Thursday, December 15, 2016

GSA GBGM student presentation award winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the second annual GSA GBGM student presentation awards. We were all truly blown away by both the quality and sheer diversity of research conducted by our student members. It was an extraordinary experience for many of us, scurrying between back-to-back talks on topics as disparate as biogeochemical cycling, mass extinctions, using goats to manage invasive plants, soft tissue preservation in the fossil record, the early evolution of complex life.From amongst all of these, we've identified some outstanding research that we thought we should recognize with student presentation awards. This was not an easy decision and a very competitive field of great talks and posters. Because there were so many excellent presentations (and only 4 awards to give out), we've also highlighted some honorable mentions. Without further ado:

Oral presentations

Winners:

Amanda Godbold: 'The refugia concept following the End-Permian mass extinction'Ross Anderson: 'Sediment composition of Burgess Shale type Lagerstätten: Implications for soft-tissue preservation'

Honorable mentions:

Amanda Garcia: 'Reconstructed ancestral enzymes suggest that Earth's photic-zone temperature markedly decreased over geologic time'Joshua Zimmt: 'Revisiting growth increment counting as a method for biologically aging Crassostrea virginica from the U.S. Mid-Atlantic'

Poster presentations

Winners:

Natalia Bykova: 'Ediacaran macroalgae and the early evolution of animals'Dylan Wilmeth: 'Methanotrophy in 2.7 Ga South African Lakes'

Honorable mentions:

Amanda Facciol: 'A novel experimental instrument for the study of tissue decay and exceptional preservation'Elizabeth Clark: 'Soft tissue preservation in Paleozoic Ophiuroids: novel insights through 3D imaging'

As per last year, we'll be handing out prizes at the GBGM awards luncheon next year, shortly after we announce our faculty awards. 
We'd like to thank all of the students who contacted us and put their names forward for consideration...it was a real privilege to see and hear about the work you've all been doing, and we encourage you to enter again next year. Recognizing the excellent work of our members is the most important aspect of the GBGM Division. It is wonderful to see the diversity of the student population of GSA GBGM and there is a bright future ahead for this group.

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