Grad students host successful biological sciences symposium

The Association of Graduate Students in the Biological Sciences (AGSBS) at York University, which represents graduate students in the Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science, held their 43rd Annual Biology Symposium on April 28.

Titled “From Micro to Macro: An Event Incorporating Multiple Fields of Biology,” the symposium hosted some 70 researchers from York University and the University of Toronto.

Students take part in a morning workshop on R Statistics organized by the first year of the AGSBS

“The AGSBS symposium is a great opportunity for graduate students to highlight their work and meet other local researchers to build connections among labs, universities, and people,” said Alex Filazzola, a PhD student in Science Professor Christopher Lortie’s lab and a member of the symposium committee.

The other members of the organization committee for the symposium included Eleni Fergas from Professor Art Forer’s lab, Amanda Liczner from Professor Sheila Colla’s lab, and Laura Newburn and Tamari Chkuaseli from Professor Andrew White’s lab.

Serious learning aside, there was time for some fun and games. Participants had a chance to take some photos at the symposium photobooth.

The event opened with a hands-on workshop led by Filazzola titled “An Introduction to R and Generalized Linear Models,” which aimed to provide tools for novice analysts to more effectively and efficiently analyze their data in R, a free software program for statistical computing. The workshop was open to the public and 26 people attended.

“This was the first year the AGSBS decided to organize a workshop and it was exciting to see such a large interest in R statistics here at York,” said Filazzola.

Following the workshop, York graduate students presented their research at a poster session, and a special dinner event was held that featured a series of keynote speakers, including Professors Brigitte Lavoie, Julie Lefebvre, Marc Johnson and Megan Frederickson from the University of Toronto, and Professor Le Paliulis from Bucknell University.

The symposium was sponsored by the VP Academic and Provost, Department of Biology and Faculties of Science and Graduate Studies at York University, as well as by We Enable Science and Fisher Scientific.