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Biology Major Wins Award for Sustainable River Research

Photo of Tyler Seidel in research lab with microscope. Tyler Seidel in USD's biology lab. He won first place for his research at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Tyler Seidel, a University of South Dakota biology major and Native American studies minor, won first place out of 90 undergraduate presenters for his poster presentation at the annual American Indian Science and Engineering Society conference in Denver, Colorado, this fall.

Seidel credited fellow USD students who attended the conference.

“I was not the only student from [USD] to attend this conference,” Seidel said. “Students shared transformative research concepts across disciplines and represented the University of South Dakota very well. I am thankful for the opportunity to be at the same conference as them.”

Seidel’s poster was titled “Effects of fishes on aquatic insects in linked aquatic-terrestrial food webs,” and was co-authored by assistant professor of biology, Jeff Wesner.

“This kind of research involves a lot of tedium to maintain traps, drive to the site every few days, preserve insects, sort thousands of bugs from muck,” said Wesner. “Tyler excelled because he embraced that process...Making those kinds of conceptual links between the bugs on your tray and Figure 2 in paper X are not easy to do, especially for early career students. I was lucky to have Tyler on this project, and because of his work, we will publish his findings in a good journal.”

Seidel competed against presenters in all STEM disciplines, including students from MIT, Brown, and University of California at Berkeley. His research was completed in the summer of 2017 with funding from USD’s National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduate students program: Sustainable RIVER (Remediating InVasives to Encourage Resilience).


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News