James Collins, Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and the Environment at Arizona State University, will be the symposium's plenary speaker. His research focuses on host-pathogen biology and its relationship to the global decline of amphibians.

Summer Scholars symposium

Students to present findings from summer research at event Aug. 14

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3:59 p.m., Aug. 5, 2014--The fifth annual celebratory symposium for the University of Delaware’s Summer Scholars program will take place from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14, at Clayton Hall. 

The event marks the culmination of the 10-week summer program and will consist of poster sessions and oral presentations throughout the day. 

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Leading up to it, more than 350 UD students have collaborated with their faculty mentors and, in many cases, with other undergraduate and graduate students, exploring and creating knowledge and learning how original research takes place.

Many students have worked with a wide range of external partners, translating research into action that both benefits community agencies and provides the students themselves with deepened understandings of the ways in which they can both contribute and learn from their service. 

The plenary speaker for this year’s event will be James Collins, Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and the Environment at Arizona State University. His research centers on understanding the origin, maintenance and reorganization of morphological variation within species. 

Amphibians, especially salamanders, are used as model organisms for field and laboratory studies of the ecological and evolutionary forces shaping intraspecific variation and how this variation affects population dynamics. A special focus of the research is host-pathogen biology and its relationship to the global decline of amphibians. 

Collins heads an international team of 26 investigators studying this issue under two grants from the National Science Foundation’s Integrated Research Challenges in Environmental Biology program. The intellectual and institutional factors that have shaped ecology's development as a science are also a focus of Collins’ work.

“Professor Collins’ strong connections with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s programs make him an especially appropriate speaker for our symposium,” said Iain Crawford, professor and faculty director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning. “HHMI has been a generous supporter of undergraduate research at UD for many years, and we look forward to his part in what will be the largest-ever celebration of student research on our campus.”

The plenary lecture and student presentations are open to all. For the preliminary program, visit the website for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning and click on the Symposium tab.

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