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Biological Sciences

Student Research Symposium 2020

The Twenty-third Annual Biological Sciences Student Research Symposium (physical distancing version) was held on Friday, May 8, 2020. Both graduate and undergraduate students contributed research done independently or in conjunction with a class.  Posters were displayed electronically and judged from 9am-5pm.  A virtual awards ceremony was held at 5pm.

And congratulations to all students who participated!

Lower Division Class Project
Sireesha Reddy, Vivanna Quintero, Alberto Cedillo-Campos
Tomato Growth Affected by Earthworms?

Upper Division Class Project
Jesse Garcia, Logan Ferris, Anna Waldren
The Sugar Backbone Versus the Iron Curtain

Undergraduate Research
Isabella Engbretson
son is Necessary for Proper Vertebrate Blood Development

Tom Rodgers Outstanding Research Award
Isis G. Perez, Ryan N. Nielsen
miR-375 and ICER: A cAMP Mediated Double Negative Feedback Loop in Pancreatic Beta Cells

Michael Abruzzo Outstanding Scientist Award
Aleeza Namit, William Dowell
Examining the Effects of Pentachlorophenol on the Development of Zebrafish

Graduate Research
Constantin Raether
Testing the Plant Vigor Hypothesis (PVH) and Phenological Synchrony Hypothesis (PSH)
to Explain Variation in Herbivory in Valley Oak (Quercus lobata)


Projects must fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Direct application of the scientific method to investigate a biological question.
  2. Development of a method or the collection of observations that could lead to an 

Posters will be grouped and evaluated within five divisions:

  • Undergraduate research projects
  • Class projects - lower division
  • Class projects - upper division
  • Class projects - graduate (includes 697)
  • Master's Thesis Research

Posters will be displayed electronically and we will have judging. Posters will be open for online viewing between 9am and 5pm. Details for uploading your poster will be provided when you submit your abstract. 

Submission of Abstracts

Electronically submit an abstract to the Department of Biological Sciences by Friday, May 1, 2020, 11:59pm. Abstracts are limited to 250 words. Abstracts of greater length will be returned to author(s). 

Authors will also be asked the following questions, which must be completed to be accepted (this is not part of your 250 word abstract):

  • Title of the research project
  • Author(s) names and e-mail addresses
  • Sponsoring faculty member name and email address
  • Course number if applicable (Ex. Biol 209, Biol 398, etc)
  • Category (choose one of the following):
    • Individual project (undergraduate)
    • Class project (lower division)
    • Class project (upper division)
    • Class project (graduate)
    • Thesis project (graduate)

* Brief description of the significance of the research, the experimental hypotheses, methods employed and significance of conclusions.

Submit abstracts through the attached Google form(you must be logged in through your Wildcat portal).

IMPORTANT NOTE: you will NOT receive any confirmation of abstracts received unless they are incomplete, so please check you have all information correct before you submit, and then check for any response in case you need to make changes.  Abstract deadline is FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2020, 11:59pm.

Poster Guidelines

The purpose of a scientific poster is to communicate your research and to initiate discussion. Posters should be self-explanatory and should convey research results in a clear, concise fashion. Your poster should contain all the major sections of a scientific paper: Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusions/Discussion. Sections should be clearly identified and arranged in columns. It is suggested that section headings, if they were to be printed, be at 10 mm height. All other text should be legible from a distance of 4 feet (5 to 10 mm height). ( Example 1 (PDF)Example 2 (PDF))

Poster Space

Posters will be viewed online, but it is recommended to use standard poster specifications of 4 feet by 6 feet. 


  • Title and Authors: Place the title and names of authors at the top center of the poster. For readability the title should be 15 mm in height (Legible from 10 feet, if they were printed).
  • Introduction: Give a brief background/foundation, then state the purpose of your research as either a question or hypothesis.
  • Methods: Brief description of the techniques, data collection, replicas and statistics you used. Omit unnecessary detail.
  • Results: Professionally prepared tables and graphs that are easy to read and understand.
  • Conclusions: What did you find out? Did you accept or reject your hypothesis? Describe results in terms of general biological principles. What is the significance of the findings?

How to Make a Full size poster

You create the poster in Powerpoint (using one of the templates below), convert it to a PDF file (following the instructions below). The steps are:

1. Select the Powerpoint template size you wish to work from. You can cut and paste your own text and graphics into the template. Folder with Poster PowerPoint Templates

Templates in Folder:
Basic Professional 48x36
Light to Dark 48x36
Multicolor Gradients 48x36
Neon Boxes 48x36
Tricolor Sidebars 48x36

2. Convert the Powerpoint to a PDF file:

  1. Create your poster in PowerPoint on one of the available templates.
  2. To see your whole poster, choose fit in the size box. To see actual size of figures and text, choose 100%.
  3. Choose "Acrobat" in the top ribbon.  Then choose "Create PDF."
  4. If you don't have "Acrobat" in the top ribbon, follow these steps instead:
  5. Click the Microsoft circle at the top left, or File (depending on your version)
  6. Choose Save As...
  7. Choose Adobe PDF
  8. Name your file, choose a location, and click Save.
  9. You can also choose "Print," and choose Adobe PDF as the printer.

3. Submit your poster online.  Instructions will be posted soon.