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College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences hosts Inaugural Graduate Student Research Symposium

Keynote speaker Alaina Gallagher speaks to CAFLS graduate students about how socio-environmental researchers can communicate their research to stakeholders and the publics.

This past August, graduate students from the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences gathered at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence, South Carolina to participate in the Inaugural CAFLS Graduate Student Research Symposium. Students were given the option to either participate in a 3-Minute Thesis competition or a poster competition. This symposium provided a valuable opportunity for students to network with fellow colleagues, faculty members, and stakeholders, as well as advance their knowledge about research in their field. The event featured keynote speaker Alaina Gallagher, Assistant Director of Communications at the University of Maryland's National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). Gallagher spoke on the importance of communication planning and highlighted the significance of the SESYNC's toolkit, which helps socio-environmental researchers better communicate their research to stakeholders and the public.

The winners from the symposium are as follows:

Three-Minute Thesis Presentations

First place: Jasmine Gill (Plant and Environmental Sciences) for her “Alleviating the phosphorus crisis through mycorrhizae” presentation. Jasmine’s advisor is Dr. Vidya Suseela.

Second place: Zachary Jones (Plant and Environmental Sciences) for his “Development of reduced immunogenicity peanut and wheat lines for individuals with food sensitivities” presentation. Zachary’s advisor is Dr. Sachin Rustgi.

Third place: Rose Marie Somers (Agricultural Education) for her “Agriscience teachers’ self-reported confidence levels in using a microscope before and after a professional development” presentation. Rose Marie’s advisor is Dr. Catherine DiBenedetto.

MS Posters

First place: William Gura (Plant and Environmental Sciences) for his “Sensitivity of Monilinia fructicola collected from peach in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama orchards to propiconazole” poster. William’s advisor is Dr. Guido Schnabel.

Second place: Kyle Smith (Plant and Environmental Sciences) for his “Utilizing precision agriculture to improve sustainability and reduce input costs in cotton production” poster. Kyle’s advisor is Dr. Michael Plumblee.

Third place: Swabir Alhassan Musah (Plant and Environmental Sciences) for his “Cover crops integration to optimal nitrogen fertilization for dryland cotton in sandy ultisols” poster. Swabir’s advisor is Dr. Rongzhong Ye.

PhD Posters

First place: Sarah Holladay (Plant and Environmental Sciences) for her “Influence of seed size on cotton injury from soil applied herbicides at planting” poster. Sarah’s advisor is Dr. Michael Plumblee.

Second place: Joshua Holbrook (Wildlife and Fish Biology) for his “Are fish always bad news for herps? Effects of fish on amphibian and macroinvertebrate assemblage composition in isolated wetlands in the eastern United States” poster. Joshua’s advisor is Dr. Kyle Barrett.

Third place: Ricardo St. Aime for his “Evaluation of fall-winter cover crops for biomass production, weed suppression, and soil health” poster. Ricardo’s advisor is Dr. Sruthi Narayanan.

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