The 8th Annual Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Graduate Research Symposium was held on April 21, 2023 at the Moss Arts Center on the Virginia Tech Campus. The annual meeting showcases and celebrates the important and impressive work of the IGC Fellows. It’s also a time for students and Global Change Center faculty to interact and explore connections between labs across campus.  This year’s symposium agenda included 11 platform presentations, 18 poster presentations, 5 capstone project presentations and a keynote talk by IGC Alumna 2017, Dr. Laura Schoenle, Associate Director and Coordinator of Undergraduate Research and Honors within the Office of Undergraduate Biology at Cornell University, followed by an awards reception.

Laura Schoenle
IGC Alumna '17 and Symposium Keynote Speaker Dr. Laura Schoenle
Students sitting outside
IGC Fellows catching up outside over the lunch break

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. New this year, the IGC Graduate Student Organization organized a peer-judged competition for best poster presentation awards.

Kudos to all of the Fellows who participated and congratulations to those recognized for best presentations!

View pictures from the event in the Flickr album here


Platform Presentation Awardees:

Platform Presentation Awardees
(L to R) IGC IGEP director Dr. Bill Hopkins, IGC Fellows Sam Silknetter, Abby Lewis, and Korin Jones, VT Graduate School dean emeritus Dr. Karen DePauw

First Place & recipient of the 2023 Karen P. DePauw Outstanding Interdisciplinary Presentation Award:

Korin Jones (Biological Sciences),  Purple Reign: Increasing proportion of probiotic bacteria in tadpoles through embryo inoculation 

Second Place

Abby Lewis (Biological Sciences), Anoxia begets anoxia: increased air temperatures drive a self-reinforcing cycle of anoxia in stratified lakes 

Third Place

Sam Silknetter (Biological Sciences),  How do spatial scale and species traits influence genetic structure of freshwater invertebrates? 


Peer-Awarded Best Poster Presentations:

Best poster presentation awardees
(L to R) IGC Fellows Grace O'Malley, Taylor Fossett, and Abir Jain.

Grace O'Malley (Biological Sciences),  Can acoustic monitoring give new insights to the spatial and temporal distribution of an invasive and a threatened amphibian? 

Taylor Fossett (Biological Sciences),  Urban male song sparrows show flexibility in aggression over sustained challenge  

Abir Jain (Fish and Wildlife Conservation),  Will frugivores enable Appalachian plants to track climate change?