NDSU student researchers share their work at Student Research Day 2023

Student Research Day at NDSU, held on April 18, 2023, is an annual event dedicated to giving undergraduate and graduate students a platform to showcase their research and creative works. A collaboration among NDSU EXPLORE, the Graduate Student Council, and Gamma Sigma Delta, Student Research Day provided faculty, staff, students, and community members with a view of the various types of student research happening at NDSU. This was the second year the three groups collaborated on the event.

The NDSU Office of Research and Creative Activity hosts NDSU EXPLORE, which is an annual showcase for undergraduate students in all disciplines to present their research and creative projects. This year, NDSU EXPLORE provided awards for undergraduate students for best oral and poster presentation.

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) serves as a representative body of graduate students from all academic disciplines. GSC presented awards for best graduate oral and poster presentations. 

Gamma Sigma Delta is an agricultural honor society that encourages and rewards excellence in agriculture. Gamma Sigma Delta presented awards for best poster and oral presentations for both undergraduate and graduates.

75 undergraduate and 120 graduate student presenters representing disciplines from across the campus took part in the event. Awards were given in both undergraduate and graduate categories by NDSU EXPLORE, Gamma Sigma Delta, and the Graduate Student Council recognizing the best oral and poster presentations in each group. More than 50 NDSU faculty and staff members served as judges.



  • FIRST PLACE – Ryan Anderson, Civil Construction and Environmental Engineering
    Project:  Quantification of Nanoplastics in Landfill Leachate Using Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry
    Faculty Mentor: Syeed Iskander
  • SECOND PLACE – Ashley Goetzfried, Environmental Engineering    
    Project:  Efficient Removal of Organic Micropollutants from Municipal and Agricultural Wastewater by KrCI* Excimer Lamps
    Faculty Mentor: Jiale Xu
  • THIRD PLACE – Kira Eliason, Environmental Engineering    
    Project:  Rare Earth Elements in Sands Collected from Southern California Sea Beaches    
    Faculty Mentor: Syeed Iskander
  • HONORABLE MENTION – Shane Corbett, Psychology    
    Project:  Geographic and General Trends in Sleep Manipulation Research:  A Bibliometric Analysis    
    Faculty Mentor: Leah Irish


    • FIRST PLACE  –  Madison Christenson and Danielle Wright, Microbiology
      Project:  The Effectiveness of chlorine Dioxide as a Sporicidal Agent against Paenibacillus larvae
      Faculty Mentor: Birgit Pruess, Microbiological Sciences
    • SECOND PLACE (TIE) – Brooke Kohler, Biological Sciences
      Project:  Effects of Flonicamid on the Locomotion of the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee
      Faculty Mentor: Jacob Pithan, Biological Sciences
    • SECOND PLACE (TIE) – Koby Pearson-Bortle, Biological Sciences
      Project:  Wing damage propagation in alfalfa leafcutting bee
      Faculty Mentor: Jacob Pithan, Biological Sciences
    • THIRD PLACE - Drew Jordahl, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology    
      Project:  Expanding the “Library” of Metal-Organic Frameworks for Enzyme Biomineralization    
      Faculty Mentor: Zhongyu Yang, Chemistry and Biochemistry

    • HONORABLE MENTION – Garrett Honzay, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Project: Effect of Surface Mutations on Reactivity of Coproheme Decarboxylase with Hydrogen Peroxide    
      Faculty Mentor: Kenton Rodgers, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • HONORABLE MENTION – Zoe Muccatira, Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences
      Project:  Environmental Controls on Morphological Diversity:  A Case Study on the Late Triassic Monotis
      Faculty Mentor: Lydia Tackett, Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences

    Graduate Student Council


    • FIRST PLACE - Heather North - Biological Sciences
      Faculty Mentor: Julia Bowsher
      Title: Concomitant pesticides in bumble bees:  the effects of thiamethoxam and glyphosate on circadian rhythmicity and activity in the Bumblebee, Bombus impatiens

    • SECOND PLACE - Komila Rasuleva - Biomedical Engineering
      Faculty Mentor: Dali Sun
      Title: β-sheet Richness of Extracellular Vesicles for Pancreatic Cancer Screening
    • THIRD PLACE - Muhammad Shahid Iqbal - Environmental and Conservation Science
      Faculty Mentor: Stephanie S. Day
      Title: Riverbank Instability Analysis of the Red River in Fargo, North Dakota.
    • FOURTH PLACE - Mankanwal Goraya - Plant Pathology
      Faculty Mentor: Guiping Yan
      Title: Development of a recombinase polymerase amplification assay for rapid detection of the stubby root nematode, Paratrichodorus allius.


