Enxhi KotrriThird-year UWindsor student Enxhi Kotrri won an award for top presentation in behaviour, ecology, or evolution at the Canadian Society of Zoologists annual meeting.

Biological sciences undergraduate wins national award for top research presentation

Enxhi Kotrri won the Cas C. Lindsey Prize at the recent Canadian Society of Zoologists annual conference. The Lindsey Prize is awarded by the society for the top presentation in behaviour, ecology, or evolution at its annual meeting. While only a third-year undergraduate in biological sciences, Kotrri impressed judges and bested MSc and PhD students from across Canada.

Her presentation, entitled “Auditory evoked potentials to quantify hearing abilities of Black Bullhead (Ameiurus melas),” reflected original research conducted for her honours thesis project in the lab of her advisor, Dennis Higgs. This work used physiology techniques to assess the response of the bullhead brain to sounds and study the effects of captivity on this response.

Dr. Higgs called Kotrri’s work very impressive for an undergraduate because the physiological techniques are difficult for even a graduate student to learn.

“The fact that Enxhi learned them as a third-year is a clear testament to her research excellence,” he said. “The judges of the Lindsey Prize were stunned to learn she was still an undergraduate but commented on how easy their decision was due to the clarity of her presentation, the quality of her science and the strength of her presentation. They stressed how rare it was for an undergraduate to win this prize as it usually goes to senior graduate students or even those with a recent PhD.”

Kotrri said it was an honour to present to the conference, where she also had the opportunity to meet other scientists and see their exciting research.

“I was ecstatic when I discovered I had been awarded the Lindsey Prize for my presentation, which I know would not have been possible without the continuous support and guidance of my supervisor Dr. Dennis Higgs throughout the year,” she said. “Working on this research project has been an incredibly rewarding experience that has not only allowed me to grow as a research student, but has also instilled in me an immense passion for science research.”

More than 300 people attended the society’s meeting, hosted by Windsor for the first time.

“Enxhi helped show hundreds of people how great the experience in biological sciences at the University of Windsor can be!” said Higgs.