Graduate Symposium 2022: Call for Abstracts

The symposium will offer interdisciplinary plenary lectures, invited talks and parallel oral/poster presentations during concurrent sessions on specialized topics under the sub-themes

Interested graduate students are invited to submit abstracts under the sub-themes using the Abstract submission link under any of the Sub-Themes 1-5 by June 30, 2022. Abstracts may be submitted for oral or poster presentation

Students will have the option to participate in a novel and exciting 5M (5-minute) Thesis Competition in a creative and engaging way. Graduate students are encouraged to begin planning their abstracts submissions now.

Abstracts will be submitted to


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The symposium will allow Graduate Students of the University of Guyana (UG) in various fields and disciplines to communicate and exchange their innovative research, with the view to building knowledge, facilitating learning, fostering public awareness, and informing societal action in various fields of study. The central theme “Innovative Research on Sustainable Development in a Resource Abundant Economy" underscores the importance of scientific investigations to the processes and procedures required to attain sustainable development - a widely recognized goal for human society of the 21st century, given its focus on three interconnected pillars: ecological, social and economic sustainability, together with good governance and effective institutions.

The symposium will offer interdisciplinary plenary lectures, invited talks and parallel oral/poster presentations during concurrent sessions on specialized topics under the following sub-themes:

1. Food Production and Food Security

2. Environmental management, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

3. Public Health and Equitable Human Development

4. Migration, Violence, Suicide, Poverty and Resilience

5. Education for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century

Interested Graduate Students are invited to submit abstracts under the sub-themes listed above by June 30, 2022. Abstracts may be submitted for oral or poster presentation and, students have the option to participate in a novel and exciting 5M (5-minute) Thesis Competition.

Abstracts for both the main symposium and 5M Competition must be submitted using the Abstract Submission Form, which is appended to this call. Students who wish to participate in the 5M Competition can indicate this by checking the relevant box. All students should seek guidance from their research supervisors on the preparation of their abstracts.

It is recommended that abstracts be completed in a separate Word document following the guidelines below, then copied and pasted into the Submission Form. Completed forms should be emailed to the Symposium Committee at, on or before June 30, 2022.

Abstracts must be typed to fit on a single sheet of A4/letter size paper using Calibri or Times New Roman in Microsoft Word 2007 as a minimum. The title should be in 12-point font and everything else in 11-point font. Typing should be fully justified, with 3.5 cm (one-inch) margins at the top and at each side; a minimum of 2.5 cm (one inch) must be left at the bottom of the page. The entire abstract, including title, name of author (s), affiliation(s), text and acknowledgements should be typed within these limits.

The abstract title should be centered and typed in bold, ‘title style’ in Calibri or Times New Roman (12-point font). On the next line, the author(s) name(s), (lower case 11-point font, in BOLD) should be written as first name, middle initial(s) followed by family name(s). Author(s) name(s) must be centered and separated by semicolons, underlining the name of the person who will present the paper. On the next line (i.e., no extra line spaces) the institution(s) of the author(s) must be typed in italics (NOT in BOLD) and centered. When authors originate from different institutions, the authors and the institutions should be numbered using superscripts to the top right of the names and the top left of the institutions. Following this, the email address of at least one presenter should be included.

The body of the abstract (without any subheadings) should start with two-line spaces below the institutional identification and should not exceed 300 words. The text should be typed using one and a half line spacing, with an extra space separating the paragraph. Paragraphs should not be indented. Abstracts should include:

1. Introduction/Purpose/Aim
Include a brief statement about the rationale for the study, as well as the overall aim/research question/primary objective.

2. Methods
Briefly describe the design of the study and how it was conducted, indicating study population, sampling, procedures, measurements.

3. Results
Present the main findings, with an indication of variability (e.g., SD) and precision of comparisons (e.g., 95% confidence intervals) where appropriate.

4. Conclusion
State the “take-home” messages as clearly and as specifically as possible.

5. Keywords (4-5)
List 4 - 5 keywords/phrases that represent the main subject(s)/theme(s) of the research.​​​​​​​

Vermicomposting of different organic materials using the epigeic earthworm Eisenia

 Yvonne Indrani Ramnarain1, Abdullah Adil Ansari2* and Lydia Ori3

Department of Agricultural Research, Marketing and Processing,
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Paramaribo, Suriname
University of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana
Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname
Email of corresponding author:


Purpose: The present research was conducted with the objective of exploring the vermicomposting process, which involves different stages such as building of a vermicompost station; import of a compost earthworm (Eisenia foetida); and production of vermicompost using dry grass clippings, rice straw and cow manure. The vermicompost produced can be of significant value to the end users like farmers for replacement of chemical fertilizers and procuring better prices for the organic produce using such composting material locally available at much lower cost.

Methods: Vermicomposting was done using Eisenia foetida with three treatments [T1 (Rice straw), T2 (Rice straw + grass) and T3 (Grass)]. Temperature, humidity and pH were measured during the process. The population of earthworms, the production of vermicompost, and the chemical and microbial characteristics of the vermicompost were recorded after sixty (60) days and hundred twenty (120) days. The data were analyzed statistically using Sigma Plot 12.0.

Results: Results indicated that for all the three treatments the temperature was in the range of 0–35 °C, the humidity was between 80 and 100% and the pH fluctuated in the range of 5.5–7.0 and stabilized to near neutral on the 60th day. The combination of rice straw and grass had the highest rate of vermicompost production of 105 kg/m2 followed by grass and rice straw with 102.5 kg/m2 and 87 kg/m2, respectively, at the end of 120 days.

Conclusion: ​​​​​​​The harvested vermicompost had an excellent nutrient status, confirmed by the chemical analyses, and contained all the essential macro- and micronutrients

Keywords: Eisenia foetida · Dry grass clippings · Rice straw · Cow manure · Vermicompost


An interpretative phenomenological analysis of stress and coping in

first year undergraduates
Andrew Denovan and Ann Macaskill

Teesside University, Middlesbrough, TS1 3BA, UK.
Email of corresponding author:


In the UK, changes to the higher education system have increased the range of stressors experienced by students above those traditionally associated with the transition to university. Despite this, there is little qualitative research examining how students experience and cope with the adjustment to university. The experience of the transition was investigated in depth amongst 10 first year UK undergraduates. Purposive sampling resulted in a group with demographics similar to national statistics on UK undergraduates. Semi‐structured interviews were used beginning with a content specific vignette to develop rapport. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was utilised to analyse the transcripts and quality checks were implemented to increase the validity of the analysis. Five main themes were identified: all the change, with subthemes of independent living, homesickness, differences between post‐compulsory education and university; expectations of university; academic focus with subthemes of self‐discipline, motivation, learning from experience; support network with subthemes of establishing a support network, support for coping with problems; and difficulties with subthemes of difficulties experienced with housemates, finances and employment, and academic difficulties. Students used a range of coping strategies. By identifying the role of positive psychological strengths such as optimism, hope, self‐efficacy and self‐control in coping with stress and facilitating positive adaptation, the study locates positive psychological strengths within a transactional understanding of stress and provides depth and relevance to their role in facilitating adjustment. Such qualitative research is rare in the positive psychology and stress literature. Suggestions for easing the transition are made.

Keywords: Student Adjustment to University · Coping Strategies · Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis