AAAS and Center for Biology and Society

Expanding research

Photo of Michael Crow with  ASU Students at AAAS 2024

ASU began taking undergraduate researchers to the AAAS Annual Meeting in 1998, where they worked as session aides and presented a talk on “Scientific Literacy” that led to an invited editorial in Science magazine. In 2010, Regents and President’s Professor Jane Maienschein, Director of the Center for Biology and Society, joined President’s Professor and Vice Dean of Barrett the Honors College Margaret Nelson to take cohorts of students to present their research at the meeting. Each year, a dozen or so students are funded to travel to a different meeting location around the US or Canada to participate in the AAAS Annual Meeting. They present their research posters and attend the activities of this vibrant meeting for science and its social connections. In 2012, ASU President Michael Crow became an AAAS Fellow, and hosted a dinner for ASU members. An annual ASU dinner has become a favorite event at the meeting. 

Faculty Advisors

Jane Maienschein
Director, Center for Biology and Society

Georgette Briggs 
Honors Faculty Fellow, Barrett, the Honors College

AAAS Students


AAAS 2024: ASU Student E-posters

AAAS 2024 Meeting Graphic
AAAS 2024 Group Photo

Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate and graduate researchers to present their research to the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.  It is unique opportunity for mentorship, professional development, and highlighting the hard work of our ASU students.

Photo of Rita Dallal at AAAS 2024

Rita Dallal

Differential Gene Expression in Human Brain Cells Treated with Rexinoids
“Representing ASU and Barrett, The Honors College alongside amazing students is an opportunity I am honored to have been a part of. Meeting great individuals and connecting with professionals in the scientific realm allowed me to expand my knowledge on various aspects of science. Overall, the incredible support given by fellow students and ASU faculty made this trip one of my favorite conferences!”
Photo of Olivia Davis at 2024 AAAS

Olivia Davis 

A New Five-Year Review Metric to Evaluate Recovery Under the Endangered Species Act

Honorable Mention in the Science in Society as a Graduate presenter

“Overall, I had an amazing time at AAAS. Going into such a big, interdisciplinary conference, I wasn't sure what to expect, but everyone was kind and welcoming. I really enjoyed walking around the exhibition hall to chat with publishers and have the opportunity to attend a diverse array of talks. This was also my first poster presentation as a graduate student, so I was a bit nervous. However, the ASU team really helped me prepare and make the best poster, and presentation, that I could. It meant a lot to have such a supportive group at the conference too. I also really enjoyed how the conference gave the opportunity for scientists and journalists to interact so much. I love science writing, so getting to meet professionals in both of these fields was really exciting.”

Photo of Mikayla Glancy at AAAS 2024

Mikayla Glancy

Neuroprotective Effects of ACMSD Across Sex in P301S Tauopathy Mouse Model

First Place in Brain & Behavior as an Undergraduate presenter

“Attending the AAAS meeting was an amazing experience both personally and professionally. I was able to hear lectures that interested me, make connections with peers and professionals, and get great practice presenting to an audience. I am very grateful I was able to attend!”

Photo of Jared Johnson at AAAS 2024

Jared Johnson

An Investigation on the Spatial Configurations of Amphibian Conservation in Drylands

“I had a great time representing ASU at AAAS ‘24. My favorite part of the trip was meeting other ASU students with different background in Biology and learning about all the interesting research topics we were each presenting. I also was able to connect with a lot of potential employers and gain valuable presentation experience.”

Photo of Sophia K at AAAS 2024

Sophia Koutsgiannis

Can We Turn Back the Clock on Insecticide Resistance?

First Place Developmental Biology, Genetics, and Immunology as an Undergraduate presenter

"Attending the 2024 AAAS symposium was the most influential step in my scientific journey thus far. It was an honor to be able to present my research among so many other brilliant scientists. The highlight of the conference for me was the opportunity to meet and engage in dialogue with seasoned professionals in academia, as well as making many new friends." 

