The 35th Annual Symposium–2022

ANSC's 35th Annual Symposium was a day filled with research presentations and enjoyment

Tamseel Fatima of the Kim Lab presents her research during the poster presentations section of the 35th Annual Symposium.

Image Credit: Jonathan Stephanoff

May 27, 2022 Jonathan Stephanoff

The 35th Annual Symposium of the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences was held on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. The morning began with coffee, muffins, and an insightful presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Jimena Laporta, an Assistant Professor in lactation physiology in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Laporta’s presentation was titled, “An integrative approach to study the long-lasting multigenerational effects of in-utero heat stress on mammary development and function,” a study of the effects of cooling practices during pregnancy through multiple generations of cattle.

The rest of the day showcased the department's research being conducted by graduate students, including 10 oral presentations and 26 posters. Through the Symposium, ANSC graduate students gain valuable presentation experience for their future participation in national and international conferences as well as feedback from faculty and guest judges.

Presentations included topics such as genetic markers of trout fillet color, new approaches to studying metabolic disorders in cows, the introduction of red algae in cattle rumen to reduce methane emissions, dietary supplements to alter muscle growth in fetal pigs, and identifying genes that affect premature growth hormones in embryonic chickens. At the conclusion of the symposium, awards were given to the top-rated oral and poster presentations as well as other departmental recognitions. See the full list of honors below.

While all the oral presentations were well done, the top award went to Parama Bhattacharjee who ran low-fat, high-fat, and high-fructose/high-fat tests on mice examining the dietary effects on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the Sunny lab. Second place was Sohini Dutt who is studying the intricacies of cellular transportation of heme (iron-containing compounds) and how this process can be altered in the Hamza lab.

The two highest marked posters in the competition were created by members of the Hamza lab. First place went to Jonathan Soldemyr who is working with genetic mutations in tiny worms to identify additional heme trafficking genes. Second place went to Xuedi Zhang who is also identifying heme trafficking genes, but in genetically edited mice.

The Shaffner Poultry Research Awards went to Chirantana Mathkari who examined the effects on caged Japanese quail of combining environmental enrichments (protective huts with mirrors, rubber mats, or feeder tubes) in the Dennis Lab. Second place went to Oladipupo Ridwan Bello who is studying a cancer-causing disease in chickens through observing the changes in RNA editing sites during avian developmental phases in the Song lab.

Closing out the day was dinner in the courtyard during which students, faculty, staff, and presenters enjoyed a relaxing time to gather and have some tasty barbecue.

2022 Symposium Honors:

  • Outstanding Ph.D. Student: Arpita Aditya

  • Outstanding MS Student: Zoie McMillian

  • Student Poster Presentations: 1st – Jonathan Soldemyr, 2nd – Xuedi Zhang

  • Student Oral Presentations: 1st – Parama Bhattacharjee, 2nd – Sohini Dutt

  • Shaffner Poultry Research Award: 1st – Chirantana Mathkari, 2nd – Oladipupo Ridwan Bello

  • 2022 Staff Member of the Year: Crystal Caldwell