2024 Graduate Student Symposium

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.

GSS 2024 will be held on Tuesday, April 30th 2024, from 10 AM-5 PM in the University of Guelph Summerlee Science Complex.


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Concurrent talk sessions 1-3

Session theme1. Biochemistry2. Knowledge Translation3. Pathogens/Disease
Presenters Bradley Fitzgerald
Allison Leonard
Victoria Butler
Amelia Doerksen
Nida Ansari
Elizabeth Porter & David Dowhaniuk
Sidney Evans
Noah Kuehfuss
Hayley Smith
Jennifer Holborn
Andrey Petropavlovskiy
ChairIsaac SullivanLiz ManchesterNicole Notaro
Room SSC 3317SSC 1304SSC 1306
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/98707515605

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Concurrent talk sessions 4-6  

Session theme4. Physiology5. Genetics/Genomics6. Ecology
Presenters Liz Manchester
Nicole Fletcher
Barbara Hyde-Lay
Lily Hopkinson
Charles Sanchez
Laura Thompson
Marissa Sim
Ashley Fisher
Kendra Gardner
Chris Bender
Derin Calik
Chair Alexa KingIsaac SullivanVictoria Butler
Room SSC 1304SSC 3317SSC 1306

Lunch: 12:00-1:00 PM 

Plenary Speaker: 12:30-1:00 PM

Keynote Speakers: 1:00-2:15 PM 

2:30 PM to 3:30 PM Concurrent talk sessions 7-10

Session theme7. Cell Biology8. Nutrition/ Metabolism9. Neuroscience10. Proteomics
Presenters Thomas Kunjumon
Puja Puspa Ghosh
Kirsten Berry
Joshua Budd
Patrick McTavish
Nadine Abraham
Anna Kupraty
Aimee Dawe
Amanda Wiseman
Coleman Olenick
Jayson Capistrano
Barret Foster
Stevan Cucic
Boyan Liu
Chelsea Reitzel
ChairRachel HandyBrittany McIntyreSidney EvansElla Parkinson
Room SSC 1306SSC 2315SSC 3317SSC 1511

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

Registration and abstract submission for GSS 2024 is now live! Please register and submit your abstract by clicking the links below:

Deadline for registration: Friday April 19th, 2024

Deadline for abstract submission: April 12th, 2024

Abstract submission EXTENDED to April 16th, 2024!

Oral Presentations:

  • Please prepare a 12 minute presentation and plan for ~3 minutes of questions
  • Microsoft Powerpoint is the recommended software for presentation design


  • Recommended dimensions are 3 ft x 4 ft (36 in x 48 in)
  • Posters can be portrait (3 ft width by 4 ft height) or landscape (4 ft width by 3 ft length) style
  • Poster board size is 4 ft high x 5 ft wide

The committee responsible for organizing GSS 2024 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). We have been working hard to plan this event since January and we are so excited for you to attend our event!

Chairs: Joshua Budd (HHNS) & Brittany MacIntyre (HHNS)

Sponsorship & Funding: Pardeep Khangura (HHNS)

Social Media & Website: Liz Manchester (IB)

Media & Program Design: Gwendolyn Freeze (MCB), Panuya Athithan (MCB) & Brittany MacIntyre (HHNS)

Catering: Joshua Budd (HHNS)

Registrar: Liz Manchester (IB) & Jayson Capistrano (MCB)

Abstract & Talk Coordinators: Liz Manchester (IB), Jayson Capistrano (MCB), Rachel Handy (HHNS), Nicole Notaro (HHNS), Alexa King (HHNS), Erka Shata (MCB), & Hayley Smith (MCB)

Conference Platform Coordinator: Victoria Butler (MCB) & Rachel Handy (HHNS)

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

Get ready to be inspired! After lunch, we have three keynote speakers who will present from 1:00-2:15pm in the SSC Atrium. 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 this year’s keynote speakers.

My research interests in environmental and cerebrovascular physiology began when I was an undergraduate student at Mount Royal University under the supervision of Dr. Trevor Day. As an undergraduate, I participated on a research expedition to the Nepal Himalaya where our team conducted a series of human physiology experiments. This experience led me to completing my MSc under Dr. Glenjamin Foster where I studied the effects of changes in oxygen and arterial blood tension on respiratory function, and my PhD with Dr. Philip Ainslie where I studied the impact of high altitude on peripheral and cerebrovascular function.

After the completion of my graduate training, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Craig Steinback’s laboratory at the University of Alberta exploring the relationship between autonomic nervous activity and cerebrovascular function, and then a second postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Mypinder Sekhon at the University of British Columbia where I continued this line of work in mild brain injury (i.e., concussion). My graduate and postdoctoral training shaped the theme of my current research program at the University of Guelph. In my laboratory, we use various methods to evoke alterations in autonomic nervous activity (e.g., hypoxia, carbon dioxide, orthostatic stress, thermal stress) to explore the link between these autonomic stressors and the regulation of brain blood flow in health and disease.

Neural communication and the intricate choreography of signals required for the formation and preservation of neural function is heavily dependent on the interactions between neurons and glial cells (myelinating cells, astrocytes, microglia). While neurons provide the essential wiring within the nervous system, glial cells are responsible for a myriad of functions that determine the quality, maintenance, and re-growth of these connections. Given the cellular diversity of the nervous system, uncovering the roles of glial cells is integral to understanding basic neurobiological function and the pathology of many neurological disorders.

In the lab, we take an integrative and comparative approach to study glial-neuronal interactions in relation to early development, physical injury, and neurological disease that spans across multiple levels of biological organization (molecular and cellular physiology > systems biology) and multiple model species (zebrafish and mice).

The Turko Comparative Conservation Physiology Lab opened its doors at the University of Guelph in 2024. Prior to this date, I was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Wilfrid Laurier University, where I worked with Jonathan Wilson. Before that, I was an Eastburn Postdoctoral Fellow at McMaster University where I worked with Graham Scott and Sigal Balshine, and a ReNewZoo Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Windsor where I worked with Trevor Pitcher. I completed my PhD at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Patricia Wright.

Beginning my research journey in the UK, I studied under Prof. Martin Woodward, delving into the intricacies of enteric pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. This laid the foundation for my fascination with the virulence factors enabling such pathogens to thrive in the gut. Transitioning to Canada in 2001, I worked with Drs. Rebekah DeVinney and Mike Surette at the University of Calgary, exploring the interactions of Enteropathogenic and Enterohemorrhagic E. coli with host cells.

In 2004, I received a Fellow-to-Faculty Transition award, propelling my independent research on the human gut microbiota’s role in health and disease. Establishing myself at Guelph in 2007, I spearheaded the creation of a top-tier anaerobic microbiology facility. With a skilled team, I’ve pursued both fundamental research and clinical applications. In 2013, I co-founded NuBiyota, dedicated to developing “Microbial Ecosystem Therapeutics” for conditions stemming from gut microbial dysbiosis.

Here, we have compiled a list of printing options for students looking to present a poster at GSS 2024. 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.

  • Email Ian Smith at biosciencedesigns@outlook.com by Sunday April 28th at 5:00pm to print your poster! – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 29TH AT 6:00PM!
  • Cost on bond paper (36 x 48 inch poster): $50.04
  • Cost on photosatin paper (3 x 4 inch poster): $77.16
  • No lamination
  • Pay by e-transfer to biosciencedesigns@outlook.com
  • Ian will individually bag your poster, and add a sticker with your name and lab on it, and drop it off at the SSC

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 Adam Bonnycastle

CSA large format printing

  • Email designs to csapromo@uoguelph.ca
  • 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


  • 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.
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