Photo of Moira MacCatherine at AAAS 2024

Moria MacCatherine

An Assessment Scale and Care Recommendations for Neonatal Opioid
Withdrawal Syndrome

First Place in Medicine and Public Health as an Undergraduate presenter

“I am so grateful to have been a part of the 2024 AAAS Conference. Presenting my research to a panel of judges and a generalized audience challenged me to be descriptive yet concise and confident. I met students and professionals from a vast range of specialties - one of the benefits of attending a general science meeting. It was fascinating to learn about a wide array of topics and contribute my own niche interests to the conversation. I felt a strong community of my Barrett peers, which provided a nice balance of familiarity while still having the freedom to explore the conference sessions I wanted to attend. Traveling to Denver also granted us the opportunity to venture into a new city after conference hours and strengthen these new relationships. Thank you to everyone involved!”

Photo of Naina Misra at 2024 AAAS

Naina Misra

The Effect of Free Food Events on Inclusivity Among University Students

First Place in Science in Society as a Undergraduate presenter

“Attending the AAAS General Meeting was an eye-opening experience for me and the others in my cohort this year, as we attended memorable speaker sessions, networked with companies and national organizations, and cheered each other on at our poster presentations. Presenting our project posters to an interdisciplinary panel of judges and competing on a National stage was the perfect opportunity for me to raise awareness for my mission to encourage and support Free Food Events on college campuses to be more inclusive for students with dietary restrictions. Hearing their feedback, praise, and personal experiences regarding my project galvanized me to reach out to more stakeholders at ASU and even other universities about the data I have collected and solutions I devised. I am confident that I will take the lessons I learned at this conference with me into the future and use it to create an even greater positive impact on my community.”

Photo of Sophia P at AAAS 2024

Sophia Page

Biodiversity’s Impact on Desert Soil Carbon Sequestration: Could Landscaping for Biodiversity Help Climate Change?

“This was my first conference and it was a truly eye-opening experience. Every day presented a new deluge of possibilities and it showed me that I am capable of great things---both in- and out-of-state. But at the end of the day, traveling to Denver made me realize how much I love my home in Phoenix. I will take what I learned home to improve the ways in which I help my community.”

Photo of Jynx Pigart at AAAS 2024

Jynx Pigart

Social Comparison Partially Mediates the Relationship Between Underserved Science Identities and Fear of Negative Evaluation

"This experience was enthralling to see how issues of equity and inclusion in sciences are being approached from both a scientific perspective but also from an institutional side, from publishers to administrators to government agencies like the National Science Foundation. At AAAS, I felt like I saw a side of academia that students don't usually get to see. AAAS made me curious for potential future careers."

Photo of Sri at AAAS 2024

Srivatsan Swaminathan

Vaccines Re-establish Homeostasis in a Mouse Collagen-induced Arthritis Model

Honorable Mention Developmental Biology, Genetics, and Immunology as an Undergraduate presenter

Photo of Orchee Syed at AAAS 2024

Orchee Syed

Pain During Midlife:  A Crossnational  Analysis of Birthyear Cohort Differences

Honorable Mention in Social Sciences as an Undergraduate presenter

“This was my first conference, and I had a really great time! Presenting my research, nerve-wracking though it was, was a rewarding and fulfilling experience. My judges were invested and asked compelling questions, and everyone I travelled with was so friendly and supportive. I enjoyed seeing the other students’ projects as well, and the booths and speakers were very interesting.”

Photo of Cindy Vargas at AAAS 2024

Cindy Vargas 

Incorporating Fisher Metrics in Assessments of Bycatch Reduction Technologies   

First Place in Social Sciences as a Graduate presenter

“I am thankful for having the opportunity to present in the AAAS 2024 meeting in Denver. It was exciting to practice communicating my research to a broader range of scientists and learn about various topics outside of my field of study. One of the benefits of attending a large scientific conference, such as AAAS, is that there are many workshops, talks, and posters you can attend and learn about. There is something for everyone!”

Photo of Bryan Yavari at AAAS 2024

Bryan Yavari

Adaptive Therapy: Leveraging Evolutionary Dynamics For Colorectal Cancer Management

“The AAAS meeting was a rewarding experience, allowing me to meaningfully contribute to the scientific community by presenting my research to experts and peers. I was able to network and learn from other scientists in many different fields, diversifying my knowledge across multiple disciplines. The discussions I had sparked new ideas and collaborations that I am currently working to develop. I am excited to further use the insights that I gained in my research and future endeavors.”


