Graduate Student Symposium 2017 (there's a song at the end)

If you ever find yourself wanting to broaden your bio knowledge, come to our annual Graduate Student Symposium (GSS). This year's was a mind-stretcher. My reliable sources overheard Meg Whitney, one of our intrepid GSS 2017 organizers, remark,
The diversity of topics covered that day always blows my mind. We're one department but we heard about tons of different organisms (everything from bacteria to ecosystems) and tons of different topics in biology (e.g. macroevolution, outreach, pollution, etc.). GSS is always a good chance to remind ourselves of how incredible this department is!

I make it a personal rule to always agree with Meg, and you should too, but you can decide for yourself. Look at what our grads presented:

  • Alex Brannick: Nestled among dinosaur eggs: New specimens of Alpahdon from Egg Mountain and their implications for metatherian evolution
  • Molly Roberts: Energy allocation to structural materials differs for two congener species across a range of temperature and food conditions
  • Gideon Dunster: The Dark Side of the Moon: How Lunar Cycles Affect Human Rhythms
  • Luke Weaver: Growing & Showing  (it in the microstructure of the bone) : Understanding Growth in Multituberculate Mammals Across the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary
  • Steph Smith: Teeth and diet in the aftermath of the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction
  • Lyda Harris: Show me your mussels
  • Peter Conlin: ENDLESS FORMS MOST SIMILAR: Examining the effect of synonymous codon choice on robustness and evolvability using deep mutational scanning
  • Meera Sethi: Invertebrate Conservation: Righting Upside-Down Attitudes Towards Insects & other Arthropods
  • Bill Hardin: Myosin-independent cytokinesis in Giardia utilizes flagella to coordinate force generation and direct membrane trafficking
  • Foen Peng: Unconstrained exploration of flower theoretical morphospace
  • Hannah Jordt: Use it AND lose it: Alternating selection to resolve the plasmid paradox
  • Alex Lowe: Something completely different
  • Dave Slager: Counting crows: A genomic look inside Seattle’s taxonomic black box
  • Itzue W. Caviedes-Solis: Leap frogging the Mexican highlands
  • Alexander Fodor: A Tail of Two Ascidians: Searching for the mechanisms behind tail loss in Molgulid ascidians
  • Cooper French: many North American avian subspecies are rubbish, surprising no one
  • Jorge Bustamante, Jr.: Wasp waist: a tail of abdominal flexion, sensing, actuation, and flight control
  • Katrina van Raay: A one-two punch: combining multiple killing systems within a single cell by going “pro”, and the mystery of the one-punch
  • Ethan Linck: Phenotype, species limits, and adaptation in a New Guinean tree kingfisher
Among these tantalizing talks, awards were awarded to these awardees:

  • Best Dressed: Gideon Dunster
  • Most Appealing to a 3rd Grader: Alex Lowe
  • Best Title: Luke Weaver
  • Prettiest Pictures: Itzue Caviedes Solis
  • Best New Artist: Stephanie Smith
  • Best Overall Talk (Faculty Choice): Stephanie Smith

Alex was our other awesome organizer of this year's GSS. Big thanks to her and Meg for making magic come alive. Even now, I sometimes hum a little song that I fashioned after what Alex said about the symposium: 
Overall, GSS was success in my boooooooook. // It was great soooooo many people attended the event // from allllllll different fields of biology // the community of the department felt soooooo supportive of all of the speakers and reeeeessssseaaaaaarch.

Get psyched for next year.


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Congrats Autumn 2018 Graduates!