.
Our collaborators and terrific hosts!
Time for more sightseeing in Tainan with Dr. Tseng.

ASLO Summer Meeting (June 2008)

Sara discusses her results at the ASLO poster session.
Checking out the St. John's waterfront.
We ran into friends from the UNC Institute for Marine Sciences in St. John's.

Spring fun in the Kent Lab (April 2008)

Lab meeting on the Quad! It was too nice to spend the afternoon indoors (above), so we had to go for ice cream.

Right: On the way to the NRES Department BBQ. Can the entire lab fit into Tony's car? We squeezed in Neil, Tony, Yu-rui (hidden), Sara, Ariane, and Angela!

ACES Global Academy trip to Chicago (April 2008)

We visited the Chicago home of Eli's Cheesecakes. The academy scholars tried many kinds of cheesecake in the name of research and global engagement! We were the first to sample some new varieties.
We travel in style in the Global Academy! Here we are trying to fit all of the academy scholars into the back seat of a cab. We could have fit one more if it weren't for the unlimited cheesecakes earlier in the day!
Academy members wait patiently for the opening at the Chicago Board of Trade.
We enjoyed the great view of Lake Michigan while visiting the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and learning more about their mission to educate the public about important global issues. Their latest focus is on national energy policy, which is a good fit with the Academy theme this year.

Spring poster presentations (April 2008)

Sara, Yu-rui, and Diana at the annual Environmental Horizons conference on the UIUC campus.
Neil presents his research on nitrogen-fixing bacteria at the Environmental Horizons conference.
Ariane explains the function of wetland mitigation banks and wetland microbial communities.
Neil, Angela, and Zach all presented posters at the inaugural UIUC Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Zach explains the results from his Chattooga River microbial ecology research.
Neil got the chance to present his research results to a new audience at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Field work at the Shedd Aquarium (April 2008)

Kent Lab in the Windy City! Sara and Carolyn are ready for sampling at the Shedd Aquarium. We are investigating microbial ecology in artificial marine habitats.
We're outfitted with official Shedd Aquarium name tags and boots!
Carolyn and Sara set up for air and water sampling.
Filtering samples in the environmental quality lab.
We finished off the day with a visit to the Oceanarium, where we took in a dolphin show and watched the trainers work with the beluga whales.

Illinois State Academy of Sciences Meeting (April 2008)

Diana and Ariane presented their wetland microbial ecology research at the 100th Annual Meeting of the Illinois State Academy of Science. Diana is shown here explaining her poster to the judges.

Emiquon Science Meeting (April 2008)

The group gets a tour of the Emiquon field station site, and hikes up to Heritage Point!
Ariane and Sara network with Mike Lemke (UIS).
Mike Lemke takes us on a tour of the lab facilities at the new Emiquon Field Station.
The Kent Lab at Dickson Mounds Museum.
Ariane and Yu-rui at the break-out session.

ACES Global Academy trip to Washington DC (March 2008)

Global Academy scholars survived a busy week in Washington (some of us fared better than others)! We're pictured here at the famous Marrakesh restaurant.

NEON Microbial Ecology workshop (February 2008)

Lousiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Trina McMahon (UW-Madison) traveled to the NEON meeting directly from the GLEON meeting in Florida.
Teri Balser (UW-Madison) and Angela enjoy a break from the midwestern winter at the Cook Conference Center on the LSU campus.
Gary King (LSU) is the workshop organizer.
Eric Triplett (University of Florida) summarizes the discussion of the group addressing microbial ecology in the context of land use change.
Trina McMahon (UW-Madison) summarizes the discussion of microbial ecology and climate change.
Sunny Jiang (UC-Irvine), Marc Frischer (Skidaway Institute of Oceanography) and Trina McMahon (UW-Madison)
Trina McMahon (UW-Madison), Angela Kent, Christian Giardina (US Forest Service), Michael Keller (NEON), Sunny Jiang (UC-Irvine)

Energy Biosciences Retreat (February 2008)

