Last week, the Pelini Lab traveled to Portland, Oregon for the annual Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) conference. On Monday morning, master’s student Rob Baroudi gave a talk discussing his thesis work which focuses on how macroinvertebrate communities can impact litter decomposition along a successional gradient in a temperate forest. His research was conducted at the University of Michigan Biological Station. It was also Rob’s first SICB presentation, and aside from a creaky stage, it went quite swimmingly.
On Wednesday afternoon, PhD student Audrey Maran presented her master’s work which she completed at Harvard Forest last year. Using a mesocosm approach, Audrey investigated how the presence of predators contributes to belowground responses to an increase in temperature in soil organisms. Later, master’s student Cari Ritzenhaler presented a poster delineating her results on how millipedes, micronutrients, and moisture drive invertebrate diversity and carbon cycling along an elevation gradient in a wet, montane, Hawaiian forest.
Overall, the SICB meeting provided a fantastic environment for engaging discussions between and among a wide variety of scientific disciplines and perspectives.
We are all grateful for the experience and look forward to attending SICB and other conferences in the future!