      • FIRST PLACE - Justin Clarke - Natural Resources Management
        Faculty Mentor: Torre Hovick
        Title: Avian Nest Survival in a Heterogeneity-based Rotation Grazing System
      • SECOND PLACE - Harkamal Kaur - Plant Pathology
        Faculty Mentor: Guiping Yan
        Title: Reproduction of soybean cyst nematode on commercial cultivars and breeding lines of dry edible bean
      • THIRD PLACE - Jose Figueroa-Cerna - Plant Sciences
        Faculty Mentor: Juan Osorno
        Title: Dry Beans: Genomic prediction for resistance to white mold
      • FOURTH PLACE - Mohammad Irshad Reza - Pharmaceutical Sciences
        Faculty Mentor: Sathish Venkatachalem
        Title: Arylhydrocarbon Receptor in Airway Smooth Muscle

        Gamma Sigma Delta


        • FIRST PLACE - Mia Haugan, Microbiology and Biotechnology
          Title: Using a Genomically Diverse Rhizobium leguminosarum Library to Identify Elite Strains for Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Pisum sativum
          Advised by Barney Geddes
        • SECOND PLACE - Mercedes Morin, Biotechnology
          Title: Advancing Health Targeted Foods for Glycemic Control and Cognitive Functions from Indigenous Food Systems
          Advised by Kalidas Shetty
        • THIRD PLACE - Natalie Visich, Microbiology and Biotechnology
          Title: Characterization and Collection of Rhizobium leguminosarum Strains from North Dakota Soils
          Advised by Barney Geddes
        • HONORABLE MENTION - Ashton Esco, Biotechnology
          Title: Prevalence of seedborne transmission of fungal pathogens in commercial sugar beet lots.
          Advised by Nathan Wyatt


        • FIRST PLACE - TM Shaikh, Plant Sciences
          Title: Homozygosity Mapping Identified Loci and Candidate Genes Responsible for Freezing Tolerance in Camelina sativa
          Advised by Mukhlesur Rahman
        • SECOND PLACE - Gagandeep Brar, Biological Sciences
          Title: Do pollen-borne microbes benefit juvenile growth and survival in the solitary bee, Megachile rotundata?
          Advised by Julia Bowsher
        • THIRD PLACE - Amanda Pease, Microbiological Sciences
          Title: Chemotactic Differences Between Strains of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae
          Advised by Birgit Pruess and Barney Geddes


          • FIRST PLACE - Savannah Rivers, Equine Science and Animal Science
            Title: You don’t have to be a work horse to know your horse: A look into the validity of equine personality assessments.
            Advised by Carrie Hammer
          • SECOND PLACE - Katlyn Balstad, Crop and Weed Sciences and Management Communication
            Title: Advancing Great Plains Food Crops to Evaluate Glycemic Control and Cognitive Functional Bioactive Compounds
            Advised by Kalidas Shetty
          • THIRD PLACE - Carly George, Biotechnology and Crop and Weed Sciences
            Title: Functional Anaylsis of Gene PtrV1_06931 using Crispr-Cas9 Technique
            Advised by Zhaohui Liu


          • FIRST PLACE - Shivreet Kaur, Plant Pathology
            Title: Tapping global wheat diversity for identifying novel sources of genetic resistance against the cereal killer, wheat rust
            Advised by Upinder Gill
          • SECOND PLACE - Grady Gullickson, Animal Science
            Title: The effects of replacing dried distillers grains with solubles with a heat-treated soybean meal in forage-based growing cattle diets
            Advised by Zachary Carlson
          • THIRD PLACE - Md Zahangir Alam, Plant Sciences
            Title: Resistance of Canola (Brassica napus L.) to Leptoshaeria maculans Infection
            Advised by Mukhlesur Rahman
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