Notes from the Editor
Every semester since 2016, the Student Poster Symposium at BIO has invited students enrolled in one of seven courses (see Box) to present and discuss their scientific work in an interactive poster session. These poster sessions are open to all.
For its 9th edition, 140 students in BIO241, BIO299, MOL231, SDG214 and SDG215 were listed as participants, and 45 posters were on the programme. For the third time since the launch of the Poster Symposium, our students presented online on Zoom, while the rest of the audience was invited to follow the session live on Youtube. Topics were various and reflective of the diversity of research areas in the Bachelor’s programme in biology at BIO. During the spring semester, students had conducted individual or group projects, participated in workshops on how to create a scientific poster and learned how to present the poster within a defined period of time. We learned about oviposition preferences in bean beetles, how collaborating with local communities can assist in anti-poaching efforts, and the sustainability of whaling in Norway… and many more.
I was excited to attend my first of these poster sessions on May 19th, and I’m not going to lie: it was a bit overwhelming. Each individual had 60 seconds to present their work, and they clearly had spent a lot of time—not just on the work they were sharing, but on the posters themselves. Following each presentation, both participants and viewers were given the option to send peer-reviewed feedback via an electronic form developed by course teachers. It was difficult for me, in the audience, to listen to each presentation, admire their findings and the creative ways they found to present them, and give feedback that was useful. I’m sorry, students, but my feedback rarely went beyond “nice work!” or “cool findings!” And honestly, these challenges are entirely my fault: the posters were available before the session, and are still available for viewing… next time, I will do a little homework so I can be a better participant.
Despite obvious concerns about a lack of interactivity during a digital poster session, presenters benefited from the audience’s feedback through the nearly 950 digital forms (!) that were returned by the end of the session. I think this is a creative way of gathering feedback, and it is a brilliant way to ensure an engaged audience. I applaud all those involved in pulling this off.
All posters are publicly available at bioPITCH. Note that posters in SDG214 and SDG215 are accompanied with a corresponding paper which is also accessible via the website. Please join us at the end of the Fall semester, for the 10th edition of the Student Poster Symposium!
7 courses participate to the poster symposium organized every spring and fall semester:
BIO241 – Behavioural ecology
BIO250 – Paleoecology
BIO299 – Research Practice in Biology
BIO300A – Scientific Writing
MOL231 – Project in molecular biology
SDG214 – UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life below water
SDG215 – UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on land.
Sehoya Cotner, Editor, with considerable input from Jonathan Soulé