2022 organizing committee

2023 Graduate Student Symposium

What is GSS?

College of Biological Science Graduate Student Symposium (CBS GSS) is a college level student-run conference which provides a platform for graduate students to present their research through posters and presentations. This event provides an opportunity for graduate students to familiarize themselves with the studies of their fellow researchers within the college and to forge meaningful connections to build their networks.

This year’s GSS will take place on May 5th, 2023 and will be offered in a hybrid format with the in-person component in the University of Guelph Summerlee Science Complex.


GSS 2023 will be held on Friday, May 5th, 2023, from 10 AM – 5 PM in the University of Guelph Summerlee Science Complex.

We have 30 in-person PowerPoint presentations, 3 remote PowerPoint presentations, 33 total  

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM Concurrent PowerPoint Talks sessions 1-3: All streamed on zoom 

Session theme1. MCB Food/Agriculture2. IB Ecology3. MCB Disease 1
Presenters Barret Foster 
Nadine Abraham 
Boyan Liu 
Carlos Martinez Soto 
Maysa Niazy 
Hayley Rechter
Pauline Kosmal  
Benjamin Muselius 
Jinal Manek 
Allison Leonard 
Tia Rizakos 
ChairCatherine FustArya HoronKathleen Nolan
Room SSC1504 SSC3317 SSC2315 
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/98707515605

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Concurrent PowerPoint In-Person Talks sessions 4-6  

Session theme4. HHNS5. IB Genetics/Genomics6. MCB Disease II
Presenters Kristina Marrelli 
Nicole Fletcher 
Julian Bommarito 
Brittany MacIntyre 
Xueqi Wang 
Kathleen Nolan 
Amanda Meuser 
Jessica Castellanos Labarcena 
Viola Halder 
Casey Williamson 
Alyssa Campbell 
Lauren Wensing  
Chair Virginia CapmourteresArya Horon  Alyssa Banaag
Room SSC3317SSC1504 SSC2315 

Lunch 12:00 PM -1:00 PM 

Keynote Speakers 1:00 pm – 2:15 PM 

2:30 PM to 3:30 PM Concurrent PowerPoint In-Person Talks sessions 7-8

Session theme7. IB Physiology8. MCB Plants and Biochemistry
Presenters Elizabeth Flatt 
Reece Long 
Jazmin Wynter 
Elizabeth Manchester 
Chacko Sujith 
Laura Currie 
Nicholas Prudhomme 
Alexander Anderson 
Neil Greenwood
Jordan Kogut
ChairBrett CulbertCatherine Fust
Room SSC3317 SSC2315 

3:30 PM to 5:00 PM Poster Sessions – SSC Atrium

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM Trivia and Grad Student Social – The Lookout (5th floor of UC from North elevators)


Registration and abstract submission for GSS 2023 is now live! Please register and submit your abstract by clicking the button below:

Deadline for abstract submission: April 7th, 2023

Abstract submission EXTENDED to April 17th, 2023!

Deadline for registration: April 28th, 2023

Presentation format

For oral presentations, please prepare a 12 minute presentation and plan for ~3 minutes of questions.

For posters, recommended dimensions are 4 ft x 3 ft (48 in x 36 in)

Posters can be portrait (3 ft width by 4 ft height) or horizontal (4 ft width by 3 ft length)

Poster board size is 4 ft high, 5 ft wide.


Organizing Committee

The committee responsible for organizing GSS 2023 is made up of graduate students from across the three departments in the College of Biological Science: Human Health & Nutritional Science (HHNS), Integrative Biology (IB), and Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).

Chair: Joshua Budd (HHNS) and Arya Horon (IB)

Sponsorship & Funding: Kathleen Nolan (IB) and Amanda Meuser (IB)

Social Media & Website: Kathleen Nolan (IB)

Media & Program Design: Alyssa Banaag (MCB) and Arya Horon (IB)

Catering: Amanda Meuser (IB)

Registrar: Emma Flatt (IB)

Abstract & Talk Coordinators: Brett Culbert (IB), Hayley Smith (MCB), Elizabeth Manchester (IB), and Shemar Williams (IB)

Conference Platform Coordinator: Catherine Fust (MCB)

Contact Us

Please reach out to us at cbsgss@uoguelph.ca with any questions or concerns!

Keynote Speakers

We have three keynote speakers presenting at GSS 2023. There is one representative from each department in the College of Biological Sciences: Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Integrative Biology. Below are headshots and bios for each of our keynote speakers.

Dr. Philip Millar (Human Health and Nutritional Sciences)

My interest in clinical cardiovascular physiology began during an upper level undergraduate course on Coronary Artery Disease and Physical Activity at McMaster University. Single-handedly, this course propelled me to pursue a career in academia. Little did I know at the time, I would go on to teach that same course four times over my training!  

I completed my Master’s training at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Neil McCartney, investigating the ability of isometric handgrip training to lower resting blood pressure. Whilst this was a clinically relevant finding with applications for treating hypertension, the integrative mechanisms responsible for these actions remained unknown. It was here that I became interested in the role of the autonomic nervous system in the reflex and tonic control of blood pressure, and how the effects of aging, disease, or exercise can alter these responses. I was fascinated by the observation that many common cardiovascular disease states are characterized by similar reductions in parasympathetic activity and increases in sympathetic outflow. This led me to complete a Ph.D. with Drs. Neil McCartney and Maureen MacDonald, examining the role of the autonomic nervous system in responding to acute and chronic exercise.  

