Sydney Dalin, Carley Rogers, Lydia Poss, and Gage Delzotti
Sydney Dalin, Carley Rogers, Lydia Poss, and Gage Delzotti

Four students from Oregon Tech’s Biology-Health Sciences program presented research at the Microbiology Student Symposium held at University of California, Berkeley, in Berkeley, Cali., April 27.

The Microbiology Student Symposium is an annual event organized by graduate students at UC Berkeley that features lectures, poster presentations, and networking. The event is a forum for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctorate students researching microbiology to present their work and learn from other microbiology researchers.

Under the guidance of Natural Science Associate Professor Kamal Gandhi, Ph.D., and Professor Ken Usher, Ph.D., Oregon Tech students Sydney Dalin, Gage Delzotti, Lydia Poss, and Carley Rogers presented research on cyanobacteria in Upper Klamath Lake through two poster presentations.

The first poster displayed research on lake samples collected in the summer of 2023. The research team utilized a quantitative polymerase chain reaction to identify the presence of the two dominant cyanobacteria species associated with the lake, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Microcystis aeruginosa, as well as the total amount of cyanobacteria.

The second poster displayed research on the use of 16S rDNA microbiome analysis to analyze the bacteria present in collected samples, with a focus on the different species of cyanobacteria that could be identified.

“This research represents a rather advanced level of applied research for Oregon Tech, using new equipment that research grant funding has provided for in the last year,” Gandhi said. “Our research therefore allows them to take concepts that they learn in class and see how they apply to real-world problems, including an issue that is relevant to the local Klamath Falls community.”

“It gave us the chance to receive feedback from other researchers about ways to develop our project so we may continue to expand on our current knowledge,” Delzotti said.

Dalin, Poss, and Rogers said the opportunity to attend the Microbiology Symposium allowed them to be exposed to the greater research occurring in the scientific community and practice their presentation and networking skills.

“This trip not only taught us how to construct posters and communicate our research and data, but it also gave us feedback and ideas on how to proceed with future years of research,” Rogers said.

“Getting to attend a symposium with mostly graduate students is amazing motivation since we get to see what kind of other in-depth research we could be doing in the future,” Dalin said.

“Additionally, participating in this experience will aid in rounding out my graduate school applications,” Poss said.

The posters and students will present their research in Klamath Falls at Oregon Tech’s IdeaFest project symposium June 7 at 10 a.m. The community is encouraged to attend to see the research Oregon Tech’s inventive and innovative students are working on.