Meet Me at the Ozark-Prairie and Mid-South Regional Chapter Joint Meeting! 

Nile Kemble, U.S. Geological Survey

The Ozark-Prairie and Mid-South Regional Chapters of SETAC North America (SNA) held a joint annual meeting from 13–15 May 2019 at Bayer Crop Science in St. Louis, Missouri. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Conservation and Ecology of Native Pollinators.”

The meeting kicked off Monday evening with a social gathering at a local restaurant where old friends could catch up and new friends could be made. Dinner discussion included selection of the location of the 2020 joint meeting, on-going research and the typical debate as to which beer on tap was best.

Tuesday started with a welcome and opening of the meeting by Ozark-Prairie President Amber Thompsett-Higley and Mid-South Board Member Jennifer Bouldin. Representing the SETAC North America Board of Directors, Jeff Steevens presented an overview of SETAC and discussed the opportunities and changes coming in SNA. Amelia Atwell gave the North America Student Advisory Council (NASAC) update covering such things as the upcoming 9th Young Environmental Scientists (YES) Meeting, which will be held from 8–12 May 2020 in Waco, Texas.

Ed Spevak

Ed Spevak, Curator of Invertebrates at the St. Louis Zoo and the Director of the St. Louis Zoo’s WildCare Institute Center for Native Pollinator Conservation.

This year’s keynote speaker was Ed Spevak, who is both the Curator of Invertebrates at the St. Louis Zoo and the Director of the St. Louis Zoo’s WildCare Institute Center for Native Pollinator Conservation. He gave an engaging talk on native bees and their status. Spevak focused his talk on the different types of pollinators, the benefits of having several pollinators in one location, the causes of the pollinators’ decline, and measures each of us can take to increase pollinator numbers and diversity.

This year’s meeting consisted of 13 platform presentations, eight of which were by students, and 16 poster presentations (14 by students) on a variety of topics relative to both regions (i.e., invasive crayfish, lead bioaccumulation in fish and wildlife, effects of aluminum on honey bees and water quality in local rivers and streams). The day’s events concluded on Tuesday evening with a picnic social at Forest Park. The social included time to discuss the day’s presentations, yard games and a highly competitive whiffle ball game.

Student travel awards for the national SETAC meeting were presented to four students from Ozark-Prairie and two Mid-South students this year. Student award winners this year are shown in the tabs below.

2019 Ozark-Prairie travel award winners

2019 Ozark-Prairie Travel Award winners


Timothy Black, Oklahoma State University
Effects of Aluminum Toxicity on Aversive Learning in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

Sarah Hileman, Oklahoma State University
Evidence of Anthropogenic Pollution in Soil throughout Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Christopher Goodchild, Oklahoma State University
Ingestion of crude oil reduces brood size and alters offspring phenotype

Taylor Walton, Oklahoma State University
Growth Inhibition of UV Filters on the Freshwater Microalgae Scenedesmus acutus

2019 Mid-South Travel Award winners

2019 Mid-South Travel Award winners, with Jennifer Bouldin (middle)


Amelia Atwell, Arkansas State University
Monitoring sediment contributions via turbidity and total suspended solids (TSS) in the Upper Cache River Watershed, Arkansas


Andress Alves Augusto, Arkansas State University
Effects of tributaries input on water quality in the Strawberry River, Arkansas

Plans are underway for a second joint meeting from 18–20 May 2020 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Watch the Ozark-Prairie SETAC Facebook page and website for details! We would like to thank Bayer Crop Sciences for hosting the meeting and providing lunches, as well as our sponsors Corteva Agriscience and Eurofins Agroscience Services for their generous support of our Student Awards Program.

All pictures in this article were used with permission from SeeNile Photography.

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