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News & events

students present outside at the VCU Rice Rivers Center

10th annual VCU Rice Rivers Center Symposium

June 5, 2018

The Walter L. Rice Education Building at VCU Rice Rivers Center was standing room only during the 10th annual Rice Rivers Center Research Symposium, held on May 11.  A perfect day on the James allowed the guests and students to enjoy breakfast and lunch on the bluff overlooking the river, and after presentations in the center concluded, an afternoon poster session was held along the walkway which spanned the length of the building. 

The day began with opening remarks from Rice Rivers Center Director Dr. Greg Garman and an introduction of VCU Life Sciences faculty member Dr. Cathy Viverette, who organized the symposium.  Presentations included: 

Characterizing hydrologic and water quality conditions of urban and non-urban streams of central Virginia. Rikki Lucas*, Paul Bukaveckas, VCU BIO/CES.

Climate change and mountaintop removal mining: a MaxEnt assessment of the potential dual threat to West Virginia fishes. Lindsey R.F. Hendrick* #, VCU-CES; Daniel J. McGarvey, VCU-CES. 

Salinization affects nitrate reduction in a coastal freshwater wetland. Joe Morina * #, VCU-ILS; Rima Franklin, Scott Neubauer, Bonnie Brown, Nicole Holstein, VCU-BIO.

Environmental DNA as a conservation tool for the endangered James spinymussel (Parvaspina collina). Bonnie A. Roderique*, Rodney J. Dyer, Daniel McGarvey, VCU-CES; Brian C. Verrelli, VCU-ILS; and Brian Watson, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).

Landscape-scale factors influencing Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) occupancy in western Virginia. Elizabeth K. Schold, VCU-BIO, and Lesley Bulluck, VCU-CES/BIO.

Winter assessment of non-breeding grassland birds at Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Adele Balmer, VCU-ILS; Matthew DeSaix * #,  VCU-CES; Brooke Goodnow, Zachary Grasso, VCU-BIO; Jack Hopkins, VCU-CES; Benjamin Nickley, Mo Sweany, L. Abigail Walter, Stephanie Warshawsky*, VCU-BIO; Catherine Viverette*, VCU-CES; and Lesley Bulluck, VCU- CES/BIO.

High-resolution genetic markers reveal migratory patterns and genetic structure in a wetland-dependant species of conservation concern. Matt DeSaix*#, VCU-CES; Lesley Bulluck, VCU-CES/BIO, Rodney Dyer and Catherine Viverette*, VCU-CES.

Communicating TeamWarbler. Emma Davis, VCU-BIO/ANTH/CES; Kaela Gossett VCU-CES; Mckenzie Joseph, Nicholas Beiler, VCU-BIO; Panama Avian Ecology 2011-2018 VCU-CES/BIO;  Lesley Bulluck VCU-CES/BIO; Edward Crawford, VCU-RRC; Catherine Viverette VCU-CES; Thomas Woodward, VCU-AltLab; and Team Warbler.

The Urban Forestry Collaborative. L. Wyatt Carpenter, VCU-OOS; Jane Remfert*, VCU-ILS; Edward Crawford, VCU-RRC; and Jerome Legions, Carver Area Civic Improvement League (CACIL).

Carbon credits are for the birds  Elizabeth Keily, VCU-BIO; Zachary Palmore, Harikrishna Parasu, Hannah Coovert, Sedrek Kovar, Nathan Salle, VCU-CES; Jordan Rasure, VCU-BIO; Wyatt Carpenter, VCU-OOS;  Edward Crawford, VCU-RRC; Cathy Viverette, VCU-CES; and Team Warbler 2018.

Building STEM through community partnerships: Alice in Wonderland. Anne Moore, Goochland County School System (GCSS).

Grasses for the Masses: A short film. Ronaldo Lopez, VCU-RRC.


The afternoon poster session included:

An assessment of toxic metal pollution due to the transportation of coal. Elizabeth H. Bosch*, Liz Keily, Xin-Chen Liu, and Arif Sikder, VCU-CES.

Oh deer, don’t tick them off! White-tailed deer activity and tick biodiversity in the James River Park System. Emma R. Davis, VCU-BIO; Anne B. Wright, VCU-CES; Christina A. McGrath, VCU-ANTH.

Phenology mismatch and the consequences of unpredictable spring temperatures on resident and migratory bird species. Brooke Goodnow, VCU-BIO; Lesley Bulluck, VCU-CES/BIO. 

