Biology grad students carve out time for some Halloween fun

Friday, October 27, 2017

Biology graduate students with their final pumpkin creations.The Biology Graduate Student Association (BGSA) held their first annual pumpkin carving contest yesterday in which graduate students were tasked with designing and carving a Halloween pumpkin in less than an hour.

"We want to make sure that we create positive experiences for our department's graduate students, so we do our best to provide a good variety of social and academic events," says Michael Mansfield, one of three social conveners for the BGSA. "We try to make sure there's something for everyone."

Designs included both biology and Halloween themes and were ranked on creativity, craftsmanship, and completeness by three judges, all members of the BGSA Executive Committee: Eric Le Dreff-Kerwin (Academic Coordinator), Rebecca Co (Department Social Committee Representative), and Maxwell Bui-Marinos (Editor-in-Chief, BGSA Newsletter).

In total 19 students competed in 5 teams for the first and second place titles:

  • "You've been Pumpked!": Kate Sinclair, Heather Ikert, Nathan Bennoit, Ivan Cadonic (members of Prof. Paul Craig’s lab). Pumpkin design: Fish with the dry ice
  • "P-Hackers": Jennifer Aguiar, Briallen Lobb, Maya D'Alessio, Ben Jenkins (members of Profs. Andrew Doxey and Trevor Charles’ labs). Pumpkin design: Phylogenetic tree and microscope
  • "The Pumpguins": Emilie Spasov, Xinda Lu, Angus Hilts, Karsten Rinas (members of Profs. Brendan McConkey and Josh Neufeld’s labs). Pumpkin design: Jimi Hendrix (Face pumpkin with hair & sunglasses with bat-ass tattoos)
  • "All HALL-ows' Eve": Wynona Klemt, Mitch Kay, Stephanie Slowinski (members of Prof. Rolland Hall’s lab). Pumpkin design: The Great Lakes
  • "Pumpkin 'Power'": Mackenzie Martyniuk, Audrey Dean, Ingeborg Mulder, Jacob Burbank (members of Prof. Michael Power’s lab). Pumpkin design: Spooky Arctic Char (skeleton fish)

In the end, "You've been Pumpked!" won with their “Fish with dry ice” design, which included dry ice vapour coming out of the fish’s mouth. They received a $30 gift certificate for the Graduate House pub on campus. "P-Hackers" with their "Phylogenetic tree and microscope" design and "The Pumpguins" with their "Jimi Hendrix" pumpkin tied for second place. They each received a $10 Grad House gift certificate.

The pumpkins will be on display this weekend in the Fish Room at the annual Science Open House tomorrow from 10 am to 4 pm.