News Story

MSU Graduate Students Present at International Symposium on Biodiversity

Posted on 9/28/2010 by Justyn Foth

Wildlife graduate students, Justyn Foth and Jake Straub, recently presented their research at the International Symposium on "Ecology and Biodiversity in Large Rivers of Northeast Asia and North America" in Memphis, Tennessee. This was the third such symposium with two previous symposia in Khabarovsk, Russia (2002) and Harbin, People’s Republic of China (2006).

The goal of this symposium was to bring together Chinese, Russian, and North American researchers, river engineers, wetland managers, and conservation biologists to discuss local and landscape-scale management of large rivers and associated natural resources. The main objectives of the symposium were to manage riverine ecosystems to ensure water quality and quantity, restore and manage wetlands, increase sustainable fishery stocks, and conserve these internationally significant natural resources.

A wide range of topics were presented at the symposium including river and other wetland restoration, eco-monitoring, remote sensing, and flora and fauna. Justyn presented his M.S. research on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in bottomland hardwood forested wetlands, and Jake presented his doctoral research on red oak production and abundance dynamics in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.

Justyn’s and Jake’s research on food resources of wetland wildlife in these forested wetlands was different than most other talks at the symposium. Most other talks focused on biological phenomena occurring in the major rivers of both continents.

Justyn and Jake were asked numerous questions by agency professionals interested in ecosystem functions following their talks. Justyn remarked, "The questions were most helpful for designing additional data analyses and improving our future presentations." Jake and Justyn enjoyed the opportunity to discuss research interests with professionals from China and Russia as well. They both look forward to presenting their completed research at future symposium locally, nationally, and internationally.