Alcorn Students present at annual Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology Meeting

Lydia Batey and Anna Kazarina, undergraduate students majoring in agriculture in the Department of Agriculture, presented their research at the annual Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology meeting, July 30 – August 3, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado.

Batey presented her work titled, “Bioprocess Optimization in Leading Cellulosic Feedstocks Miscanthus and Corn Stover for Bioethanol Production.” The research was in conjunction with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) funded research on biofuel production. Kazarina presented her research on ‘Carotenoid Value Addition of Corn Syrup Using Red Yeast Fermentation.”

The meeting was attended by over 2,000 people from throughout the world. The students stated they had a great opportunity to interact with fellow researchers from different areas of applied microbiology research.

“This is my first experience of such a high-level of science and research exhibition. I got an invaluable experience and inspiration for future work,” Kazarina says. “It was my first experience of public speaking and I am very glad that SIMB gave me such an opportunity. It was nice to talk to people who truly understood me and who shared my passions and goals.”

Batey also gave a testimony of the meeting. She spoke about the excitement and electricity in the air as hundreds of budding professionals competed for national recognition, prizes and bragging rights.

“The meeting began on Sunday afternoon with a science slam,” Batey says. “It was a time warp of continuous brief descriptions of numerous research projects in various topics in scientific areas. Each person was given a number and instructed to walk to the podium, give their piece in a matter of 60 seconds and be off the stage by the end of their timed slide. There were over 50 presenters with the same fire to get their point across!”

The meeting also featured symposiums, lectures, networking opportunities, and a poster competition.

“The posters were based on the presenters’ area of research and were placed on boards as the presenters stood next to them to explain, or clarify any questions from a passerby or judge,” Batey says. “All presenters held anxiously at the thought of their name being called on the night of awards.”

Dr. Ananda Nanjundaswamy, assistant professor, Department of Agriculture accompanied the students to the meeting. The students stated they learned a lot and had an amazing professional experience.

For more information on the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, visit or on SIMB, visit