The Crestiad

Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923

Cedar Crest hosts prestigious science conference: Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium

Cedar Crest hosts prestigious science conference: Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium

ROXANNE ADDINO, Staff Writer

On the weekend of April 14-15, 2012, students from Cedar Crest College attended and participated in the 9th annual Lehigh Valley Ecology and Evolution Symposium (LVEES) that was held at DeSales University.

The DeSales website stated that the LVEES was established nine years ago by schools that are members of the LVAIC: “a non-profit organization promoting student exchange, professional development, and greater efficiency in operations,” as stated on desales.edu. The LVEES was created to provide students and faculty with a gathering in which they could present their research of ecology and evolution. Among the attendees this year were two of Cedar Crest’s biodiversity and conservation biology majors, seniors Robyn Dechene and Amber Funk. Both women received honors for their posters. Dechene tied for first place, and Funk received third place.

The event consisted of registration in the morning, which was followed by oral presentations. Once all of the oral presentations commenced, the poster presentations began, followed by a key-note speaker, who discussed “Lyme’s disease and the bacterium associated with the disease,” said Funk. The awards ceremony ended this year’s LVEES.

Both Dechene and Funk presented posters regarding their current research. Dechene’s poster was entitled, “The effect of diet on the survival and reproduction of the brown marmorated stinkbug, Halyomorpha halys,” and Funk’s poster was entitled, “The effect of multiple Stressors, increased temperature and acidification, on the growth and survival of the common periwinkle, Littorina littorea.”

Dechene chose her topic because of the current agricultural dilemma with the stinkbugs.

“With H. halys being an invasive species that damages farmers crops, I wanted to do what I could to help the agricultural industry,” said Dechene.

After doing a great deal of research, both students put together their posters, which, for Funk, contained information on her research project and more general information on the Periwinkle. Their posters also included “the materials, methods, and results of my research,” said Dechene.

Preparing for such an event came with many challenges. “As a presenter you have to know your research inside and out so you can field any question that’s thrown your way, and that is the hardest part about presenting,” said Funk. With all this pressure, even the smallest details were not left to chance, especially when one is competing against 15 other students.

Aside from the challenges, both students said that they really enjoyed getting to know other students who participated. The opportunity to share research and interact was an added plus to LVEES.

Both students came away from the experience at this year’s LVEES with greater knowledge and new found confidence in their abilities to present their research to others in the field.

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This entry was posted on August 27, 2012 by in News and tagged , , , .
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