All gardeners know what it’s like to try and weed a garden. Even when you keep up with it, sometimes you miss a root or a seed, and the weeds grow back.
As it turns out, this experience applies not only to human gardeners but also to a type of ant that farms its own garden of fungus.
PhD candidate Kirsten Gotting studies evolutionary biology and fungus-growing ants as a member of the Currie Lab in the Department of Bacteriology and the Genetics Training Program. The Currie Lab’s collection of leaf-cutter ants, one of many types of fungus-growing ant, offers a window into the relationships between the ants, the fungus, and other pathogens and bacteria.
Geoscience graduate student Yihang Fang will test whether protein control is the mechanism helping leaf-cutter ants form a layer of mineral “armor” as a fellow at the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History.
There are two major collections of Korean American artist Nam June Paik’s work. Kyungso Min has already studied the collection at South Korea’s Nam June Paik Art Center. So, the natural next step for Min, a doctoral student in art history at UW–Madison, was to study the Nam June Paik Archive housed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.This summer, Min will have the chance to do just that as a Smithsonian Institution Fellow.
Rivka Maizlish studies folk music, folklore, folk art, folk medicine – but she is not a folklorist. Maizlish is an intellectual historian, about to embark on a fellowship with the Smithsonian Institution to dive more deeply into the question, how did people in 20th century America define folk?
“I got interested in that from a number of angles,” said Maizlish, a PhD student at UW–Madison, “but the main thing is I just really love Bob Dylan.”