Time and place: Sep. 26, 2016 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM, Room 3315

The study of ancient DNA sequences from Yersinia pestis has yielded important insights into the ecology and evolution of this important human pathogen. However, the analysis and interpretation of ancient DNA data remains challenging compared with modern data. Here, we will discuss two recent papers with new or improved genomes from First and Second Pandemic victims.

Time and place: Sep. 12, 2016 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM, Room 3315

No reading required! We will be watching a video lecture by Bruce M.S. Campbell, author of "The Great Transition: Climate, Disease, and Society in the Late-Medieval World," where he discusses how changes in climate, the economy, and warfare contributed to the onset and severity of plague epidemics in Medieval Europe.

Time and place: Aug. 29, 2016 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM, Room 3315

This journal club we will be discussing conflicting studies on two virulence factors that are important for the Yersinia genus, invasin and YadA.

Time and place: Aug. 15, 2016 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM, Room 3315

The recent emergence of plague, Yersinia pestis, as a flea-borne pathogen in the last 3,000-6,000 years provides a compelling example of how evolutionary changes can lead to a new bacterial pathogen. We will discuss the recent review, "Ecological opportunity, Evolution, and the Emergence of Flea-borne Plague," by Hinnebusch et. al., about Y. pestis and the closely related enteric pathogen, Y. psuedotuberculosis.

Time and place: July 4, 2016 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM, Room 3315

Historical records can provide useful insights into the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of infectious diseases of the past. We will discuss the recently published paper, "Epidemiological analysis of the Eyam plague outbreak of 1665-1666," by L.K. Whittles and X. Didelot, where they used parish records to study the transmission mode and seasonality of plague during a well-known epidemic.