Groundwater quality assessment of the piney point aquifer. Elizabeth Keily*, VCU-BIO; Arif M. Sikder, VCU-CES; Mohammad Alauddin, Physical Sciences Department, Wagner College; S. Leigh McCallister, VCU-CES/BIO; and Daniel Boehling, VCU-CES. 

Regional and interspecific variation in crown feather reflectance in two hybridizing warblers. Valerie R. Galati, UR-BIO; Lesley P. Bulluck, VCU-BIO; and Kristine Grayson, UR-BIO. 

Identification of taxonomic and functional ichthyofaunal zones within the James River Basin, Virginia. Joseph L. Noel* and Daniel J. McGarvey, VCU-CES.

Assessing the relative influences of abiotic and biotic factors on American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) distribution using hydrologic, physical habitat, and functional trait data. Taylor Woods* and Daniel J McGarvey, VCU-CES. 

Gathering high resolution images of sieve elements in arabidopsis thaliana using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and transgenic A. thaliana expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under a phloem specific promoter, in order to obtain geometric measurements of sieve elements and plates. Addisan Pound and Sierra Beecher, VCU-BIO. 

Projecting habitat of breeding and non-breeding Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria Citrea) under various climate scenarios. James Briggs VCU-CES; Ernesto Gagarin, VCU-BIO, VCU-CES, VCU-ANTH, Christina McGrath, VCU-ANTH, VCU-BIO, VCU-CES;  Autym Shafer, VCU-CES;  Michael Vassalotti, VCU-CES;  Mathew DeSaix*, VCU-CES;  Lindsey Hendrick , VCU-CES; , Jesse Reese, VCU-BIO, Catherine Viverette, VCU-CES.

Plasmodium infection rates in Anopheles darlingi mosquito populations under a scenario of malaria elimination using RADseq high throughput sequencing of mosquito DNA. Megan Mair, VCU-Life Sciences-CSBC; Anne Meireles, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Rondonia; Genimar R. Juliao, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Rondonia; Luiz Herman G. Soares, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Rondonia; Tony H. Katsuragawa, Centro de Pesquisa em Medicina Tropical  - CEPEM-SESAU-RO; Mauro Tada, Centro de Pesquisa em Medicina Tropical  - CEPEM-SESAU-RO; Luiz Hildebrando Pereira da Silva (in memoriam), Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Rondonia; David Weetman, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; and Luiz Shozo Ozaki, VCU-Life Sciences-CSBC. 

Comparison of soil organic carbon in disturbed and established wetlands at the VCU Rice Center. Sheryl Bradford​, Ellen Stuart-Haëntjens*, VCU-ILS; Scott Neubauer and Christopher Gough, VCU-BIO. 

Building a SMARTer Birdhouse. Amanda Fountleroy, Alexander French, Alex Kokich, Afroditi Fillipas, VCU Electrical and Computer Engineering (VCU-ECE); Lesley Bulluck, VCU-CES/BIO;  Adele Balmer VCU-ILS; and Catherine VIverette, VCU-CES. 

Physiological investigations of the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica).  Alyssa A. Darling*, Maame Konadu-Ampratwum, Christopher L. McLaggan, Bonnie Brown, VCU-BIO; and S. Leigh McCallister, VCU-CES/BIO. 

The Urban Forestry Collaborative: A community-engaged research project in Richmond, Virginia. Wyatt Carpenter, VCU-OOS; Edward Crawford, VCU-RRC; Jane Remfert, VCU-ILS; Jerome Legions, The Carver Area Civic Improvement League (CACIL); Louise Seals, Richmond Tree Stewards (RTS);  Jeanette McKittrick, Capital Trees (CT); and Catherine Viverette, VCU-CES.

Memorializing fallen earth defenders. Eslie Djemmal, Precious Skinner, Elena Kidwell, Josh Geen, Victoria Farnsler, and RIchard Bargdill, VCU-Department of Psychology (VCU-PSY).

The percentage of agriculture lands in riparian buffer zones and its effect on MBSS stream health points. Colleen O’Brien, VCU-CES. 

Comparing two methods of quantifying an invasion-restricting component Allee effect in the defoliating pest Lymantria dispar. Alexandra Barry and Derek Johnson, VCU-BIO. 


*denotes the student is a past recipient of a VCU Rice Rivers Center Research Award

# denotes the student is a recipient of a VCU Rice Rivers Center Fellowship 


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