Plant Sciences Graduate Students Compete in “Flash Talks”
As part of the spring seminar series in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, eight graduate students gave short five-minute presentations on some aspect of their research. While it takes a lot of planning to condense several years’ of research into such a short presentation, all eight presentations were very good, and covered a broad scope of plant science topics.
The students, who represented five different graduate groups, were also competing for top honors with their presentations. Listed here are the eight graduate students who competed:
- Alana Chin: “Fog Exposure Allows Refilling of Collapsed and Embolized Tracheids in Drought-stress Coast Redwood Leaves” (Professor Maciej Zwieniecki lab)
- Destiny Davis: “The Evolution of Making a Cell Wall” (Professor Georgia Drakakaki lab)
- Paul Kasemsap: “‘Mission N-possible’: Rescuing Protein from Rising CO2” (Professor Arnold Bloom lab)
- Zach Liechty: “Understanding the Microbial Basis for Methane Emissions in Rice” (Professor Venkatesan Sundaresan lab)
- Alejandra Ponce de Leon: “Evaluating a Simple Model for Light Interception” (Professor Brian Bailey lab)
- Jennifer Schmidt: “Why is a Plant Not a Plant? Holobiont-level Adaptation to Agricultural Intensification in Maize” (Professor Amelie Gaudin lab)
- Michelle Stitzer: “The Complicated Genomic System of Transposable Elements in Zea mays” (Professor Jeff Ross-Ibarra lab)
- Michelle Tang: “Transcriptional Regulation of Central Carbon Metabolism” (Professors Dan Kliebenstein and Siobhan Brady labs)
In a room packed with faculty, students, and staff, everyone agreed on the excellence of all of the presentations. The final consensus was:
- First Place: Zach Liechty
- Second Place (tie): Jennifer Schmidt
- Second Place (tie): Michelle Stitzer
Based on the success of these presentations, this type of ‘Flash Talk format’ will be part of future seminar series.
Many thanks to:
- Seminar series organizers Matthew Gilbert, Maeli Melotto, and Truman Young
- Student competition organizers Matthew Gilbert and Maeli Melotto
- Flash Talk judges: Matthew Gilbert, Marie Jasieniuk, Maeli Melotto, and Ken Shackel
- Gail Taylor, Plant Sciences chair and professor, for her ongoing support of the seminars.
(Article by Ann Filmer, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis)