UGA’s Odum School of Ecology to hold graduate student symposium Jan. 16-17

Athens, Ga. – The 21st annual Graduate Student Symposium at the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology will be held Friday, Jan. 16 and Saturday, Jan. 17 in the ecology auditorium. A showcase for student research, the symposium is free and open to the public.

The symposium, which is organized and run by Odum School graduate students, provides an opportunity for ecology students at all levels to give professional presentations about their original research.

This year’s event features 35 oral presentations by graduate students and 11 posters by undergraduates. Oral presentations will take place Jan. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Jan. 17 from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Undergraduate poster sessions will be held Jan. 16 from 12-2 p.m. and 4:45-7 p.m. in the Odum School’s lobby.

Ecology alumnus Michael Strickland, who received his doctorate in 2009 and is an assistant professor in the biological sciences department at Virginia Tech, will give the keynote address Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. on “Links Between Soil Microbial Communities, Environmental Change and… Human Health.”

Strickland, who received the UGA Graduate Student Excellence in Research Award in the Life Sciences in 2010, studies the intersection of microbial and ecosystem ecology, particularly how changes in the microbial community influence, and are influenced by, ecosystem processes. His current research includes studies of the role of microbial communities in litter decomposition and the response of microbial communities to root exudates and how microbial communities fit into larger systems.

For more about the Odum School of Ecology, see www.ecology.uga.edu. For more about the Graduate Student Symposium, including the complete schedule, see t.uga.edu/1ac.