I’m a 2020 graduate of Vanderbilt University with experience in Wolbachia research and an interest in visual science communication.
Funded by SyBBURE Research Program and NSF’s Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Research
• Discovered a novel influence on cytoplasmic incompatibility strength and uncovered Wolbachia density and transmission dynamics in Drosophila females (independent project, Layton et al. 2019, mBio)
• Identified the Wolbachia gene responsible for rescue of cytoplasmic incompatibility (coauthored Shropshire et al. 2018, PNAS)
• Elucidated the Wolbachia genes responsible for cytoplasmic incompatibility (coauthored LePage et al. 2017, Nature)
Layton EM, On J, Perlmutter JI, Bordenstein SR, Shropshire JD (2019) Paternal Grandmother Age Affects the Strength of Wolbachia-Induced Cytoplasmic Incompatibility in Drosophila melanogaster. mBio 10(6): e01879-19.
Shropshire JD, On J, Layton EM, Zhou H, Bordenstein SR (2018) One prophage WO gene rescues cytoplasmic incompatibility in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(19): 4987–4991. doi:10.1073/pnas.1800650115
LePage DP, Metcalf JA, Bordenstein SR, On J, Perlmutter JI, Shropshire JD, Layton EM, Funkhouser-Jones LJ, Beckmann JF, Bordenstein SR (2017) Prophage WO genes recapitulate and enhance Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility. Nature 543(7644): 243–247. doi:10.1038/nature21391
In this presentation, I focus on telling the story of Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility, and how we came to discover it is transgenerationally influenced by grandmother age. This presentation won second place at the 128th Meeting of the Tennessee Academy of Science, at the 16th Annual Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Research Conference, and at the SyBBURE Searle Undergraduate Research Program Summer Symposium.
In this presentation, I wanted to try presenting my work from a different perspective, and so I told of how it is the first documentation of Wolbachia density dynamics in Drosophila females. Typically, studies focus on Wolbachia density in males, as the inducers of cytoplasmic incompatibility, however here I explain why female Wolbachia densities are just as important, since they determine the strength of CI induced by their sons. This presentation won a first place award at the 17th Annual Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Research Conference.
This poster won second place at my first conference, the Wolbachia 2018 conference in Salem, Massachusetts. I also presented it at the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Fair, which did not give awards in 2018.
I presented this poster at two American Society of Microbiology Annual Meetings in 2018: the Kentucky-Tennessee Branch and also the Southeastern Branch.
The Wolbachia Project is an educational outreach initiative designed to give students hands-on research experience. As an ArtLab Artist-in-Residence, I created these figures for The Wolbachia Project to communicate some difficult concepts in simple visual formats. I also created editable icons of insects and lab equipment commonly referenced in the project material, so that instructors can easily craft presentations and worksheets without having to make or find the necessary images.
The Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative unites the microbiome research on Vanderbilt’s campus and provides teaching and training resources. The logo portrays bacteria streaked on a petri dish, forming the letters VMIC.
This watercolor is of a fungus that had detrimentally contaminated my Drosophila stocks, ruining several experiments. Upon staining and viewing it, I noticed how beautiful it was, for something so destructive. This work was funded by the ArtLab fellowship and displayed at ArtLab’s 2019 gallery show: Lights, Lasers, and Lenses. ArtLab seeks to explore the intersection of art and science.