EEB graduate news
Records 61 to 70 of 84
Cheng selected for Graham Fellowship
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
EEB graduate student Susan Cheng was awarded a two-year Graham Doctoral Sustainability Fellowship for 2012 for her proposal, "Can forest carbon sequestration be sustained under climate change? Coupling atmospheric and ecological sciences to inform forest management."
The project is based at the U-M Biological Station investigating how forest carbon uptake will change as forest communities and atmospheric conditions shift under changing climate. “I will be using NASA's remotely-sensed atmospheric data, UMBS ecosystem-level measurements, and field-collected tree cores to study how light and water limitations influence forest carbon uptake.”
“As a fellow, I'm also hoping to organize a workshop that will bring Michigan foresters, Graham Fellows, and natural and social scientists together to discuss reciprocal needs, transfer knowledge, and inform future forest management.”
Cheng will receive up to $50,000 over two years. Cheng is working with Professor Knute Nadelhoffer, director of UMBS, collaborators from The Ohio State University, and Professor Allison Steiner from U-M's Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Science.
The Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute is a collaborative partnership of schools, colleges and units across U-M. The institute fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration to create and disseminate knowledge and to offer solutions related to complex sustainability issues. On a broader scale, the Graham Doctoral Fellowship Program helps to create a community of scholars, wherein the fellows can collaborate, engage, and interact during their doctoral studies and into the future. During the fellows' time on campus, academic associations are cultivated through monthly seminars, annual retreats, workshops, and other Graham-sponsored forums.
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Crumsey selected for Capitol Hill 2012 Climate Science Day
Monday, December 19, 2011
EEB graduate student Jasmine Crumsey has been selected by the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) to participate in exclusive training and meetings with legislators for Climate Science Day on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.
Crumsey, who researches at the U-M Biological Station is one of only eight scientists chosen nationally for the NEON training and meetings, which begin Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. NEON evaluated applicants based on their ability “to effectively communicate the impacts of large-scale environmental changes on natural resources and the complex interactions between climate and ecosystems.”
Climate Science Day brings multidisciplinary teams from nine scientific societies and organizations (NEON among them) to the Capitol to meet with lawmakers of all ranks and political persuasions. Approximately 50 scientists will take part in Climate Science Day. The goal is to expose legislators to accurate science from a variety of experts in order to inform and improve their climate policy decisions.
In her application, Crumsey wrote, “Communicating the impacts of large-scale environmental changes on natural resources and complex interactions within ecosystems is relevant to my training as an ecologist, and my intent to remain active in science policy throughout my professional career.” She and her cohort of early career scientists will receive an intensive day of training on Tuesday, Jan. 31 prior to Climate Science Day.
At UMBS, Crumsey is studying how earthworm species interactions affect carbon storage in forests. She received a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant in spring 2011.
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Middlemis Maher’s FIRST IV postdoc
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Recent EEB graduate Dr. Jess Middlemis Maher began a postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University in October 2011 doing biology education research.
She is working in Dr. Diane Ebert-May's lab in the Plant Biology Department at MSU. “Research in Ebert-May's lab links the concepts and processes of biology to theories in cognitive science, with emphasis on how students construct their understanding of biology,” Middlemis Maher said. “Specifically, I am working on the national FIRST IV project, a model that uses professional development in 200 postdocs to reform undergraduate biology teaching practices. Postdocs in the program are trained in the development of learner-centered, inquiry-based pedagogies, and we evaluate the change in teaching approaches and the outcomes for student learning and tenure promotion.”
FIRST IV (Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching) for Postdoctoral Fellows is funded by the National Science Foundation and associated with five regional field station networks throughout the United States.
UMBS/Frontiers master’s student symposium
Thursday, September 01, 2011
They spent the summer researching at the U-M Biological Station and then on the evening of August 17, 2011, the incoming Frontiers master’s student cohort presented their results.
"It was a fantastic symposium,” said Professor Mark Hunter, director of the Frontiers Program. “Our Frontiers students spoke on a diversity of topics in evolution and ecology to a broad audience of UMBS faculty, staff and students. It was fascinating to hear the results of a busy summer of research."
The new Frontiers students are: Marcella Baiz (Grand Valley State University), Alexandria Moore (University of Michigan), Beatriz Otero-Jimenez (University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras), and Lillian Smith (Oakwood University).
Baiz, whose research interests are behavioral ecology, phylogenetics, and biogeography, studied optimal foraging behavior in antlions. She tested models designed to describe how antlions should handle variation in diet quality.