I further established the capacity of isometric exercise to lower blood pressure acutely and, following training, while also demonstrating increased variability of heart rate, related to the modulation of autonomic inputs, in patients with primary hypertension.  As reduced heart rate variability is associated with increased mortality in some clinical populations, this suggested additional benefits of isometric exercise.  Unfortunately, these measures provided only indirect assessments of cardiac autonomic modulation.  Therefore, I completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. John Floras, Canadian Research Chair in Integrative Cardiovascular Biology at the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital, learning to directly measure sympathetic outflow to skeletal muscle using microneurography.  Using this technique, I studied the reflex responses of individual postganglionic sympathetic fibres to loading and unloading of the cardiopulmonary baroreflex, producing the first direct human evidence for a sympathoexcitatory reflex.  These findings also provided a novel mechanism for the observed increases in sympathetic outflow in patients with heart failure; an accentuated excitatory cardiopulmonary reflex.  This research has stimulated a long-term interest in studying the reflex control of individual postganglionic sympathetic fibres, determining the capacity for differential regulation and functional specificity of efferent sympathetic control in humans. 

My post-doc work also examined the ability of exercise and statin therapy to modulate sympathetic outflow and systemic hemodynamics.  These projects highlight a second long-term objective, studying the impact of acute and chronic interventions (exercise, diet, medications) on the neural control of the circulation in humans 

Dr. Priyanka Pundir (Molecular and Cellular Biology)

Our research program in innate immunity seeks to understand host-microbe interactions and improve the management of various infectious and inflammatory diseases. Specifically, we study a large family of G protein-coupled receptors, called Mrgprs, and their role in host defense against bacteria. We use a multidisciplinary strategy combining molecular, cellular, immunohistochemical, and genetic approaches to achieve this goal.    

Dr. Joey Bernhardt (Integrative Biology)

We aim to advance our fundamental understanding of the drivers of biodiversity change and the consequences of these changes for human well-being. Our research advances a solution to this research challenge by studying the processes that unite all of life on Earth – the metabolic processes by which living systems uptake, store and convert energy, matter and information from their environments to grow and persist. We combine theory, experiments and synthesis to study how living systems change as the environment changes, and what these changes mean for human well-being.

Poster Printing Options

Here, we have compiled a list of printing options for students looking to present a poster at GSS 2023. All participants will be responsible for ensuring they get their posters printed to bring to the event. We will provide poster boards and thumb tacks for participants.

CBS printing services:

  • Location: Science Complex, Room 2309
  • Contact: Ian Smith, extension 56192
  • This facility provides large format poster printing, lamination and other graphic services.

Geography, Environment and Geomatics Print Shop:

  • Cartographic and Design Services offers same day printing and laminating.  Map, diagram and poster production available
  • Call 52175 for a quote, visit the Cartographic Office Rm 239 Hutt Bldg, or email mpuddist@uoguelph.ca

CSA large format printing:

  • Need designs emailed to csapromo@uoguelph.ca by April 28th to have printed by May 4 (day before conference).
  • If creating in ppt, send both as pdf and pptx files.
  • Located in University Centre on UofG campus.
  • CSA does not use coding so need to provide: name, full address, phone number, email address.
  • 36” x 48” poster cost breakdown:
    • Lightweight matte: $39.60 plus tax
    • Heavyweight matte: $46.80 plus tax
    • Glossy: $45 plus tax

CLICK signs UC:

  • Turn around time is same day printing, can pick up after 1 hour.
  • Located in the UC.
  • Poster printing on glossy/waterproof paper: $71.88 plus tax.
  • 519.824.4120 Ext:58031
  • print@clicksigns.ca

Print 3 Guelph:

  • Located at: 4-3 Watson Road South, Guelph, Ontario N1L 1E3
  • Contact info: (519) 821-1171, orders@printthreeguelph.com
  • On photo paper: $108 plus tax
  • On heavyweight matte: $78 plus taxes

Moffitt Printing:

  • Located at 240 Woodlawn Road, West, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 1B6
  • (519) 822-7311
  • Email: brent@moffittprint.com
  • 8 mil poster paper: $62 plus tax
  • Printed and mounted to foam core: $94 plus tax


  • You can print the poster size 36″x48″ by uploading your file to Staples Document Printing page. Pricing information for all products is visible on Staples website. As pricing will depend on the exact options selected for your project, they are often unable to provide accurate quotations.
  • After you upload the file, you can select the size and paper stock option from the left panel and the price will reflect on the right. The poster price starts at a $38.99 +service fee and applicable tax.
  • Please note that some stores do not have the capability to print wider than 24″ in-store, anything wider than that can be printed at the production center. The standard turnaround time is 1-3 business days for a 36″ width.


Poster for GSS 2023. QR code directs you back to this homepage. Please feel free to share this poster with your networks to encourage folks to register and attend GSS 2023!

Thank you to our sponsors!

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