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view of beach and Gulf of Mexico

SNRE graduate student wins ecological Best Talk award

Kwan Kim, an Interdisciplinary Ecology graduate student in the UF/IFAS School of Natural Resources and Environment, won the Best Student Talk Award from the Ecological Society of America (ESA). The competition was held in August during the ESA’s virtual annual meeting. Kim won in the Aquatic Ecology Section.

image of oyster cluster

An image of Kwan Kim’s 3D oyster cluster. (photo provided)

The title of his talk was “Do species preferences for 3D interstitial space characteristics drive community composition? An example from oyster clusters.”

“This was the first virtual ESA meeting and I think the moving 3D images is presented really stood out during my presentation,” Kim said.

“This project located more than 1,600 macroinvertebrate species that are using oyster clusters. I then conducted 3D image analyses on each of those spaces that had those species,” he added.

man crouching by oyster clusters along shore

Kwan Kim inspects oyster clusters. (photo provided)

Kim said it took a lot of work and he thanked the more than a dozen volunteers who aided him. Those included UF undergraduates and high school students.

He researches how structural complexities affect species composition. His doctoral program advisor is Dr. Peter Frederick in the UF/IFAS Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department.