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Forester News

Hannah Stinson ’20 presents at national biology conference

Hannah Stinson ’20 spent part of her winter break presenting a 15-minute talk on how fish swim in turbulence at the national meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in Austin, Texas.

A research assistant in Assistant Professor of Biology Margot Schwalbe’s lab, Stinson presented “Lateral line and visual systems in bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) contribute to regaining stability in horizontal vortices.” 

“It was an amazing experience and a great opportunity,” Stinson said. “I was able to connect with so many researchers, from undergraduates to PhDs,” even authors of research papers she read and discussed in class.

Stinson’s abstract will be published in the SICB’s Integrative and Comparative Biology journal later this year and already is available online

“Giving an oral presentation at a conference is unusual for most undergrads, but Hannah rose to the challenge,” Schwalbe said. “This whole experience, from start to finish, will really help Hannah’s future.”

Stinson, a double major in biology and French who is minoring in chemistry, hopes to attend medical school after completing her studies at Lake Forest College. She and Schwalbe submitted an abstract for consideration in early fall.

“I thought the SICB meeting would be a good place to communicate the research Hannah has been doing in my lab since last summer,” Schwalbe said.

Performing biological research and then communicating it to professional scientists is a valuable experience.

“SICB gave me a lot of practice in making connections and communicating with other people in the scientific field,” Stinson said. “The confidence I got from presenting my research at SICB will help me strive for bigger and better goals.”

One of the largest and most prestigious professional associations of its kind, the SICB has approximately 3,000 members whose research interests range from organismal biology to systematics and evolutionary biology.

—Peter DiPietro ’20