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CNHS Undergraduate Research Symposium

Undergraduate Research Celebration Week

The CNHS Undergraduate Research Symposium provides an opportunity for students within the College of Natural and Health Sciences to present their current or recently completed research projects in a poster format. Research projects that are in progress or in the early stages of development are also encouraged. The research may have been performed as part of a course, an Honors Research Fellowship or an independent project conducted with a faculty mentor. The symposium will provide participants with outstanding preparation for graduate or professional school and future presentations, and will foster greater awareness of undergraduate research within the college.

The CNHS Undergraduate Research Symposium is held each spring. All participants are required to register for the event.

  • The keynote presentations are held in the Vaughn Center, 9th floor
  • Poster presentations are held in the Vaughn Center, 9th floor
    • The abstract booklet will available for summary of research projects.

Poster presentation

All participants will be eligible for an award for best poster presentation.

All participants will be eligible for an award for best poster presentation. The posters will be judged by faculty based on the following criteria:

  1. Clear focus or central research question
  2. Sound research methodology
  3. Clear presentation of results/product/performance or expected outcome and ability to answer questions
  4. Progress on the project to date
  5. Contribution to the field or discussion of potential impact

Suggested presentation guidelines
The purpose of the poster should be to engage audience members in a discussion of the research. It is recommended that the poster include a limited amount of text with the majority of the poster space be dedicated to graphics (graphs, photographs, schematics, maps, etc.). The poster should be no larger than 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide. Posterboard and pushpins will be provided to mount the posters.

Keynote Seminar

Virus Hunting in the Age of Metagenomics

Keynote Speaker for 2017

Mya Breitbart, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
College of Marine Science
University of South Florida

Mya Breitbart is an associate professor at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science. Breitbart earned her doctorate in cellular and molecular biology with Forest Rohwer at San Diego State University in 2006 and her bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Florida Institute of Technology in 2000. In addition to being passionate about microbiological and genomic research, Breitbart is a strong proponent of scientific outreach, especially aimed at increasing the number of women in STEM fields.

Breitbart was selected by Popular Science magazine in 2013 as one of their “Brilliant 10” – an annual feature profiling 10 young scientists who are doing truly groundbreaking work in their fields.

More info about her research can be found here.

Virus Hunting in the Age of Metagenomics: Exploring Active Infections, Environmental Reservoirs and Transmission Mechanisms

Emerging viral infections are an enormous threat to our society, impacting disparate fields such as human and animal health, agricultural productivity, biosecurity and environmental protection. Rapid detection and diagnosis is our best defense against emerging viruses, and requires a robust method for discovering novel viruses from a wide range of sample types. Current viral diagnosis methods use PCR, microarrays or immunologic assays to test for specific viruses. These methods are applicable when trying to identify a previously described virus, but extremely limited in their use to discover novel viruses. Breitbart's research aims to discover novel viruses through viral metagenomics, which involves selection for viral particles followed by sequence-independent amplification and shotgun sequencing. Viral metagenomics enables the discovery of single- and double-stranded DNA and RNA viruses, including those that are only weakly related to previously described viral families. This talk will include several case studies, demonstrating the power of viral metagenomics to identify novel viral pathogens from active infections in animals, examine viral communities in environmental reservoirs and explore viral transmission mechanisms. Notable findings include the discovery of the first anellovirus in a marine animal, the demonstration that plant viruses are abundant in sewage and can serve as indicators of human fecal pollution in coastal marine systems and the identification of novel plant and animal viruses in insect vectors.


Register now!
All participants will register here. Please complete the registration form.