7th Annual

Interfaces of Global Change Graduate Research Symposium

April 22, 2022

The Seventh Annual Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Graduate Research Symposium was held on Earth Day, April 22, 2022. The annual meeting provides a space to showcase and celebrate the important and impressive work of the IGC Fellows.  It’s also a time for Fellows and GCC faculty to interact and explore connections between labs across campus.  This year’s symposium agenda included 10 platform presentations, ~24 poster presentations, 3 capstone project presentations, a keynote speaker invited by the IGC Graduate Student Association, followed by an awards reception.

The symposium highlighted the latest research from the program’s graduate student fellows, whose collective work addresses critical global changes impacting the environment and society. This includes problems surrounding climate change, pollution, invasive species, disease, and habitat loss.

Platform awards for Best Presentation were selected for the top three platform presentations.

Keynote Speaker

Dwight Bigler

Dr. Dwight Bigler is an associate professor and director of Choral Activities in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech. As a composer and conductor, he works with student and community music ensembles to explore how music, literature, visual arts, and science can work together to expand the content and impact of important discussions relating to climate change, sustainable living, and humanity’s impact on the environment. Bigler’s newest composition, Mosaic for Earth, recently premiered at the Moss Arts Center. The performance celebrates the wonders of nature and explores humanity’s impact on the environment and responsibility towards it.

Congratulations to the Best Platform Presentation Awardees:
First Place and recipient of the 2022 Karen P. DePauw Outstanding Interdisciplinary Presentation Award:


Abby Lewis (Biological Sciences), Anoxia decreases carbon sequestration over multi-annual timescales in two freshwater reservoirs

Second Place:


Sam Lane (Biological Sciences), How does urbanization impact female song sparrows? A comparison of physiological and behavioral recovery from disturbance

Third Place:


Daniel Smith (Biological Systems Engineering), Inert fibers and soil microorganisms promote stream bank soil resistance to fluvial erosion

Fellows who are in their 2nd year of the IGC program (admitted Spring 2021) are expected to present their work at the symposium in the form of a poster or platform presentation.  First year IGC Fellows have the option to present their proposed research ideas as a poster but are not required to do so.  Fellows who have presented before should be sure to submit abstracts on new research findings that differ from their prior symposium presentation(s). Awards will be given for the best platform presentations.

Due to schedule constraints the number of oral presentations will be limited to approximately 10.  Senior IGC Fellows, in their 3rd, 4th, or 5th year of study are strongly encouraged to select to give a talk.  Priority will be given to those who 1) have not presented a talk at a past IGC symposium, 2) present result-driven content and 3) present content that is interdisciplinary and relevant to global change issues.



Each abstract should contain:

  1. Title
  2. Authors and Affiliations (e.g., Department and University), presenting author denoted by an asterisk.
  3. An abstract highlighting key findings and not to exceed 250 words in length

Format example:

Hopkins, W.A.*1, Dude, T.H.E. 1,2, and Sobchak, W. 1
1 Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech; 2 Dept. of Interior Room Design, University of Abides

PLATFORM TALKS: presentation max time length of 12 minutes, followed by 3 minutes for Q&A.

POSTERS: maximum poster size is 40″ x 60″.  An easel and backboard will be provided.