Student Morgan Kelley won first place in the clinical sciences category. Photo: WCVM Today.

Undergraduate poster day returns to WCVM hallways

Bees, bacteria and bison were all part of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM)’s recent Undergraduate Research Poster Day competition.

By Jeanette Neufeld

While the competition was held online in 2020, the event returned to an in-person format this year, following the university’s COVID-19 protocols.

Thirty-eight students who participated in the WCVM’s undergraduate summer research program presented their work to a team of judges consisting of WCVM faculty, staff and graduate students. Judges awarded bursaries to the top posters in three categories: clinical sciences, basic science/molecular science, and microbiology.

“The undergraduate summer research program is a great opportunity for students to explore the diverse range of research conducted at the WCVM,” says Dr. Liz Snead, the college’s former associate dean research. “It’s exciting to see the outcome of their work during this annual event, and I want to commend the students on their hard work and discipline that was necessary to conduct this research over the summer months.”

First-place winners received bursaries of $125 while second- and third-place recipients received $100 and $75 awards, respectively. Top posters from each category will be on display in the college’s second-floor hallways this fall.

“Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for the judges who volunteered their time,” says Snead.


Clinical sciences category:

First place: Morgan Kelley (supervisors: Drs. Trent Bollinger and NaimaJutha). Poster title: “Condition assessment of targeted wolves (Canis lupus) in the North Slave region, Northwest Territories.”

Second place: Imara Beatti (supervisors: Drs. Trent Bollinger and Chelsea Himsworth). Poster title: “Cause of death in bats in British Columbia, Canada.”

Third place: Cheng-Yi Lee (supervisor: Dr. Yolande Seddon). Poster title: “The relationship between concentrations of dehydroepiandrosterone and cortisol in swine hair and resilience status under a natural disease challenge.”


Basic science/molecular science category:

First place: Ella Macquisten (supervisor: Dr. Gregg Adams). Poster title: “The effect of reproductive status on in vitro embryo production in bison.”

Second place: Maya Kliewer (supervisor: Dr. Behzad Toosi). Poster title: “Preliminary investigation of the role of the EphA2 receptor in the oncogenic fitness of canine osteosarcoma.”

Third place: Vanessa Brown (supervisor: Dr. Adelaine Leung). Poster title: “Designing feeding assays to characterize the role of a highly conserved anti-hunger protein in the common fruit fly.” 


Microbiology category:

First place: Breeze Agar (supervisor: Dr. Emily Jenkins). Poster title: “Prevalence and diversity of Bartonella in rodents and shrews from northern Canada.”

Second place: Ishika Shukla (supervisor: Dr. Janet Hill). Poster title: “Evidence of transmission of Enterococcus faecalis from the vaginal microbiome to the infant gut microbiome.”

Third place: Lara Reitsma (supervisor: Dr. Elemir Simko). Poster title: “What happens to Paenibacillus larvae spores after cessation of antibiotic use in honey bee hives?”


Click here to view a photo gallery of participants.