The Sixth Annual Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Graduate Research Symposium was held virtually over Zoom on April 23, 2021. Although the forum was a little different this year, this annual meeting provides a space to showcase and celebrate the important and impressive work of the IGC Fellows.  It’s also a time for Fellows and GCC faculty to interact and explore connections between labs across campus.  This year’s symposium agenda included 12 platform presentations, 12 research power talks, introductory videos from the 12 newest Fellows in the Spring 2021 cohort, and an overview by Fellows leading a new IGC Peer Mentoring Program.

The symposium highlighted the latest research from the program’s graduate student fellows, whose collective work addresses critical global changes impacting the environment and society. This includes problems surrounding climate change, pollution, invasive species, disease, and habitat loss.

Platform awards for Best Presentation were selected for the top three platform presentations and top three research power talks.

Platform Presentation Category:

IGC Symposium Awardee


First Place and recipient of the 2021 Karen P. DePauw Outstanding Interdisciplinary Presentation Award:  Alaina Weinheimer (BIOL)

Too big to see: large viruses are overlooked players in the ocean’s nutrient cycles

IGC Symposium Awardee


Second Place:  Sarah Cathey (SPES)

Experimental evidence that biodiversity stabilizes communities through asynchrony


IGC Symposium Awardee


Third Place:  Joshua Rady (FREC), Daniel Smith (BSE), Kerry Gendreau & Isaac VanDiest (BIOL)

V-SCI: Connecting Science with Local Environmental Advocacy


Research Power Talk Presentation Category:

IGC Symposium Awardee


First Place:  Mary Lofton (BIOL)

Thermocline deepening deepens maximum phytoplankton biomass and affects community phytoplankton community structure in a eutrophic reservoir


IGC Symposium Awardee


Second Place:  Sara Teemer Richards (BIOL)

Effects of temperature on contact rates in house finches


IGC Symposium Awardee


Third Place:  Korin Jones (BIOL)

Community Assembly in the Amphibian Microbiome


Kudos to all the student participants!  Your research never ceases to inspire and give us hope for a bright future.  Thank you to the GCC Faculty and other researchers on campus who came out to show their support for the IGC Fellows!