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Biology Graduate Student Organization

BGSO Information

Events & Projects


We are a university-recognized student organization that serves as the official organization representing the students in our department. The BGSO also acts as the official liaison between the graduate students and faculty in departmental matters. All M.S. and Ph.D. students in the Department of Biological Sciences are encouraged to be active members.

Some of our activities are described below.

Biology Seminar Refreshment Duty
This year we are encouraging members to sign-up for providing coffee and refreshments for the Biology Seminars on Fridays. The schedule is as follows:

January 12 (Ecology): Chance Hines
January 19 (Ecology): Sam Hagedorn
January 26 (Biomed): Shovan Dutta
February 2 (Biomed): Shovan Dutta
February 9 (Biomed): Charles Sandusky
February 16 (Ecology): Sam Hagedorn
February 23 (Biomed): Jamie Durbin
March 2 (Ecology): Spencer Schubert
March 16 (Ecology): Leah Gibala-Smith
March 23 (Biomed): Jamie Durbin
March 30 (Ecology): Sara Simmons
April 6 (Biomed): Ashley Molinaro
April 13 (Ecology): Hannah Aichelman

BGSO Hosted Seminar Speaker
Each semester we host one seminar speaker for the Biology Department Seminar Series on Fridays. We will also make an effort to have an opportunity for graduate students to sit down and chat with the speaker before or after the seminar. Past seminar speakers have included...

Spring 2018 - Dr. Emmett Duffy, Director at Smithsonian Institution
Fall 2017 - Dr. Frank Duca, Assistant Professor at University of Arizona

Fundraisers/ Philanthropy Event
Every year we host a fundraiser event through BGSO. This fall we collected donations for Hurricane Irma relief aide in the USVI. 

BGSO Oktoberfest
One of our most popular annual events is the BGSO Oktoberfest held in the Fall semester each year. This is primarily a social event with food, drinks, and games to help get together the biology department faculty and graduate students.  

BGSO Spring Symposium
Biology graduate students have the opportunity to present their research at this annual event. All biology faculty and graduate students are encouraged to attend the symposium. Awards are given for the best presentations.

CONGRATS to our 2018 BGSO Spring Symposium award winners!
Non-thesis Master's: First - Samantha Christensen, Second - Isaiah Amos
Thesis Master's: First - Chance Hines, Second - Hannah Aichelman, Laura Blitzer
Doctoral: First - Harmony Hancock, Second - Natasha Hagemeyer

Birdsong Memorial Wetland cleanup
We have taken the responsibility of helping to restore a wetland through the "Adopt-a-Spot" program. We clean up the wetland several times per year and assist the Elizabeth River Project with its planting, weeding, and mulching.

Biology department committee student representatives
The BGSO requests student volunteers to serve on the three Department Advisory Committees: Budget & Operations, Seminar, and Curriculum. These volunteers help ensure that student input is taken into account when making departmental decisions. 

Departmental bulletin boards
We maintain several bulletin boards on the first three floors of MGB. Materials placed on these boards include information about programs at other schools, announcements, and research posters.


Wetland Clean-Up Volunteer Event 


Fall 2017 Oktoberfest 


Fall 2017 Soap Making Party 


Fall 2017 REI Beach Clean-up Volunteer Event 


Fall 2016 Chili Cook Off