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11th annual research symposium held at Rice Rivers Center

May 17, 2019

The Walter L. Rice Education Building at VCU Rice Rivers Center was at capacity during the 11th annual Rice Rivers Center Research Symposium, held on May 10, 2019.  A picture-perfect late spring day on the James allowed the guests and students to enjoy 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 Ron Lopez, who organized the symposium.  Student presentations included:


Nutrient Uptake Among Urban and Non-Urban Streams Within Virginia's Piedmont. Joe Famularo, VCU-BIO; Paul Bukaveckas, VCU-CES

Predicting climate change's impacts on predator biocontrol of native rock pool mosquito larvae (Aedes atropalpus). Andrew T. Davidson, VCU-ILS; Elizabeth Hamman, Radford University; Mike McCoy, East Carolina University; James R. Vonesh, VCU-CES 

Phinding Phages Phrom James River Rockpools. Nasita Islam, VCU-BNFO; Allison Johnson, CSBC; VCU Phage Lab, BNFO 251/252

Salinization alters nitrogen-cycling microbial communities in coastal freshwater wetland soils. Joseph C Morina, VCU-ILS; Rima B Franklin, VCU-BIO

Does Voltinism Predict Upper Thermal Limits of Native Bees (Apoidea:Anthophila)? Kálmán Csigi XIV, VCU-BIO; Karen Kester, VCU-BIO; Salvatore Agosta, VCU-ILS

Influence of Environmental Features on Spermatophore Placement and Male Fecundity in Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). Megan Kuechle, VCU-CES; Rodney Dyer, VCU-CES

Evolutionary Consequences of Cultivar Gene Escape in Cornus florida. Jane Remfert, VCU-ILS; Rodney Dyer, VCU-CES

Witnessing our Slain Earth Protectors from Panama. Josh Geen, Victoria Farnsler assisted by Richard Bargdill, PhD, VCU- PSY

Restoration of freshwater mussels using in vitro propagation techniques. Rachel Mair1, Amy Maynard2, Ben Davis1, Bryce Maynard1, John Moore2, Michael Odom1, and Brian Watson3. 1. USFWS Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery; 2. Virginia Tech; 3. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Conservation and Management of the Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) and Seasonal Wetland Habitats in the Eastern United States. J.D. Kleopfer, VADGIF; Lauren Jurczak, VCU-BIO

Overview of NASA and EPA Interests and Activities around Air Quality at VCU Rice Center. Bob Swap, NASA; Jim Szykman, EPA, Will Shuart, VCU-CES

Short Film: The Soul of the James. Liana Quinones, VCU-CES

Short Film: Veggies on Main. Mary Conklin, VCU-Cinema, VCU-CES


The afternoon poster presentations included:

Antibiotic resistance in wastewater-associated bacterial communities. Aoife Mahaney, VCU-BIO; Dr. Rima Franklin, VCU-BIO 

Predator avoidance decreases cigarette butt leachate toxicity in urban rock pools. Jordan Rasure, VCU-BIO; Andrew Davidson, VCU-ILS; C. Ryland Strunkle, VCU-ILS; James Vonesh, VCU-CES

DNA Analysis and the Postmortem Submersion Interval from the Microbiome of Waterlogged Skeletal Remains. Claire Cartozzo, VCU-ILS; Baneshwar Singh, VCU-FRSC; Tal Simmons, VCU-FRSC 

Demographic Trends in Breeding Populations of a Migratory Songbird. Adele Balmer, VCU-ILS; Catherine Viverette, VCU-CES; Lesley Bulluck VCU-CES; Derek M. Johnson VCU-BIO

Synthetic Refuge. Kayla Kelly, VCU-CES; Daniel Albrecht-Mallinger, VCU-CES

Spatial and temporal distributions of larval clupeid fishes in a tidal freshwater marsh. Reid Anderson, VCU-BIO; Greg Garman, VCU-RRC.

Scenic River Assessment: Walker's Dam to River's Rest Marina, Lower Chickahominy River, Virginia. Jesse Boardman, VCU-CES; Cali Carter, VCU; Lynn Crump, DCR; Kala Emory, VCU; Gabriella Francese, VCU; Elizabeth Kruegler, VCU; Rachael Moffatt, VCU-CES; Emma North, VCU; Cooper Sallade, VCU-BIO; Grace Smith, VCU-CES; Ryland Stunkle, VCU-CES; Thomas Tedesco, VCU-CES; James Vonesh, VCU-CES 

Biodiversity in riverine rock pools along the James and Potomac Rivers. Thomas Franco, VCU-BIO; Kristine Grayson, UR-BIO; Todd Lookingbill, UR-GEO & UR-ENV; Andrew Davidson, VCU-ILS; Lily Thompson, UR-BIOL; Emily Betts, RPS; Anne Wright, VCU-CES; Nadia Bukach, UR-GEO & UR-ENV; Cooper Sallade, VCU-BIO; Charles Stunkle, VCU-CES; Richie Dang, VCU-CES; Will Shuart, VCU-CES; James Vonesh, VCU-CES 

Biogeography in Richmond’s Rock Pools: Creating spatial analysis curriculum for place-based community learning across disciplines and institutions. Nadia Bukach, UR-GEO & UR-ENV; Kristine Grayson, UR-BIOL; Andrew Davidson, VCU-ILS; James Vonesh, VCU-CES; Todd Lookingbill, UR-GEO & UR-ENV 

Recognizing our slain environmentalist from around the world. Olivia Willoughy, Andie Lee, Ian McFadden, Michael Somma, Victoria Farnsler, Josh Geen and Richard Bargdill, PhD, VCU-PSY 

The Urban Forestry Collaborative. L. Wyatt Carpenter, VCU Sustainability; Ed Crawford, VCU-RRC; Cathy Viverette, VCU-CES; Jerome Legions, CACIL; Louise Seals, Richmond Tree Stewards

Carver Tree Project: The Tree Ambassador Program. Brandon Gravett, VCU-CES; Lucas Sidle, VCU-CES; Catherine McGuigan, VCU- CES and VCUArts; Alexander Eaton, VCU-CES and VCU-BIO; Catherine Viverette, VCU-CES, and Wyatt Carpenter, VCU Office of Sustainability 

Linking Thermal Tolerance and Climate in an Invasive Forest Insect. Kristine Grayson and Lily Thompson, UR-BIO; Salvatore Agosta and Sean Powers, VCU-CES & ILS; Dylan Parry, SUNY-ESF 

The Influence of Salinization on Bacterial Denitrification in Freshwater Wetlands. Joseph Morina, VCU-ILS; Drashty P. Mody, VCU- BIO; Rima B. Franklin, VCU-BIO 

Native SAV restoration in the James River: Vallisneria americana replanting at the VCU Rice Rivers Center. Aaron Cyr, VCU-CES; Spencer N. Bissett, VCU-BIO 

The Reptile Database at VCU. Peter Uetz, Sami Cherikh et al., VCU-CBDS 

Influence of environmental features on spermatophore placement and male fecundity in spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). Megan Kuechle, VCU-CES; James Vonesh, VCU-CES; Will Shuart, VCU-CES; Anne Wright, VCU-CES; Rodney Dyer, VCU- CES


Photos of the event can be found at on the VCU Rice Rivers Center Facebook page

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