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SFWS students participate in Auburn’s This is Research: Student Symposium

By April 28, 2017July 3rd, 2017No Comments

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences undergraduate and graduate students recently participated in the Auburn University This is Research: Student Symposium held at the Auburn University Student Center on April 13. The event provides a venue for graduate and undergraduate students from Auburn University and Auburn University at Montgomery to present research and creative projects to the broader academic community. Students from all disciplines are invited to present their current and recent academic work, showcasing the diversity of topics, approaches, and interests at Auburn University.

The symposium includes a mentor recognition luncheon, judging of students’ presentations and opportunities for prospective students and potential employers to view and discuss the students’ research. An awards ceremony is held one week following the symposium. Presentations and posters are judged in the categories of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and Social Science/Creative Scholarship in Design, Arts and Humanities. First through third place awards are given with graduate awards ranging from $250 to $750 and undergraduate from $50 to $125.

The following students gave oral presentations and participated in the poster sessions.

Graduate Student Oral Research Presentations:

  • Daniel, Marissa Jo (Maj. Prof. Tom Gallagher) – Utilization of phone app technology to record log truck movements
  • Xu, Yecheng (Maj. Profs. Yaoqi Zhang and Mathew Smidt) – New mobility to sustainability: Herder and animal husbandry
  • Devkota, Pratima  (Maj. Prof. Lori Eckhardt) – Induced systemic resistance of Pinus taeda  to Leptographium terebrantis and
    Grosmannia huntii  by plant growth- promoting rhizobacteria
  • Cole, Andrea (Maj. Prof. Lori Eckhardt) – Competitiveness of Amylostereum spp. fungi against Leptographium spp. fungi
  • Haines, Angelina (Maj. Prof. Robert Gitzen) – Factors influencing fire ant prevalence and nest predation on grassland birds in a fire-mediated ecosystem
  • Sharma Dangal, Shree Ram (Maj. Prof. Hanqin Tian) – Global impacts of grazing on vegetation and soil organic carbon during 1901-2010: A process-based modelling study
  • Lewis, Alexandra (Maj. Prof. Steve Ditchkoff) – Beavers are engineers; trees are not: The dam truth

Undergraduate Student Oral Research Presentations:

  • Lambert, Shannon (Adv. Prof. Mark Smith) –  Evaluation of scents for baiting wild pigs
  • Broadhead, Jordan (Adv. Prof. Sarah Zohdy) – Does community conservation improve human and wildlife health?
  • Rankins, Seth  (Adv. Prof. Steve Ditchkoff) – High prevalence of Anaplasma platys infection in Alabama white -tailed deer

Graduate Student Poster Presentations:

  • Iglesias, Maria (Maj. Prof. Maria Soledad Peresin) – Residual lignin and its effect on the rheological properties cellulose nanofibrils suspensions
  • Tormanen, Aaron (Maj. Prof. Sarah Zohdy) – A cost-effective method for canine heartworm surveillance
  • Xu, Rongting (Maj. Prof. Hanqin Tian) – Global ammonia emissions from synthetic nitrogen fertilizer applications in agricultural systems: empirical and process-based estimates and uncertainty
  • Daniel, Marissa Jo (Maj. Prof. Tom Gallagher) – Utilization of Phone App Technology to Record Log Truck Movements
  • Zikeli, Shelby (Maj. Prof. Sarah Zohdy) – A methods comparison of ectoparasite quantification in white tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
  • Sanchez Diaz, Simon (Maj. Prof. Maria Soledad Peresin) – Morphological study of the electrospinning process parameters over the structure of silk fibroin nonwoven performed at low concentrated solutions
  • Gonnerman, Matthew (Maj. Prof. James Grand) – Estimating occupancy, density, and productivity of eastern wild turkeys in Alabama
  • Mensah, John (Maj. Prof. Lori Eckhardt) – Effect of Leptographium terrebrantis on tree physiology and growth of loblolly pine
  • Zenas, Stephen  (Maj. Prof. James Grand) – Factors influencing survival and capture-related morality of Eastern wild turkeys in Alabama
  • Duwadi, Sharijana  (Maj. Prof. Lori Eckhardt) – Study of soil microbial biomass and soil moisture in loblolly pine stand

Undergraduate Student Poster Presentations:

  • Finney, Micaela (Adv. Prof. Sarah Zohdy) – Feeding preferences of malaria vectors in Madagascar
  • Kallenberg, Marie Christine – Change in the lipid transport capacity of the liver and blood during reproduction in rats
  • Long, Brandon (Adv. Prof. Robert Gitzen) – A shell of a good time: quantifying box turtle detection probability in an urban landscape
  • Miller, Madison (Adv. Prof. Christopher Lepczyk) – Assessing the economic costs of managing invasive species across the United States
  • Baxter, Tyler (Adv. Prof. Becky Barlow) – Evaluating the effectiveness of prescribed fire to restore longleaf-slash pine ecosystems

Student awards were presented during a ceremony hosted by Auburn’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development on April 20, where former SFWS doctoral student, Hamed Majidzadeh, gave the keynote presentation.

Photos from the presentations are available on Flikr.

To review the entire program schedule, visit:


Review the complete list of 2017 This Is Research: Student Symposium awardees.

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