FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        Date: April 5, 2002

         Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716

Plant geneticist to deliver keynote address at 2nd annual UIS science research symposium

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Barbara Schaal, professor of biology at Washington University, will present the keynote address at the second annual UIS Science Research Symposium, to be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 26, in room 302 of the Health and Sciences Building on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield. Schaal’s presentation, “Agriculture in the Developing World: Biodiversity of the Tropical Plant Cassava,” is scheduled for 3 p.m. The entire symposium is free and open to the public.

             Schaal’s research projects range from molecular evolution of specific DNA sequences to higher-level systematics and analysis of developmental patterns. Her address will cap a full day of oral and poster presentations on applied or theoretical research by undergraduate and graduate science students and faculty from UIS and other four-year colleges in the area. Awards will be given for best student presentations.

            Increasing student interest in applied research projects, coupled with a significant research output, prompted UIS to host the campus’ first science research symposium in 2001. Goals are to promote interest in science research, learn from invited guests, and encourage scientific dialogue between smaller four-year colleges in central Illinois.

Sponsors at UIS are the Biology and Chemistry programs, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Speakers’ Series Fund. For more information, contact Nada Chang, UIS associate professor of Biology, by phone at (217) 206-7338 or by e-mail at chang.nada@uis.edu.