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Symposium Presentations

During the last week of the REU program, students present their work at the annual Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Symposium. The audience consists of staff, volunteers, members of the public, as well as friends and family, and is a great opportunity for speakers to utilize the science communication training they received throughout the summer. Links to past presentations can be found after information for the 2020 virtual symposium.


Please join us for the 7th annual Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Symposium, Thursday, August 13th and Friday, August 14th, from 8:30 am – 11:30 am Central, via Zoom (register here). Each summer, scientists mentor students in independent research---this year working together virtually. Over a dozen students will present their research and two keynote speakers, Dr. Justin Richardson and Dr. Tanisha M. Williams, will engage and inspire. The event is part of the Center for Tree Science’s Integrated Mentorship Program and is funded by the National Science Foundation’s REU Program and Morton Salt. For questions, please contact ccarrier@mortonarb.org.


Thursday, August 13

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Leslie Vargas, The University of the South, Tree monitoring program, advisors: Dr. Chai-Shian Kua, Tricia Bethke, Dr. Chuck Cannon

Kaylee Rosenberger, Northern Illinois University, Tree Conservation Biology, advisors: Dr. Sean Hoban, Emily Schumacher

Andrew Ernat, Iowa State University, Forest Ecology, advisors: Dr. Christine Rollinson, Lucien Fitzpatrick

Tanya Perez, University of Texas at San Antonio, Arboriculture, advisors: Dr. Jason W. Miesbauer, Dr. Allyson Salisbury

9:40 am – 10:15 am

Maddie Fernandez, DePaul University, Tree Conservation Ecology, advisors: Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare, Dr. Christie Klimas

Carolyn Brinckwirth, DePaul University, Tree Conservation Ecology, advisors: Dr. Christie Klimas, Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare

Camila Cortez, DePaul University, Tree Conservation Ecology, advisors: Dr. Christie Klimas, Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare

10:25 am – 11:25 am

Dr. Justin Richardson - Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Friday, August 14

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Janey R. Lienau, Wheaton College, Soil Ecology, advisors: Dr. Meghan Midgley, Dr. Robert W. Buchkowski

Theo Bohdanowycz, Washtenaw Community College, Global Tree Conservation, advisors: Christina Carrero, Dr. Jessica Turner-Skoff, Dr. Murphy Westwood

Katelyn McBride, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Tree Observatory, advisors: Dr. Chuck Cannon, Samantha Panock

Pranav Sai, Colorado College, Technologies for Tree Science, advisors: Dr. Chuck Cannon, Colby Borchetta

9:45 am – 10:15 am

Sydney Kaplan, Illinois Institute of Technology, Drones for Tree Science, advisors: Dr. Chuck Cannon, Dr. Matthew Spenko, Colby Borchetta

Jessica Langguth, Ohio University, Tree Root Biology, advisors: Dr. Luke McCormack, Marvin Lo

10:25 am – 11:25 am

Dr. Tanisha M. Williams - Postdoctoral Fellow in Conservation, Genetics, and Ecology & Evolution of Plant Reproduction, Bucknell University

11:25 am

Closing remarks



A young woman presents in front of a large screen
Presenting at the Undergraduate Research Symposium

2019 Symposium 

Full Presentation with guest speaker, Dr. Meg Lowman, aka Canopy Meg (website).

Perry Giambuzzi

Jamilys Rivera

Gabriela Krochmal

Andrew Archundia

Jessica Langguth

Ella Segal

Rachel Sims (REEF)

Sydney Kaplan

Mariah Casmey

Bailie Muñoz (RTF)

Alice Bieda


2018 Symposium

Full Presentation with guest speaker, Dr. Gary M. Lovett (website)

Cori Butkiewicz

Rachel Sims

Ashley Wojciechowski

Lydia Schlaefke

Elizabeth Gibbons

Alyssa Barrantes-Leonard

Taskeen Khan

Alex Bernhard

Sarah Kania


2017 Symposium

Full Presentation with guest speaker, Dr. Richard B. Primack (website)

Alyssa Gao

Amy Byrne

Sara Desmond

Taskeen Khan

Sierra Lopezalles

Samantha Panock

Katie McGee


2016 Symposium

Full Presentation 

Mackenzie Coden

Kirsten Triller

Ali McGarigal

Quinn Taylor

Kasey Pham

Nick Steichmann


2015 Symposium

Full Presentation

Mary Babiez

Bruce “Jake” Berger

Jacob Cerminar

Angélica Bannwart Lopes

Erin Pfarr

Nick Steichmann


2014 Symposium

Full Presentation

Includes: Katie Klaus, Liz Carter, Erik Desotelle, Breane Budaitis, Felipe Santich, Brian Maule, Stuart Hupp


Highlights from past Undergraduate Research Symposiums

Group of presenters in front of a large screen
Student presenters posing with guest speaker


Undergraduate Research Program participants posing for a photo
Student researchers gather during the symposium luncheon

Undergraduate students and Morton staff in front of the Administration Building
Celebrating a successful symposium