Andrew D. Nguyen

109 Carrigan Drive Burlington, VT 05405


Github: adnguyen

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in understanding the ecological, evolutionary, and genomic determinants of resiliency or susceptibility to climate change.

Professional Appointments

Starting July 2017

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Florida

Supervisor: Dr. Daniel Hahn

Education

2012-2017

PhD, Biology; University of Vermont (Burlington), Department of Biology

Thesis title: Evolutionary innovations in ants to thermally stressful environments

Advisors: Sara Helms Cahan, Nicholas J. Gotelli
Committee: Brent L. Lockwood, Jill Preston

2004-2009
BSc, Biology; Drexel University (Philadelphia)

Funding, Awards, and Grants

2017
Suiter Prize Travel Award - $1,000
2015-2016
Research Assistantship - $28,000/year

Publications

Undergraduate researchers in italics

  1. Nguyen AD, DeNovellis K, Resendez S, Pustilnik JD, Gotelli NJ, Parker JD, Cahan SH. 2017. Effects of desiccation and starvation on thermal tolerance and the heat-shock response in forest ants. J Comp Physiol B:1–10.
  2. Helms Cahan S, Nguyen AD, Stanton-Geddes J, Penick CA, Hernáiz-Hernández Y, DeMarco BB, Gotelli NJ. 2017. Modulation of the heat shock response is associated with acclimation to novel temperatures but not adaptation to climatic variation in the ants Aphaenogaster picea and A. rudis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 204:113–120.
  3. Nguyen AD, Gotelli NJ, Cahan SH. 2016. The evolution of heat shock protein sequences, cis-regulatory elements, and expression profiles in the eusocial Hymenoptera. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16:15.
  4. Stanton-Geddes J, Nguyen A, Chick L, Vincent J, Vangala M, Dunn RR, Ellison AM, Sanders NJ, Gotelli NJ, Cahan SH. 2016. Thermal reactionomes reveal divergent responses to thermal extremes in warm and cool-climate ant species. BMC Genomics 17:171.

Research Experience

2012-2017

Dissertation research; University of Vermont

Worked independently and in collaboration to complete Dimensions grant objectives.

Took projects from ideas to experimentation, data analysis, visualization, and manuscript preparation.

2014

Research Associate, Dr. Lori Stevens lab; University of Vermont

Determined infection frequency of Trypanosome parasites in Kissing bugs that cause Chagas disease.

2010-2011

Technician; Reaction Biology Corp

High through put screening of potentially therapeutic small compounds.

2009-2010

Technician, Antibody Core Department; Morphotek Inc.

Developed therapeutic antibodies against Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

2007-2008

Co-op intern, Reproductive Toxicology; GlaxoSmithKline

Studied red blood cell differentiation from mouse embryonic stem cells.

2006-2007

Co-op intern, Antibody Core Department; Morphotek Inc.

Developed neutralizing antibodies against Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB).

Skills

Computing:

  • Unix – General command line, shell bash scripting, and remote computing
  • R – Data analysis and visualization
  • (R)Markdown – Integrative word processing and technical reporting
  • Python – Written scripts to parse genomic data
  • Github – Reproducible science through version control and online notebooks
  • HTML – Website development
  • Phylogenetics - Maximum likelihood (RAxML) and Bayesian (MrBayes)
  • Geneious – Sequence analysis
  • Microsoft Office – Data preparation, organization, and word processing

Laboratory:

  • RNA,DNA, and protein isolation
  • PCR and qPCR
  • Gel electrophoresis: polyacrylamide and agarose
  • Western blotting; immunohistochemistry
  • Cell culture (primary and established lines)
  • Flow Cytometry

External Reviewer

Molecular Ecology
Insect Science

Research Presentations

2017
Northern range limits of common forest ants is reflected in trade-offs between basal and induced cold tolerances, Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference, New Orleans, LA (talk)
2016
Implementing strategies to achieve reproducible research, BioLunch, University of Vermont, Department of Biology, Burlington Vt (talk)

Northern range limits of common forest ants is reflected in trade-offs between basal and induced cold tolerances, Evolution meeting, Austin, TX (poster)

2015
Temperature adaptations in common woodland ants, BioLunch, University of Vermont, Department of Biology, Burlington VT (talk)
2014
Surviving in a warming world: thermal adaptation in ants, BioLunch, University of Vermont, Department of Biology, Burlington, VT (talk)
2013
Impact of environmental stress on thermal tolerance in Aphaenogaster picea EcoLunch, University of Vermont Department of Biology, Burlington, VT (talk)

Physiological response to climate change in Aphaenogaster picea , Northeast Natural History- Ant Ecology session, Springfield, MA (talk)

2012
Heat shock proteins and thermal tolerance in Aphaenogaster picea, EcoLunch, University of Vermont Department of Biology, Burlington, Vt (talk)

Sequence and Cis-regulatory Evolution of Heat Shock Protein hsp83, in Social Hymenoptera, International Union for the Study of Social Insects- North American Section Meeting (IUSSI-NAS), Greensboro, NC (poster)

Heat shock proteins and thermal tolerance in Aphaenogaster rudis, Aphaenophest, Petersham, MA (talk)

Conferences Attended

2017
Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans, LA
2016
Evolution, Austin, Texas 2014 Evolution, Raleigh, North Carolina
2014
Molecular Biology and Evolution, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
2013
Northeast Natural History - Ant Ecology session, Springfield, Massachusetts
2012
International Union for the Study of Social Insects - North American Section Meeting (IUSSI-NAS), Greensboro, North Carolina

Organizational Membership

Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology (SICB)
American Society of Naturalists (ASN)
Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution (sMBE)
International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI)
Ecological Society of America (ESA)

Teaching Experience

2017
Ecological Genomics - Teaching Assistant, University of Vermont
2016
Invited Lecture, Evolution, University of Vermont,
2015
Invited Lecture, Evolutionary Biology for non majors, University of Vermont
2014
Invited Lecture, Evolution, University of Vermont
2014
Exploring Biology - Teaching Assistant, University of Vermont
2013
Cell and Molecular Biology - Teaching Assistant, University of Vermont
2012-2014
Ecology and Evolution - Teaching Assistant, University of Vermont
2012
Principles of Biology - Teaching Assistant, University of Vermont

Mentoring

Undergraduate Researchers:

  • Ariana Maleki and John Matthew Fisher worked on developing microsatellites for population genetic work on common woodland ants.

  • Kerri Pinder, Skyler Resendez, and Jeremy Pustilnik worked on how previous exposures to starvation and desiccation impact thermal tolerance and underlying stress responses (using heat shock proteins as a proxy). This work led to a manuscript in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B

  • Teddy Herriman and Austin Sherburne worked on identifying potential morphological innovations that may temper and/or mitigate the effects of heat stress.

  • Curtis A. Provencher worked on how experimental warming affects the stress levels of common woodland ants.

  • Megan Brown and Jordan Zitnay identified trade-offs between constitutive and induced cold tolerances at the northern range boundary in common forest ants, likely constraining their northern expansion.

Outreach

2015

Helper, Software Carpentry, University of Vermont

Helped participants troubleshoot code (Unix command line, R, Github)

2012

Graduate Mentor, Ant Camp, University of Vermont

Collected ants and described their natural history with high school students