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Student Symposium 2019



The eight annual Ecology Student Symposium will be held February 15, 2019 in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center at the University of Wyoming. The Symposium, coordinated and hosted by the PhD students of the Program in Ecology, will feature student research currently underway in the Program in Ecology.

The event is free and open to the public - all are welcome to attend!


  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:45 pm. - Opening Remarks & Keynote Address

    Gary Beauvais, UW Opening Remarks
    Jill Mikucki, UTK Keynote Address

    1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Break Snacks and beverages provided in the Berry Center lobby

    2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. - Research Talks Session 1

        Cody Porter: Cultural evolution promotes rapid character displacement in sympatric Crossbills

    ·         Macy Ricketts: A microscopic solution to a mammoth problem: How can microbes in soil profiles help us understand the past?

    ·         Robb McMinn: Quantitative variation in circadian period among populations of Boechera stricta

    2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. – Break Snacks and beverages provided in the Berry Center lobby

    3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. - Research Talks Session 2

    Dan Albrecht-Mallinger: Extremely extreme or tolerably tolerable: Climate drivers of manakin demography

    ·         Lisa Barrett: Captive Asian elephant performance on the floating object task

    ·         Liana Lynch: Bark beetle impacts on soil nitrogen seven years after infestation

    3:45 - 4:00 p.m. – Break Snacks and beverages provided in the Berry Center lobby

    4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. - Research Talks 3

    Alice Stears: Identifying plant traits that predict species-level drought tolerance in western grasslands

    ·         Lauren Azevedo Schmidt: Utilizing paleobotanical field collection methods to compare modern leaf and insect herbivore interactions to fossil data sets

    ·         Melanie Torres: Local and landscape factors influence functional connectivity in an amphibian metapopulation: evidence from multiple lines of genetic inquiry

    4:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Closing Remarks
    Mark Clementz, PiE Program Director Closing Remarks

    5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Poster Session and Social (Complimentary Food and Drink provided by O’Dwyer’s)
    Abby Hoffman Microbial activity in seasonal snowpack in the Snowy Range, WY
    Ali Ceretto - Do plant associated microbes exhibit diel cycling?
    Chloe Mattilio - Injury detection of dry beans in a synthetic auxin simulated herbicide drift
    Paul Dougherty - Using measurements of museum specimens to infer variation in fitness across an avian hybrid zone
    Elizabeth Traver - East versus west aspect influences the microbial community and soil development
    on an exposed ridge in Wyoming
    Gordon Custer - Resilience of soil microbial activity to herbicide application in an agricultural field

    6:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Awards Presentation


  • Best Talk
  • Silent auction winners
  • Best Poster
  • PiE Bake-off champion


Keynote Speaker: Jill Mikcucki
Our guest keynote speaker, Dr. Jill Mikucki is an American microbiologist, educator and Antarctic researcher, best known for her work at Blood Falls demonstrating that microbes can grow below ice in the absence of sunlight. She is a leader of international teams studying study ecosystems under the ice.

PiE and the symposium

The Program in Ecology (PiE) is an interdepartmental cross-college doctoral program that
provides advanced, integrated training in the science of ecology. PiE is the largest
interdisciplinary PhD program at the University of Wyoming that includes 42 faculty, 15 affiliates,
51 current students and 52 alumni.

Departments with faculty in PiE (* indicates student(s) presenting today)
Ecosystem Science and Management*
Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources
Geography and Recreation
Geology and Geophysics
Molecular Biology
Plant Sciences*
Veterinary Sciences
Zoology and Physiology*

a pie chart of the topics at the PiE symposium 2018

The Berry Center is located just west of the Geology Building on Lewis Street between 9th and 10th Streets. Call 766-6240 or email Zoe Nelson with any questions.

Contact Us

Program in Ecology

Berry Center 231

Phone: 307-766-6240


University of Wyoming Program in Ecology
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1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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