MSUM Biosciences Research Students won the “Best Undergraduate Poster Award” at the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society held in Willmar, MN, on 18-20 February 2020.  

In a long-term study (2001-2019), research students from the Biosciences Department at MSUM have live-trapped and marked over 1,000 painted turtles (Chryemys picta belli) in Clay County, Minnesota, in order to study growth rates, survival, population characteristics, and movements.  Under the mentorship of Dr. Donna Bruns Stockrahm, Biosciences Department, over the years more than a hundred students have received hands-on field research live-trapping, handling, and recording data on the turtles. 

Alex G. Hexum and Fernando Lambert, members of the “TURTLE TEAM” worked in the field during summer 2019 capturing turtles and collecting data. During fall 2019 until February 2020, they analyzed data from 2006-2019 and wrote the award-winning poster entitled: 

“Physical features and behaviors of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii) moving between sloughs in Clay County, Minnesota” – by Alex G. Hexum, Fernando Lambert, and Donna M. Stockrahm

Alex and Fernando were unable to attend the meeting, but 3 other members of the TURTLE TEAM (i.e., Stephanie Sonnenberg, Ajayi A. Temiloluwa, and Nicholas R. Wilm) presented the poster and did a wonderful job. 

Other members of the summer 2019 “TURTLE TEAM” who live-trapped and collected data on the turtles included: Casey L. Coombs, Megan L. Gates, Chantell L. Mindt, Kira R. Johnson, Syreeta M. Shigematsu, Emily A. Larsen, Avery J. Knisley, Patrice M. Delaney, Nick R. Wilm, Samantha A. North, Joanna E. Blum, Stephanie E. Sonnenberg, Ajayi A. Temiloluwa, Savanna J.  Hohenstein, and Nicholas A. Marshall.

We would like to thank MSUM SABC, Dean Elizabeth Nawrot, and the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society for their financial support for the students attending the Conference.