Bodega Bay, California

Almost snowed in! The UIUC group of researchers had to leave early for the EBI retreat to beat a massive snow storm that was headed for Champaign!
Researchers from UIUC, UC-Berkeley, LBNL, and BP gathered at the beautiful Bodega Bay Lodge. It was a nice break from the Midwest winter storm!
Coastal salt marsh near Bodega Bay Lodge - this was the view from the conference center!
The coast (with this gorgeous view) was just a short walk from the lodge.
Angela discusses comparative genomics with Adam Arkin (UC-Berkeley).
Jim Breson (BP) discusses sustainable production of biofuel crops with Angela.

Shedd Aquarium field trip (November 2007)

Great day for a field trip! We're meeting the rest of the group at the aquarium.
Dr. Allen LaPoint of the Shedd Aquarium explains how microbes control important processes for water quality in the Shedd Aquarium habitats.
Tony's hooked a big one!
Dr. Bill Van Bonn tells us about some of the interesting veterinary cases at the Shedd Aquarium.
Matt and Nate are big fans of the Shedd Aquarium!
The Kent lab group: Sara, Zach, Ariane, Omar, Neil, and Angela
The Aquatic Microbial Ecology class.
Ariane's new pet!
Omar plans his next fishing trip!
Yu-rui and her sister Yu-hsuan check out the Oceanarium.

Taiwan (September 2007)

Group picture of the symposium participants.
Getting ready for the first of many amazing dinners!
B.J. Chen (NTU) and Cindy Nakatsu (Purdue)
Night view of Taipei from Taipei 101 (currently the world's tallest building).
Longshan Temple in Taipei
Waterfall at Longshan Temple in Taipei
National Palace Museum, Taipei
Our hosts: B.J. Chen and Ming K. Wang
We took a field trip to Kinmen Island, and stayed overnight in restored traditional Chinese houses in a local village.
A family temple on Kinmen island
More excellent food!
Famous red soil of Kinman Island (an ultisol).
Maestro Wu forges amazing knives out of spent artillery shells found on the island.

NRES 285 Aquatic Microbial Ecology Field Trip (September 2007)

Cara takes the temperature and dissolved oxygen profile for Sportmen's Lake
The shore crew keeps busy at Inland Sea
Alex records the temperature and dissolved oxygen data at Inland Sea
Brandon uses the van Dorn sampler to collect the hypolimnion sample from Inland Sea.
Drew and Ingrid filtering water for the High Lake samples.
Steve improvises to finish filtering the No. 6 Lake sample after our pump battery runs out of power.
The group finishes the water chemistry testing and plots their temperature and dissolved oxygen profiles at No. 6 Lake.
Brandon and Alex on the way to Inland Sea
Sampling on Long Lake with Kim, Steve and Jon
Jereme collects hypolimnion samples from Sportmen's Lake with the van Dorn sampler. (Wait until he opens it - eww!!)

International Society for Limnology, Montreal (August 2007)

Ashley makes friends in Montreal!
Our brains are full!
Frontiers in Freswater Microbial Ecology workshop
Ryan Newton and Stuart Jones from UW-Madison
Angela chats with Jim Cotner and Paul del Gorgio

FIBR Workshop: Do Species Matter in Microbial Communities? (July 2007)

Octopus Spring at Yellowstone National Park
FIBR Workshop host Dave Ward, MSU
Travertine terraces at Yellowstone National Park
Angela at Norris Geyser Basin, YNP
Angela at the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River
Tony and Angela in Gallatin National Forest
Buffalo at Yellowstone National Park
Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River
Tony finds some bear claw marks!

Wetland field work, Summer 2006 and 2007

Pat, Arun and Ariane, June 2006
Jeff shows the crew how to collect plant data
Ariane shows off the IRIS tubes
Diana and Omar, July 2007

IAEA Workshop: Molecular Analysis of Rumen Microbial Community Composition

Workshop participants are learning about T-RFLP and DGGE at UIUC.
Tony discusses PCR results with the workshop participants.