The 34th Annual Symposium–2021

After cancellation and postponing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ANSC's 34th Annual Symposium was a day filled with research presentations and reconnecting

Twenty-four poster presentations lined the Animal Sciences Building concourse during the Annual Symposium’s Poster Session including presentations from labs and researchers from all over the ANSC department.

Image Credit: Jonathan Stephanoff

September 8, 2021 Jonathan Stephanoff


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Nicholas Gabler
Professor of Swine Nutrition and Physiology, and Associate Chair of Research
Department of Animal Science
Iowa State University


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

Post-Doc Oral Presentations:
1st- Halli Weiner


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

Poster Session


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

Graduate Student Poster Presentations:
1st- Sandeepan Ghosh


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

Post-Doc Poster Presentations:
1st- Ali Ali


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

Graduate Student Oral Presentations:
2nd- Zoie McMillian


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

Keynote Address Plaque
Dr. Nicholas Gabler


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

Outstanding Ph.D. Student:
Chaitra Surugihalli


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

Graduate Student Oral Presentations:
1st- Chirantana Mathkari


ANSC 34th Annual Symposium

After being postponed from the spring and entirely cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 34th Annual Symposium of the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences took place on Thursday, August 26, 2021. The morning began with coffee, bagels, and an insightful presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Nicholas Gabler. A Professor of Swine Nutrition and Physiology and the Associate Chair of Research in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, Dr. Gabler addressed “The impact of stress and disease on intestinal function and integrity in growing pigs.”

What followed was a day full of activity that showcased the department's ongoing research, as presented by graduate students and postdocs, including 15 oral presentations and 24 posters. Graduate students and postdocs gained valuable speaking experience for their future participation in national and international conferences as well as feedback from faculty and guest judges, Drs. Randy Baldwin, Kristen Brady and Inkyung Park of the USDA. Presentations included topics such as iron utilization and neuron inputs in mice, immune system responses in bovine cells, lights, fans, and environmental enrichments in avian food production, and genetic study of insulin regulation in swine stem cells. At the conclusion of the symposium, awards were given to the top-rated presentations as well as other departmental recognitions. See the full list of honors below.

While all of the oral presenters did excellent jobs, the honors went to two graduate students, Chirantana Mathkari (1st place) who is studying the effects of enrichments on the well-being of commercial breeding colony quail in the Dennis lab, and to Zoie McMillain (2nd place) who studies the benefits of circulation fans in commercial broiler houses with Dr. Weimer. The postdoc oral presentation award was won by Dr. Halli Weiner of the Keefer lab for her talk on evaluating an enzyme as a type of metabolic assessment of bovine embryo health.

The highest marked posters in the competition were created by Sandeepan Ghosh (1st place) who is studying how a microscopic roundworm senses and processes heme in the Hamza lab, and Parama Bhattacharjee (2nd place) who is studying regulatory crosstalk between adipose metabolism and copper homeostasis in mice in the Sunny lab. The postdoc award went to Dr. Ali of the Salem lab who is examining the genetic sequencing of rainbow trout with economically important traits. The Shaffner Poultry Research Awards went to Chirantana Mathkari (1st place) and Kuan-Ling Liu of the Porter lab (2nd place).

Closing out the day was a barbecue dinner during which students, faculty, staff, and presenters enjoyed a relaxing time to gather and reconnect after a year and a half of remote activities.

2021 Symposium Honors:

  • Outstanding Ph.D. Student: Chaitra Surugihalli

  • Outstanding MS Student: Ashlyn Snyder

  • Graduate Student Poster Presentations: 1st– Sandeepan Ghosh, 2nd– Parama Bhattacharjee

  • Post-Doc Poster Presentations: 1st– Ali Ali

  • Graduate Student Oral Presentations: 1st– Chirantana Mathkari, 2nd– Zoie McMillian

  • Post-Doc Oral Presentations: 1st– Halli Weiner

  • Shaffner Poultry Research Award: 1st– Chirantana Mathkari, 2nd– Kuan-Ling Liu

  • Staff Member of the Year 2021: Clare Capotosto