ESC Student Research Forum

For over 15 years the ESC has hosted its Student Research Forum during the spring semester. The Forum  is open to both graduate and undergraduate students conducting research related to ecology and the environment. Participants have the opportunity to present their research in a poster presentation providing an opportunity to showcase their research, learn what others are doing, and practice for poster sessions at regional or national meetings. Students are encouraged to present preliminary or advanced research, or even their proposed research plans if they have not yet started collecting data. 

Cash prizes will include one Grand Prize and several Merit Awards for the graduate division and  one grand prize for the undergraduate division. Each student may make only one presentation, but may be included as a co-author on others. 

To participate, see the current Announcement and Abstract Guidelines.

For student presenters, see our Judging Criteria for details on how to make a good poster and give a good presentation. The ESC holds a poster-making workshop prior to the forum where students can learn how to create better posters (advertised via emails and posters). Use this ESC logo for your posters.

Student Award Winners

2023 Forum

Graduate Students

  • Grand Prize: Sam Hervey - Poster Title: Genetic Assessment of Isle Royale Wolves. Advisor: Kristin Brzeski
  • Merit Award: Ryan Heines - Poster Title: Resource Partitioning Among Sympatric Species Across Saltmarsh Ponds of Coastal Louisiana. Advisor: Jill Olin
  • Merit Award: Cassandra Reed-VanDam - Poster Title: Bridging Indigenous and Western Sciences to Define and Assess Successful Wild Rice (Zizania palustris) Restoration Efforts in Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Homelands. Advisor: Valoree Gagnon

Undergraduate Students

  • Grand Prize: Natalie Howard - Poster Title: Variance Components and Phenotypic Plasticity of Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) in a Replicated Common Garden Experiment. Advisor: Carsten Külheim
  • Merit Award: Tessa Tormoen - Poster Title: Using DNA Metabarcoding to Evaluate Dietary Resource Partitioning Among Two Sympatric Tilefish. Advisors: Jill Olin and Kristin Brzeski

2022 Forum

Graduate Students

  • Grand Prize: ROB TUNISON - Poster Title: Tropical Wet Forest Root Respiration Responses to Experimental Warming and Hurricane Disturbance. Advisor(s): Molly Cavaleri
  • Merit Award: EMMA SHEDD - Poster Title: Acclimation of Quercus rubra Root Respiration Across a Midwest Latitudinal Gradient. Advisor(s): Carsten Kuelheim, Andy Burton and Molly Cavaleri
  • Merit Award: SAMUEL L. OLIVEIERA - Poster Title: Do Oil Palm Plantations Provide Quality Habitat for Migratory Birds? A Case Study from Mexico. Advisor(s): David Flaspohler and Jared Wolfe
  • Merit Award: MELANIE A. OTTINO – Poster Title: Fecal Metabarcoding for Winter Diet Analysis of White-Tailed Deer: Developing an Optimized Noninvasive Molecular Approach for Wildlife Research. Advisor(s): Kristin Brzeski, Carsten Kuelheim, and Chris Webster

Undergraduate Students

  • Grand Prize: NATALIE M. HOWARD - Poster Title: Variance Components and Phenotypic Plasticity of Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) in a Replicated Common Garden Experiment. Advisor(s): Carsten Kuelheim and Molly Cavaleri
  • Merit Award: ABRAHAM STONE - Poster Title: Developing a Commercially-Viable Native Biocontrol Application for Invasive Buckthorn Management. Advisor(s): Chris Webster, Sigrid Resh and Tara Bal