The Anne Spychala awards were given to the top undergraduate student-authored posters and oral presentations at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science.  An award was also given for the top graduate student presentation. At this meeting there were 20 presenters from 9 institutions in the oral competition, and 53 presenters from 20 institutions in the poster competition.

2015 Award Winners


Undergraduate Awards

Oral Presentations:

  •  First Place -Shannon Cook (Cabrini College) – Pathogen-induced nitric oxide production in earthworm coelomocytes detected by flow cytometry: An innate immune response impeded by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor aminoguanidine.
  •  Second Place –Jessica Meck (Wilson College) – The Effects of Temperature on the Competitive Interactions between Pseudogymnoascus destructans and Native Cave Fungi.
  •  Third Place –Samuael Thalathoti (Elizabethtown College) – Individual Recognition in the crayfish Orconectes rusticus depends on social status. (not pictured)

Poster Presentations:

  • First Place –Zachary Murphy (Misericordia University) – Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery Alters Oleolyethanolamide (OEA) Mediated Ingestive Behavioral Responses. (not pictured)
  • Second Place –Megan Conahan (York College) – The Effect of Theophylline on Anxiety in Zebrafish (Danio rerio).
  • Third Place (tie) –  Teresa Sirnic (Penn State Altoona) – Does the production of defensive spines come at a reproductive cost in an aquatic snail?
  • Third Place (tie) –  Alec Minnick (Lycoming College) – The Lycoming County Farm Project. (not pictured)
  • Third Place (tie) –  Michaela Ortiz (Cedar Crest College) – Identification of Protein-Protein Interactions of Replication Protein A in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
  • Third Place (tie) –  Matthew Schreiber (Susquehanna University) – Do sibling cannibals grow up to try to eat their mates? Aggression and cannibalism as a behavioral syndrome in wolf spiders.

Graduate Award

  •  First Place –Stefani Cannon (East Stroudsburg University) – Niche partitioning by shelter site selection in lowland tropical treefrogs of northeastern Costa Rica. (not pictured)

This competition occurs annually at the Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science.  If you are interested in entering the competition, please make sure to check the appropriate box on the abstract submission form.  Scientists and educators, if you are interested in helping with the judging of the student presentations, please indicate that on your registration form for the meeting or contact Ed Levri ( for more information.

Previous Award Winners