Tester Memorial Symposium

48th Annual Albert L. Tester Memorial Symposium

April 10-13, 2024

The 2024 Tester Symposium Logo. Original artwork by Kai Smart.

The 48th Annual Albert L. Tester Memorial Symposium will be held April 10-12, 2024 in the Information Technology Center Room 105. The three-day event will include student presentations, a poster session, and a subsequent soirée. Oral presentations will consist of either 5-minute rapid-fire talks or full-length 12-minute presentations. There will also be a poster session held on the afternoon of Thursday April 11th at the MSB and HIG open areas (first floor lanai and courtyard).

This year’s theme, Two-Eyed Seeing, originally discussed by Mi’kmaw elder Dr. Albert Marshall, focuses on seeing through one eye with a Western science lens and through the other with an indigenous science lens. Traditional knowledge and reciprocity with nature are woven into the framework through the indigenous lens, while the Western lens brings scientific rigor through controlled experiments. Through a two-way stream of knowledge comes the promotion of stronger relationships between and amongst researchers, the community, and ‘āina.

We are very excited to announce Dr. Noelani Puniwai as our keynote speaker for the 48th annual Albert L. Tester Memorial Symposium. Dr. Puniwai is a multidisciplinary researcher interested in coastal ecosystems, cultural geography, knowledge co-production, and seascapes, with a passion for “cultivating the next generation of students to mālama ʻāina.” 

Abstract Submissions Are Now Closed!

Abstracts are currently under review. We will email presenters with the accepted presentation types and the day-of schedule soon. Please contact us (testerms@hawaii.edu) if you have any questions about submission. 

This year’s Tester Symposium will have the following participation styles: 

– 5-minute rapid-fire presentation (proposal, research, outreach)

– 12-minute oral presentation (proposal, research)

– Poster presentation (proposal, research, outreach) on Thursday, April 11 at 4pm-6pm

The Best Paper/Presentation Award, which can only be awarded to graduate students doing 15-minute oral presentations, comes with a $1,000 prize and the responsibility of organizing next year’s symposium. 

This year’s events

Full Program


Talks: all student talks are scheduled to take place April 10 to April 12 at the Information Technology Center Room 105. A schedule will be sent out to presenters soon!

Wednesday April 10th 

Keynote Speaker lunch with Dr. Noelani Puniwai (lunch provided)

Thursday April 11th 

Workshop – Connecting Research and Conservation Management in Hawaiʻi (lunch provided)

Poster Session: emails have been sent to some of the students whose posters have been accepted (Subject Line: TESTER SYMPOSIUM UPDATE). The rest of the poster presenters will receive email confirmations soon.

The poster session will take place on Thursday, April 11 2024 from 4pm to 6pm, at the Marine Science Building courtyard. Poster presenters please drop off your posters at the Information Technology Center (Room 105) by 12:00 PM on April 11th. More details for the event will be given closer to the date. See below for formatting and design considerations. 

A Note on Poster Printing: UROP is providing free printing for the first 25 undergraduate students who order posters (email us for instructions). We recommend all posters be in landscape orientation with dimensions of 63 inches long by 43 inches high. 

Friday April 12th 

Lunchtime Trivia! (lunch provided)

Saturday April 13th

Volunteer Workday – Paepae O He’eia (lunch provided)

Awards Banquet – Waikiki Aquarium (dinner provided)

2024 Tester Memorial Symposium Logo and Merch Sales

Designed by the skilled tattoo artist Kai Smart, this year’s logo beautifully captures the theme of ‘Two Eyed Seeing’. Central to this theme is the concept of a two-way exchange between knowledge systems, transcending disciplinary boundaries and challenging the confines of a singular colonialist worldview. Illustrated by two eyes with intertwining streams, the logo embodies the essence of this year’s message: when we integrate Western science with one eye and traditional ecological knowledge with the other, our vision becomes clear.

The logo’s border showcases a small sample of the diverse array of elements and species that our student body passionately studies. From the minutest molecules to the ocean’s behemoths, our research spans a vast spectrum. And much like our overarching theme, when we amalgamate this diverse research, we can weave intricate narratives that deepen our comprehension of the world and inform strategies for its conservation.

On land, our studies delve into a myriad of fascinating creatures, including the remarkably adapted blind cave crickets, the elusive honeycreepers, and the uniquely diverse land snails indigenous to Hawaiʻi. Our attention also extends to the vital plant life that sustains numerous species, from the delicate Hawaiian poppies and culturally significant taro to the enchanting ʻOhiʻa lehua and the diverse limu thriving beneath the waves. In the ocean, our research encompasses majestic humpback whales, iconic monk seals, and the ecologically vital uhu. Collectively these diverse species form intricate systems which we strive to comprehend more deeply through our research.

You can see more of Kaiʻs work on her Instagram via @ladymisskai.
You can buy merch with this amazing logo here.

Commitment to a Safe, Inclusive, and Accessible Event 

The 48th Annual Albert L. Tester Memorial Symposium is committed to organizing and hosting a safe, inclusive, and accessible research symposium on the UH Manoa Campus. It is our goal that every person who participates in the symposium and related events feels supported and free from any harassment or discrimination. To that end, everyone who participates in the Tester Symposium, in person and virtually, is expected to conform to the Code of Conduct included below. The link below also has instructions for reporting an incident if needed. 

Additionally, we are committed to making this event as accessible as possible. The symposium will be held in-person on the first floor of the  Information Technology Center, which is wheelchair/scooter accessible with accessible restrooms, and virtually via Zoom.

Code of Conduct

Registered attendees: You are subjected to our Code of Conduct if you are participating in person or in zoom. Read our Code of Conduct before joining the symposium.

Want to submit a concern pertaining to the Code of Conduct?  

You can submit a concern to the School of Life Sciences using this reporting form.

Other important resources:

History of Tester Memorial Symposium

The Albert L. Tester Memorial Symposium is held in honor of Professor Albert Tester who, at the time of his death in 1974, was Senior Professor of Zoology at the University of Hawaii. The faculty and students of the Department of Zoology proposed an annual symposium of student research papers as a means of honoring and continuing Dr. Tester’s lively encouragement of student research in a broad range of fields within biology. Today the Tester Memorial Symposium welcomes research from any scientific field.

Oral presentations and posters reporting original research on any aspect of science are solicited from students at the University to be presented at the Symposium each spring semester. Income from contributions to the Albert L. Tester Memorial Fund of the University of Hawaii Foundation is used to provide prizes for the three papers (15-minute talks), judged on quality, originality, and importance of research reported, as well as the quality of the public presentation. Judges include faculty members and the previous year’s student award winners. In addition, distinguished scholars are invited to participate in the Symposium and to present keynote addresses.

Past events here.