GSS 2019

The 2019 Odum School of Ecology Graduate Student Symposium (GSS) was held on January 25 and 26, 2019. The keynote speaker was Virginia Schutte, Ph.D. ’14. Photos to come soon!  The full program is available here.

About Dr. Schutte: Virginia Schutte is an award-winning science communicator who has both a PhD from the Odum School of Ecology and 5 years of extremely broad science media experience. She has worked with Springer Nature to deliver training workshops and run their digital scientific networking website; she created her own blog for publishing audio, video, and written articles; and she has been pioneering new institution-based science communication techniques since founding the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium’s Science Media Program in May 2017.


Friday, January 25th

 9:00 – 10:00 Breakfast
10:00 – 10:15 Dr. Jeb Byers Welcome from the Associate Dean

Standard Session I – Friday

10:15 – 10:30 Carol Yang Freshwater crabs increase leaf decomposition rates in tropical headwater streams


10:30 – 10:45 Julie Ziemba Sublethal stressors in a complex life cycle


10:45 – 11:00 Matthew Hale Embryonic origins of altered ovarian transcriptional networks in an environmental model of endocrine disruption, the American alligator


11:00 – 11:15 Talia Levine Aroclor 1268 and mercury in preferred prey of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humans surrounding the LCP Superfund Site, Brunswick, GA


11:15 – 11:30 Break


Ecology lobby

Standard Session II – Friday

11:30 – 11:45 Blanka Tesla Impacts of temperature on Zika virus transmission


11:45 – 12:00 Rebecca Atkins Comparing “tipping points” in consumer effects across a latitudinal gradient


12:00 – 12:15 Zachary Butler Nest predation of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) on Georgia’s barrier islands


12:15 – 2:00 Lunch (provided) Ecology lobby

Standard Session III – Friday

2:00 – 2:15 Kaylee Arnold The microbiota of a Chagas disease vector across central Panama
2:25 – 2:30 Edward Stowe Rangewide declines in amber darter (Percina antesella) identified with multivariate analysis


2:30 – 2:45 Caitlin Conn Stable or unstable? How primary producers affect basal metabolic regimes across biomes.


2:45 – 3:00 Kate Sabey Gut microbiota contribute to energy trade-offs during infection


3:00 – 3:15 Kerri Miazgowicz The impact of temperature variation on Anopheles stephensi trait performance and implications for malaria transmission


3:15 – 3:30 Break Ecology lobby

Rapid Fire Session I – Friday

3:30 – 4:15 Emily Bertucci Effects of environmental stressors on aging trajectories in medaka


Anna Willoughby A systematic review of environmental persistence across 25 viral families


Akanksha Sharma A framework for exploring aquatic and riparian connectivity


Cali Wilson Feeding wildlife in urban parks: effects on behavior, species interactions, and infection


Q & A


Rapid Fire Session II – Friday

4:15 – 5:00 Dessa Dunn Forest dynamics models and decision-making tools for conservation, restoration, and management of small forests


Isabella Ragonese Temperature-dependent infection dynamics and implications for a migratory insect host


Katie Parson Overwintering health of snakes: modeling the body conditions of southeastern rattlesnakes


Ashley LaVere Effects of testosterone on immune function in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis)


Q & A


5:00 – 7:00 Poster Session Ecology lobby

Saturday, January 26th

Standard Session IV – Saturday

2:00 – 2:15 Joy Vaz How do we think about spillover? Perspectives from across disciplines


2:15 – 2:30 Robert Richards Identifying drivers of Dracunculus medinensis infection in the dogs of Chad


2:30 – 2:45 Megan Tomamichel Black gill in Georgia’s food shrimp: A mysterious threat to the shrimping industry


2:45 – 3:00 Samantha Bock Linking proximate mechanisms of developmental plasticity to environmental variation in nature


3:00 – 3:15 Dana Carpenter How wildfire and mycorrhizal fungi influence soil chemistry and decomposition


3:15 – 3:30 Break Ecology lobby

Standard Session V – Saturday

3:30 – 3:45 Carolyn Cummins Exploring the Effects of Increased Temperature on Leaf Litter Breakdown in Streams Across Seasonal and Spatial Temperature Gradients


3:45 – 4:00 Jeffrey Beauvis Race and Nature: The Importance of a Critical Understanding of Race for Ecologists


4:00 – 4:15 Jessica Chappell Long-term (37 years) impacts of low-head dams on habitat connectivity in northeastern Puerto Rico: Implications for island-wide metapopulation dynamics for migratory shrimp


4:15 – 4:30 Megan Hopson A Summary of State Water Recycling Policy Strategies in the United States with Recommendations for Georgia


4:30 – 4:45 Break


Ecology lobby

Keynote Address

4:45 – 5:00 Jeb Byers Introduction


5:00 – 6:00 Dr. Virginia Schutte A witty pop culture reference: but actually I’m a respectable person


6:00 – 8:00 Dinner (provided)


Ecology lobby