Grad Student Forum Displays Student Research To Peers, Public

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The Department of Entomology’s graduate students shared their research results at the sixteenth annual Graduate Student Forum on Wednesday, August 21, 2013.

The forum is designed to provide a venue for the Department’s graduate students to practice speaking to an audience of their peers about their research and encourages them to share more openly with their colleagues and other academic community members.

During the forum, students were allowed a total of 15 minutes per student with 12 minutes presentation time and a few minutes for the audience to ask questions.

“This is a wonderful place to expose your research to your peers,” said Dr. Raul Medina during the introductions to the students. “This is a friendly forum and a great opportunity for you to show everyone what you have been doing.”

Department Head Dr. David Ragsdale encouraged students to keep focusing their research to meet the five Grand Challenges that has been implemented throughout the departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Ragsdale said that this forum was a great opportunity to develop their skills as a scientist who must become comfortable speaking in front of an audience of their peers as well as speaking to the public to get people excited about their research.

Audience members also had a chance to speak with three of the Department’s faculty members during a special panel session with Drs. Albert Mulenga, Greg Sword and Aaron Tarone.

Some of the topics asked included how they selected postdoctoral research associates for their labs, handling rejection and preparing for life after graduation.

The first place award for best presentation went to Ph.D. candidate Meaghan Pimsler for her research presentation titled “Elucidation of the sex-determination pathways in an organism with monogenic sex determination”.

Ph.D. student Kyle Harrison then received second place for his presentation titled “The role of immigrant inviability in mediating the genetic differentiation between populations of Aphidoidea species associated with pecan and water hickory trees”

The third place prize was awarded to Marion LeGall for her presentation “Local host plants and diet mixing: effects of plant chemistry on a generalist herbivore at the population level”

The top three winners received a certificate and a monetary award.

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