UW Ecology Students Hold Inaugural Symposium

February 10, 2012

University of Wyoming students with a passion for ecology will present their work during the first Ecology Student Symposium Friday, Feb. 17, from noon-6:30 p.m. at the UW Berry Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The students, part of the doctoral Program in Ecology, view the event as an opportunity to communicate what they research and why it's relevant in today's world.

"Particularly in a place like Wyoming, where the natural environment is relatively accessible and well preserved, ecology is a part of daily life." says Professor Bob Hall, Program in Ecology director. "We see it in mountains, prairies and rivers. This symposium is a great way to connect scientific research with what happens in the natural world."

The symposium will feature 11 oral and 17 poster presentations by ecology students, with topics ranging from "Uptake and preference of soil nitrate, ammonium and amino acid pools by a native grassland plant are altered by experimental warming and elevated atmospheric CO2" (Janet Chen), to "The role of anthropogenic activity in determining Arabian wolf movement in Eilat county, Israel" (Adi Barocas).

"As scientists, we're very excited about our research," says Liz Mandeville, Program in Ecology student. "Hopefully, this symposium will effectively communicate why the ecological research being done at UW is exciting and important." 

Dave Williams, professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, will give a keynote talk to bridge the afternoon talks and evening poster sessions. He will discuss "Photosynthesis and global change: examples from Australia."

"This symposium is an ideal way for students to gain experience presenting their research, to receive constructive feedback and to learn what other students are researching," says Chris North, ecology student and co-organizer of the event.

"This is also a good chance for undergrads contemplating graduate school to see the kinds of projects on which they might be working," says Colin Tucker, ecology student and event co-organizer.

Networking sessions built into the symposium will provide opportunities for students and attendees to discuss their research themes and implications. Remote viewing options will be provided via Internet broadcasting.

The UW Program in Ecology is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program created in 2005. It now enrolls 51 students from six departments who study topics relating to ecology. For additional information about the program, visit www.uwyo.edu/pie or contact Brenna Wanous at (307) 766-6240 or email at bwanous@uwyo.edu.

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