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UA Little Rock Celebrates Biology Students

UA Little Rock student Rebekah White receives an award at the 49th Annual Midwest Southeast Photosynthesis Conference.
UA Little Rock student Rebekah White receives an award at the 49th Annual Midwest Southeast Photosynthesis Conference.

A group of biology students from Professor Qingfang He’s lab have been recognized for their great achievements.

Tina Hesabizadeh was named Best Student Presenter by the 2023 Materials Research Society (MRS) University Chapter at the UA Little Rock Materials Science Research Symposium.

Meanwhile, Rebekah White and Seth Cook both gave oral presentations at the 49th Annual Midwest Southeast Photosynthesis Conference, and Precious Richard presented his research poster. White won in the student talk category at the conference.

“Presenting at the MRS Symposium was an incredible opportunity for me,” Hesabizadeh said. “It meant a lot to be able to share my research with such a diverse and knowledgeable audience. Winning was an overwhelming feeling of validation for the hard work, dedication, and passion I had invested in my research and presentation. It was humbling to be recognized among such talented peers.”

Hesabizadeh expressed gratitude to her peers, lab members. and advisors who empowered her to be successful at the MRS Symposium.

“I am incredibly grateful for their unwavering support and guidance,” said Hesabizadeh. “Their support was instrumental in making this experience possible, and I deeply appreciate their encouragement and assistance throughout this journey.”

White presented on automating the analysis of electron microscope images of cyanobacterial cells using machine learning.

“When I found out I won the student talk award, I was pretty surprised,” said White. “I had gone in with the intention of just having fun presenting my research and meeting other people in my field. To get recognized with an award was really an incredible and encouraging turn of events.”

Cook gave his presentation about the Internet of Things (IoT)-controlled photobioreactor he has been working on as his master’s thesis project.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience,” Cook said. “I presented with students and faculty who have devoted their lives to photosynthesis and to science. Usually, I present to groups who aren’t specialists in science or in biology, so it was helpful to receive feedback from others in the specific field of photosynthesis.”

Richard presented a poster on phosphonate remediation. He worked briefly on Phosphorus in Japan and picked up interest in the topic when he read a publication about Roundup and Glyphosate pollution.

“It was inspiring to see other colleagues’ work,” said Richard. “This gives me a yardstick to measure my progress and to double my efforts.”