AAAS 2023 Logo

​Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

The 2023 AAAS Annual Meeting featured groundbreaking multi-disciplinary research – research that advances knowledge and responds to the needs of humanity.

2023 AAAS Students

Kayla Burgher Graduate Student First Place - Environment and Ecology

"Attending the AAAS conference in Washington, D.C. was a wonderful experience that opened my mind to different ways of scientific thinking while giving me a platform to present my work and learn about future career opportunities. Many of the sessions I attended discussed science communication and the ethics of conducting science, topics I haven’t had much exposure to in my daily work. Additionally, while attending sessions and wandering around the expo hall, I met many fascinating scientists from many backgrounds and career paths. Not only did I get the opportunity to bounce my research ideas off these scientists, but I also gained insider information on how they built their careers. Finally, I enjoyed presenting my research in the e-poster competition. Through presenting, I practiced communicating my work to a general audience and had the opportunity to answer thoughtful questions from the judges. Ultimately, AAAS opened my eyes to the larger world of science outside of my field and ASU. I am excited to attend again in the future."   

Photo of Kayla Burgher

Carly Busch Graduate Student Honorable Mention - Social Sciences
"Attending AAAS was an amazing experience where I got to hear about national efforts to increase
equity across the sciences.  Participating in the poster competition gave me the opportunity to share
my research and practice describing my project to an audience with a wide variety of interests.
The judges' questions made me think deeply about my project and future directions.  I am so grateful
to have been able to attend the AAAS conference.

Carly Bush Presentation at AAAS

Baylee Edwards

"My experience at AAAS was incredibly educational and very fun. I had opportunities to build connections with folks from a variety of disciplines, and discussing my work with them gave me new insight into my research. I was also able to attend sessions on topics both within and outside of my field, which helped me connect my work to some of my other interests. At the end of the weekend, I left the conference with multiple new ideas and the inspiration I need to bring those ideas to life at ASU." 

Photo of Baylee Edwards

Joseph Hale

"Worry. Hope. Inspiration. Introspection. Such feelings characterize the experience of exhibiting
undergraduate research about a Rubik's Cube at the graduate level in one of science's most prestigious conferences, the 2023 AAAS Annual Meeting. Fortunately, initial fears of inadequacy gradually dissolved into crystalizing confidence as new friendships formed over shared excitement and mutual admiration.  As the conference progressed, thought-provoking presentations prompted contemplation of the patent economy, privacy amidst quantum computing, and proposals for ethical intelligent algorithms. Overall, this academic experience revealed many new opportunities to stretch intellectually and professionally, for which I offer sincere gratitude

Photo of Joseph Hale presenting at AAAS

Cole Nichols

"AAAS 2023 was my first experience at an academic conference. Presenting my research was a
welcome challenge, and I enjoyed learning from other poster presenters. From attending other sessions, I gained new insights for use both in my research and larger academic career.

Photo of Cole Nichols presenting at AAAS


"Empower with evidence" banner

The Center for Biology and Society along with Barrett, The Honors College supported the 2022 AAAS Annual Meeting: Empower With Evidence. 

The AAAS Poster Competition is a virtual experience for the 2022 meeting. The new format makes the online programming and e-poster presentations available to a larger audience.  Visit for further information on AAAS e-posters and deadlines.   

View student abstracts


Due to the unique situation our international scientific community finds ourselves in, AAAS 2021 created an entirely virtual experience for the 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting: Understanding Dynamic Ecosystems with a new format making the online program and e-poster presentations available to a larger audience.

The Center for Biology and Society along with Barrett, The Honors College were excited to support ASU sponsorship of the 2021 AAAS Meeting.  We offered grants to cover e-poster submission and registration fees along with e-poster and presentation guidance for 36 ASU undergrad and graduate students.

View student abstracts


Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

View students


​Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

View students


 The Center for Biology and Society along with Barrett, the Honors College funded 16 undergraduate students to attend and present their research at AAAS this year in Austin, TX. Like past years, ASU research was visible and noticed at the conference. Students presented on a variety of topics ranging from treatment for pancreatic cancer to the history of tuberculosis in Arizona to the effect of the urban heat island on black widow spiders.

