The Grim Adventures of Sally and Mandy


Jasper Leavitt

Kerney Lab


Greetings from Kerney lab! My name is Jasper Leavitt, and I’m a rising senior biology and music double major. This is my second summer working with Dr. Ryan Kerney on two separate projects. Kalli Qutub, a rising junior Biology major with a teaching certification is the other lab member. Our lab focuses on amphibians, which are used to investigate symbiosis and embryonic development.

Kalli and I are currently working on two separate projects. My project this summer is looking at the symbiotic relationship between the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and an algae that lives in its egg capsules. The spotted salamander is the only known vertebrate with a mutualist symbiont (the algae) that enters the cells of the host, known as an “endosymbiosis.” My research is looking for the mechanism of entry for the algae. This is either through an invasion, like parasites, or…

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