Graduate students in West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design recently earned high praise for their research efforts during the college’s annual student research and creative scholarship conference.

Students presented either a 15-minute oral research paper or a research poster. Ph.D. and master’s students were judged separately in the two categories by a panel of faculty representing the college’s five academic divisions.

Meghan Manor, an animal and food sciences student, took first place in the Ph.D. presentation competition. Her research, “Differences in Growth, Fillet Quality, and Gene Expression Within Fatty Acid Metabolism Between Juvenile Male and Female Rainbow Trout,” is conducted with WVU researchers Brett Kenney, professor of food science, and Jianbo Yao, associate professor of animal biotechnology and genomics, as well as Beth M. Cleveland and Tim D. Leeds of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Kofi Nkansah, a natural resource economics student, took first place in the Ph.D. poster competition. His research, “The Impact of Proximity on Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Renewable and Alternative Electricity: The Case of West Virginia,” is conducted with Alan Collins, professor of agricultural and resource economics.

Ryan Davis, a wildlife and fisheries student, took first place in the master’s presentation competition. His research, “Impacts of Unconventional Gas Development on Early-Successional Songbirds,” is conducted with Petra Wood, adjunct professor of wildlife and fisheries resources and assistant unit leader with the West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Aubrey Harris, a civil and environmental engineering student in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, took first place in the master’s poster competition. Her research, “Evaluating Instrument-Response to Surface Water Spills Related to Oil and Gas,” is conducted with WVU researchers Leslie Hopkinson, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Nicolas Zegre, assistant professor of forest hydrology, as well as Daniel Soeder, a geologist with the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Lab.