The ever-present poster tubes were missing this year as poster presentations had a new style: e-posters.  Each student presented their poster while it was displayed on an 80 inch monitor behind them.  They were judged by a panel of 3 - 5 area experts and had to condense their research into a 3-minute talk. In addition, each student answered questions for 2 - 3 minutes after their presentations.  Both Lexi Darby and Ella Cabrera-Brown received Honorable Mentions for their poster presentations! Lexi received her award in the category of Science and Society while Ella presented her research in the Brain and Behavior category.

AAAS is the largest scientific conference in the world with hundreds of sessions taking place each day. This year, the theme "Advancing Science: Discovery to Application" featured a wide variety of session tracts from which to choose. The 16 undergraduates all marveled at the wide variety of session topics and were able to fill each day with new and interesting research.

For many of the students, this was their first scientific conference. Lydia Mendoza reflected that "the ability to present my research was the most beneficial part of the trip because it forced me to consider how I would communicate with my audience and what I want scientists and the public to take away from my research." Some students are preparing for graduate school and found the conference enlightening.  "I attended multiple talks on science policy, which is what I want to study in graduate school, so it was extremely exciting to learn more about the field and meet the leading experts" commented Dina Ziganshina.

The highlight for the students was attending the annual ASU AAAS dinner where ASU faculty attending the conference gather to have dinner with the students. Center for Biology and Society's Director Jane Maienschein comments that the traditional dinner is a "way for members of the ASU community at different levels to get to know each other." The group enjoyed welcoming remarks from both Dr. Margaret Nelson, Vice Dean of Barrett, the Honors College along with Dr. Setheraman "Panch" Panchanathan, Chief Research & Innovation Officer of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. 

We look forward to the 2019 conference in Washington, DC!

student at aaas

Lydia Mendoza: Photo by Andrea Cottrell

students at aaas

ASU Students at AAAS

aaas dinner



student presenting at aaas

Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. This year, a group of 11 undergraduate researchers traveled to Boston, Massachusetts from February 16th–19th. The conference focused on advancing science through policy and public engagement.

Recent political events rippled throughout the conference this year, as attendants vocalized their support for the value of science in society and evidence based facts. This buzz rose to a roar at the conclusion of Naomi Oreskes’ plenary talk titled, "Should Scientists Serve as Sentinels?, when she implored the hundreds in attendance that, “Facts do not speak for themselves, YOU have to speak for them.”

And so, our students did. Eleven undergraduate students—from microbiologists to public health to science education researchers—each traveled from Tempe to Boston to present posters with the results of their arduous research efforts. Jeremy Adams, Amber Gomez, Carlyn Harris, Lakshmee Malladi, Frea Mehta, Tristan Neal, Hoang Nguyen, Monet Niesluchowski, Raud Razzaghi, Shiv Shah, and Casey Weinstein reflected on their research and conference experience. For most, it was their first time presenting at a major national scientific conference. The students were grateful, stating that the conference was a tremendous opportunity both to present their own findings and to hear about and engage with cutting edge science from other fields. All students agreed about the value of presenting their work to a broad audience and receiving feedback during the poster session.

Amber Gomez presented the winning poster in the Medicine and Public Health category. Carlyn Harris and Shiv Shah each received honorable mentions for their posters.  

On Saturday evening, after the student poster session had concluded, faculty and students joined together for dinner in what has become a wonderful ASU community tradition at AAAS. With the stress and pressure of the poster competition behind them, students engaged faculty in lively dinnertime conversation about everything from science policy to the virtues of a delicious dessert.

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A group of ASU students impressed the judges at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2015.

Funded by the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College, the students travelled to the San Jose Convention Center, in San Jose, CA, from Thursday, February 12, through Monday, February 16, 2015 to participate in the annual AAAS student poster competition.

The group included three CBS graduate students and thirteen undergraduates.

View students

Previous Faculty Advisors

Margaret Nelson
Vice Dean, Barrett, the Honors College
Term: 1998 -2018

Laura Popova
Honors Faculty Fellow, Barrett, the Honors College
Term: 2019-2022


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