Annual Meeting Student Prize Winners

Each year we call on a diverse group of judges to select winners for our Anne Keymer Prize for Best Student Talk and Best Student Poster Prize.

This year we had over 150 entries for both talks and posters, so our judges had their work cut out!

Both talks and posters are scored on categories including; visual style, scientific content, originality of research, response to questions, and effectiveness of communication. Winners receive an honorarium of £250 and runners up receive £100.

Our judges were incredibly impressed with the exceptional standard of presentations across the board and we are now pleased to announce the winners! The overall winners are below, you can view the full list of winners, runners up and highly commended Anne Keymer Student Talks and Best Poster Prizes on our website.

The Anne Keymer Prize for best Student Talk

Svenja Kroeger
University of Aberdeen
Cumulative reproductive costs on current reproduction in wild yellow-bellied marmots
With Julien Martin (University of Aberdeen), Jane Reid (University of Aberdeen), Daniel Blumstein (University of California), Kenneth Armitage (The University of Kansas)

Reproduction is costly, thus successful reproduction in one year may reduce reproductive success the subsequent year. However, reproductive costs may also accumulate over the reproductive lifespan of individuals. I investigated whether reproductive frequency and litter sizes across all previous years affected female yellow-bellied marmot reproductive probability and litter size in the current year. Whilst there was no evidence for reproductive costs from one year to the next, I found that females which had both reproduced frequently and weaned large litters in previous years were less likely to reproduce again. Female long-term reproductive history thus affected their current reproductive success.

Best Student Poster Prize

Catherine McNicol
University of Exeter

The Effects of Pine Marten Reintroduction on Grey Squirrel Populations in Wales
With Stuart Bearhop (University of Exeter), Jenny Macpherson (Vincent Wildlife Trust), Robin Gill (Forest Research), Robbie McDonald (University of Exeter)

Is biological control of invasive grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) populations possible by pine martens (Martes martes)? Recent studies in Ireland suggest martens negatively impact grey squirrel populations. Here, we investigate this interaction, exploring potential mechanisms behind this relationship. Translocated pine martens and resident grey squirrels were tracked using GPS loggers and telemetry to examine habitat preference, home ranges and any spatial interactions. Thus far it appears squirrel home ranges are contracting where pine martens are present. Further analysis is ongoing into the survival and site residency of grey squirrels as well as further behavioural and dietary observations.

To our Judges…

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all judges involved in the meeting this year, as well as Hefin Jones who oversees the process. It is a huge task that would not be possible without your time and dedication.