Join us for our 7th Annual Student Research Symposium on November 9, 2019 !!

Come meet, learn from, and support the best and brightest of Wisconsin’s future scientists! Top undergraduate and graduate students from Wisconsin colleges and universities will present a wide range of research in the natural sciences at this year’s Student Research Symposium, and we’d love to have you there.

With a full day of presentations, delicious catered lunch, and 379 acres of wild Wisconsin to explore, you’ll be fully immersed in the wonders of the natural world.

Student poster presentation at the 2016 Research Symposium.

No longer accepting abstracts for 2019

Submission Form

For additional resources on how to write abstracts or frequently asked questions see links below.

 Abstract Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions

Each year, the best oral and poster presentations are honored with monetary awards ranging from $100-$500.

2019 Keynote Speaker: Melissa Curran

Melissa is an Environmental Scientist with Stantec Consulting Services, specializing in botanical surveys and restoration ecology.  Over the last 12 years, she has completed numerous natural resource assessments, rare plant surveys and restoration projects throughout the Midwest.  She has documented dozens of new rare plant populations and is currently working on reintroducing orchid species to restoration sites throughout Wisconsin.



8:00-8:45 – Registration

9:45-9:00 – Welcoming Remarks

9:05-11:05 – Student Oral Presentations

Session A: Bees, Birds, and the Environment

    • The effects of prairie restoration and management on bumble bee (Bombus spp.) communities in Southern WI, Jade Kochanski (UW-Madison)
    • Nest success of migratory passerines in Riveredge’s Mayhew Woods, Kasey Stewart (UW-Oshkosh)
    • Motility and adhesion effects on virulence of fish pathogen flavobacterium columnare, Nicole Thunes (UW-Milwaukee)
    • Biological indicators of toxic stress in wetland sediments, Subhomita Ghosh Roy (UW-Milwaukee)
    • Sustainable conversion of contaminated water into potable water, Akanksha Gurtu (UW-Green Bay)

Session B: Herpetology

    • On the complexity of choosing a mate; why female gray tree frogs disagree on a definition of “attractive”; Kane Stratman (UW-Milwaukee)
    • What proximate mechanisms influence female frogs to choose a mate?; Olivia Feagles (UW-Milwaukee)
    • Thermal ecology of Ophidiomyces ophioddicola, the cause of snake fungal disease, in free-ranging snakes along a waterway in WI; Sarah Bauer (UW-Platteville)
    • Morphological plasticity in tadpoles with response to environmental condition; Jessica Wells (UW-Platteville)

11:10-12:00 – Guided Nature Walks & Student Poster Presentations

    • Differences in mortality of Great Lakes conifer seedlings inoculated with a Heterobasidion root disease pathogen; Jill Hautaniemi (UW-Madison)
    • Lifetime variation in choosiness in female Enchenopa binotata treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae); Sara Seidita (UW-Milwaukee)
    • Aquatic subterranean macroinvertebrate taxa richness comparison between two ecological areas in small headwater Streams in Southwest Wisconsin; Kayla Wilcox (UW-Stevens Point)
    • Lifetime variation in the mate preference functions of female Enchenopa binotata treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae); Bretta Speck (UW-Milwaukee)
    • Influence of the Aspen paleoriver on the sedimentology and mineralogy of the Eocene Green River Formation, WY; Ethan Parrish (UW-Madison)
    • A modified sampling technique for effective and efficient juvenile lake sturgeon; Erin Falk (UW-Green Bay)
    • A sedimentological characterization of Huron Mountain streams for application to future ecological studies; Ben Sieren (UW-Parkside)
    • Does size-assortative mating improve fertilization success in grey treefrogs?; Abigail Moore (UW-Milwaukee)
    • Among-female assessment variation and male-male spacing in Eastern Gray Treefrogs (Hyla versicolor); Emma Oldenhoeft (UW-Milwaukee)
    • Differences in mortality of Great Lakes conifer seedlings inoculated with a Heterobasidion root disease pathogen; Jill Hautaniemi (UW-Madison)
    • Characterizing symbiotic interactions between Rhizobium sp. IRBG74 and Sesbania in aquatic conditions; Karli Kai Hess (UW-Milwaukee)
    • The effects of restoration strategies on diversity and abundance of insects in tallgrass prairies; Lydia Dean , Guss Burnette, and Grant Witynski (UW-Madison and Edgewood College)

12:00-12:30 – Catered Lunch

12:30-1:15 – Keynote Presentation by Melissa Curran

1:15-2:00 – Student Poster Presentations (see above for titles and presenters)

2:00-3:10 – Student Presentations

Session A: Plants & Land Management

    • Differences in pollination success and seedpod size in hand-pollinated vs. naturally pollinated Cypeipedium parviflorum; Katrina Degenhardt (UW-Milwaukee)
    • Motility is important for competitive nodulation of Mimosa pudica by Paraburkholderia phymatum; Sarah Saleh (UW-Milwaukee)
    • Assessing Landowners Perceptions of Invasive Species Management; Joseph Klitzke (UW-Stevens Point)

3:10-3:30 – Break

3:30-4:00 – Awards Ceremony

Admission Fees

Student Presenter: $20
Student (non-presenter): $25
Non-Riveredge member: $35
Trail Pass Members: $30
All Access Members: Free ($7 lunch add-on)

Registration Deadlines

October 18: Presenter Registration Deadline
November 1: General Public Registration Deadline

 Student Presenter Awards

Six monetary awards will be given to students for their outstanding research.  Best presentations in each category, and runners-up, will be awarded. This year’s categories include “Graduate Studies”, “Undergraduate Studies”, and “Poster Presentations”.

2019 Sponsors:

Advocate Award Sponsors:



Steward Award Sponsors:


Conservationist Sponsors:

Jaeger-Mellerop Family Charitable Trust

Field Research Sponsors: