Biology students host two major conferences this spring

A dedicated team of biology students is helping Carleton host two of the biggest regional science conferences this spring.

Carleton will host the Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Biology (OCIB) symposium this month and the Ontario Ecology and Ethology Colloquium in late May (OEEC). Both conferences provide an opportunity for students and faculty members to present research in biology and learn from speakers in an informal atmosphere.

“When we host the conference, we want to say, ‘Everyone look at us’,” says organizer and Ph.D. biology student Chris Beatty. “The OEEC is a great place to get valuable feedback on research projects and it’s not only limited to graduate students-we welcome all kinds of students.”

The OEEC has been growing over several years in size and scope. More than 400 people attended the 2004 conference and new fields have been added to the programming including systematics, environmental sciences, and biochemistry.

“We are reflecting the extremes as opposed to the mainstream, and try to be as diverse as possible,” says fellow conference organizer, Yemisi Dare. “We try to get speakers from totally different fields.”

It’s an incredible undertaking to organize both conferences within a winter term, but everyone agrees the amount of support the group has received has been extraordinary.

“Eighteen people showed up to help us on the first day,” says Dare, describing the overwhelming support of fellow students. Though fundraising for the conferences is a major concern, Dare says the group has received financial support within the department from different levels.

This is the first time Carleton has hosted the OEEC in eight years, and Beatty hopes the renewed attention to the University will focus on the school’s state of the art equipment and range of research.

“It’s a good feeling trying to organize this and a sense of pride being part of the group making it happen,” he says.

For more information on the OEEC, visit:

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