Junior Biology major Michael Nolan-Tamariz received a VURF travel grant to present his research Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology (SICB) Conference in New Orleans.
On his experience:
"The SICB conference was an absolutely incredible experience. After a bit of a rough time getting there (canceled flights, missed connection, etc) the conference itself hit the ground running. I think one of first impressions I had was just amazement at how many different kinds of talks and seminars were being given. I would say that I'm most interested in behavioral ecology and while I there were plenty of interesting presentations in that area, my personal favorites were watching a 4k video taken by an invisible drone of giraffes running, seeing the biomechanics of how cheetahs use their tail for agility while running full speed, and learning about how honey bees ventilate their hive. The best part, though, was the poster presentations done by students. Just being able to go around and see what everybody else was doing, seeing what they're interested in, and seeing their creative solutions to tricky questions was both impressive and inspiring. Above all, this conference really reaffirmed how much I like biology and how I appreciative I am to be studying it. It also convinced me to pursue both a senior thesis next year and a graduate degree in the future.
On a side note, it was in New Orleans, which was awesome because I'd never been, and I had an absolute blast in the city with old friends from the summer and new ones from the conference."