UT Tyler Communications


Daniel Symonds, of Rochester, N.Y., a biology graduate student at The University of Texas at Tyler, received top honors at the 2015 Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society’s annual meeting.

Symonds received the “Best Student Oral Presentation Award” for his presentation titled, “The Effect of Electroshocking on Unionid Mussel Larval Release.”

UT Tyler biology faculty mentors Drs. Neil Ford and Lance Williams served as co-authors. Other student presenters represented Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, UT Austin, Sam Houston State University, University of Houston-Clear Lake and the University of Dallas, among others.

The award recognizes presentation quality and research significance.

“Dan has been an outstanding graduate student,” Ford said. “He has excelled both in class work and in his research, as this award illustrates.”

Last year, Symonds received a top prize at the Raymond Neck Freshwater Mussel Symposium for student presentations.

He will graduate with a master’s degree in May, and he plans to obtain a doctorate degree from Ohio State University.

“Freshwater mussels are the most imperiled group of organisms in North America, and this project is just another small step towards their conservation as a whole,” Symonds said. “The capability of doing side projects like this outside of my normal thesis work has been a highlight of my time here at UT Tyler.”

Symonds is the founder and current president of the UT Tyler Graduate Student Association, and he also coordinates extracurricular activities for the graduate student body within the UT Tyler biology department. Symonds also serves as a UT Tyler Student Government Association senator. He is a past president of Biologists of Tyler Texas.

The UT Tyler Department of Biology offers diverse undergraduate and graduate studies in life sciences for a wide range of career paths, from biology, biotechnology and medical technology to medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and education.

For more information about the department, call 903-566-7402 or visit uttyler.edu/biology/.