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Students Focus on Sustainable Research

By: Katie Pratt

University of Kentucky faculty and students recently participated in the university’s second annual Environmental and Sustainability Research Showcase, which highlighted research related to environmental and sustainability science and policy.

The event was hosted by UK’s Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment and the College of Agriculture’s Environmental and Natural Resources Initiative. The goal was to encourage collaborations across disciplines and colleges to enhance environmental and sustainability research.

As part of the event, UK students submitted posters highlighting their research. A panel of judges chose the best posters based on criteria that included scientific thought, skill level and thoroughness of data collection and assessment.

“The posters covered a very diverse range of topics in environmental and sustainability science and policy and were all of very high quality, making the judges' jobs quite challenging,” said Paul Bertsch, director of the institute and professor of environmental chemistry and toxicology in the UK College of Agriculture.

Graduate student winners of the research poster contest and their poster titles are:

  • Gabrielle Ness, College of Arts and Sciences: “Modeling the relationship between below-ground and above-ground biomass of black cohosh.”
  • Sumesh Sukumara, College of Engineering: “Multidisciplinary approach in developing region-specific optimization model for sustainable biorefining.”
  • Annie Whitley, College of Agriculture: “Developing a method for detecting and characterizing silver nanoparticles in soil pore water using asymmetrical flow field flow fractionation and ICP-MS.”
  • Shu Yang, College of Engineering: “Ultrafine grain refinement of biomedical Co-Cr-Mo alloy from cryogenic burnishing for enhanced wear resistance.”

An honorable mention award, given to an undergraduate research poster, went to Rebecca Douglass, Lauren Ison and Emily Talbott from the College of Arts and Sciences for their poster titled “Pesticide detection in honey.”

More information on the students’ posters is located on the institute’s website