ESSM student wins best presentation award at the 2016 Texas SER conference

ESSM undergraduate student, Lela Culpepper, took home the Best Undergraduate Student Presentation Award at the 2016 annual conference of the Texas Chapter of Society for Ecological Restoration. Lela’s presentation, “Variation in pollinator abundance and behavior during the flowering season of a federally threatened thistle Cirsium pitcheri (Pitcher’s thistle): Implications for a warming future,” highlighted the research she conducted during her summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Michigan.

“I had the privilege to attend and orally present my research at the Texas SER annual conference, and am honored by the Best Undergraduate Student Presentation award,” Lela said, “but honestly, the best part was meeting and interacting with people who were passionate about their research.”

Txser Lelaculpepper

Lela is working toward a double major in ecological restoration and forestry, with a minor in spatial sciences. Besides her summer REU, Lela has taken advantage of opportunities to participate in research projects with professors on campus. She is currently an undergraduate research scholar in the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Ecological Systems Laboratory.

The Texas Chapter of Society for Ecological Restoration held their 2016 annual conference in early November in Livingston, Texas.

For more information about Texas SER, see

For more information about or to join the Texas SER TAMU student chapter, please email Carolyn Swize, chapter president, at or Judith Turlington, chapter advisor, at