The ASPB Midwestern regional section held its annual meeting on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22 at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO. Over 150 attendees from 37 institutions across the Midwest were present for 32 oral presentations and over 70 posters. The presentations were primarily given by undergraduate and graduate students, but also included two talks from postdoctoral associates and one representative from industry. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Scott Peck from the University of Missouri, Columbia. The meeting also included a featured talk from Dr. Sona Pandey from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
In addition to oral presentations, the meeting featured several chances for informal scientific interactions and catching up with friends. The poster session on Saturday afternoon was a great chance to see examples of the cool science being done across the section. There were also several coffee breaks for catching up with friends and tours of the impressive Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Saturday was capped off by the traditional banquet, allowing everyone to relax after a long day.
One highlight of the meeting was the presentation of student awards. While all of the oral presentations and posters were very high quality, the section recognizes those that stand out above their peers.
Awards for Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation:
- Dennis X Zhu, University of Missouri-Columbia, (1st place),
- Charles A Cook, Ohio University (2nd place), and
- Spencer Schreier, South Dakota State University (3rd place).
Awards for Best Undergraduate Poster:
- Marissa Fabbri, Truman State University (T-1st),
- Jordyn Williams, Truman State University (T-1st),
- Helen Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (T-2nd) and
- Roberto Alers-Velazquez, Ohio State University (T-2nd).
Awards for Best Graduate Oral Presentation:
- Carina Collins, University of Missouri-Columbia (1st),
- Xiaolong Lu, Saint Louis University (2nd),
- Tami Coursey, Ohio State University (T-3rd), and
- Enkhtuul Tsogtbaatar, The Ohio State University (T-3rd).
Awards for Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation:
- Sarah Hutchinson, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (T-1st),
- Nadeesha Rajapaksha, Saint Louis University (T-1st),
- Lingyan Jiang, University of Missouri (T-2nd),
- Columbia, Tyler Dowd, University of Missouri-Columbia (T-2nd), and
- Nicholas Heller, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (3rd).
At the business meeting on Sunday, it was determined that the next meeting would likely be in the western portion of the section, possibly in South Dakota. It will be organized by ascending section chair Aaron Wyman. The meeting was brought to a close on Sunday afternoon by section chair Darron Luesse, after thanking all of the people who made organizing the meeting possible, including vice-chair Aaron Wyamn and local organizer Dmitri Nusinow. We hope everyone will join us again next spring in South Dakota for another great meeting.