Moore, who is interested in conservation ecology and biodiversity, demonstrated that insect herbivores can impose fitness costs on their hosts. Specifically, milkweed insects can cause reductions in fruit set in milkweed plants.
Otero Jimenez’s research interests include ecosystem ecology, biodiversity and agriculture and she managed to establish a link between plant and animal succession. Changes in vegetation at UMBS are driving change in insect communities.
Smith, whose research interests are plant ecology, tropical ecology and biodiversity, spent the summer trying to establish if pitcher plants change color to balance their needs for carbon and nitrogen.
Pictured left to right: Lillian Smith, Beatriz Otero Jimenez, Alex Moore, Marcella Baiz.
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Izzo lands a honey of a postdoc
Monday, August 29, 2011
Recent EEB Ph.D. graduate, Amanda Izzo, is heading to the University of California, Davis for a postdoctoral fellowship beginning September 2011. Dr. Izzo will be working with Dr. Brian Johnson in the Department of Entomology, working on sociogenomics, which is the functional genomics of honeybees.
Fun in the sun at BioKIDS field trip
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Detroit sixth-graders explored the Environmental Study Area at U-M Dearborn at a BioKIDS field trip hosted by Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and BioKIDS for the second year in a row.
The trip is an extension of a BioKIDS Science Convention, hosted each year by U-M and modeled on a professional scientific meeting, where kids are the experts presenting posters on organisms they’ve studied to professors, graduate students, and others. In 2010, the scientists were impressed with the depth of the students' knowledge but were bothered that many of the students had never actually seen the animals they were describing. Thus, the idea for the field day was hatched.
Primarily EEB graduate students and several others, including teachers and parents, were field trip leaders for 85 students from Detroit's Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies School and O.W. Holmes Elementary-Middle School.
In the morning, they walked the trails and stopped at stations for bird watching, catching insects with nets, and to view aquatic animals collected from a pond. An indoor station featured a variety of skulls and skins from the Museum of Zoology's teaching collection. After lunch, the students spent an hour removing invasive weeds (garlic mustard) from the study area.
Special thanks to George Hammond, research program officer, Animal Diversity Web, who organized the trip; science teachers Connie Atkisson (O.W. Holmes), LeAnne Peebles (F.L.I.C.S.) and the EEB field trip leaders Ray Barbehenn, associate research scientist; postdoctoral fellows Ai Wen, Kenneth Elgersma; graduate students Dave Allen, Susan Cheng, Serge Farinas, Sahar Haghighat, Hyunmin Han, John Marino, Rob Massatti, Leslie McGinnis, Semoya Philips, Iman Sylvain, Rachel Vannette. The School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Program in the Environment also provided field leaders.
Funding was provided by a National Science Foundation grant called “DeepThink: Thinking Deeply about Biodiversity and Ecology.” Special thanks to Professor Nancy Songer, School of Education, principal investigator, and Professor Phil Myers, EEB, and curator, Museum of Zoology, co-PI.
BioKIDS is a U-M School of Education and Museum of Zoology program that uses technology and hands-on-learning methods to help middle school students ask questions the way scientists do. Several thousand Detroit Public School students have participated in the BioKIDS program, charting wildlife in their own school yards and preparing reports on local ecosystems, such as the Detroit River.
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Allen, David; Barbehenn, Raymond; Cheng, Susan; Elgersma, Kenneth; Farinas, Serge; Haghighat, Sahar; Han, Hyunmin; Marino, John; Massatti, Rob; McGinnis, Leslie; Myers, Philip; Phillips, Semoya; Sylvain, Iman; Vannette, Rachel; Wen, Ai
Bakewell consults at U-M CRLT
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Recent Ph.D. graduate Meg Bakewell is an instructional consultant at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) at U-M. She consults with university faculty, especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, regarding the use of technology in teaching, among other responsibilities. Bakewell worked part-time at CRLT as a graduate teaching consultant since 2009 and was excited to join them full-time in late May 2011.
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Bebej to teach at Olivet
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Recent Ph.D. graduate Ryan Bebej will be an assistant professor of biological sciences at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. this fall. He'll teach introductory biology, anatomy, physiology, and advanced zoology courses.
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Peace Corps volunteer
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Incoming graduate student Katherine Crocker recently spent 20 months as a sustainable agriculture Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, Africa. Her main role was to distribute improved seeds to local farmers in efforts to increase their food security and crop yields while improving the nutritive value of their food. She also worked with farmers on more effective and environmentally friendly farming techniques.
Her secondary projects focused on education. “I taught mothers how to make a more nutritious and digestible porridge for their babies, and helped paint three world maps on schools in the area,” she said. She worked as a translator for Right to Sight, an American organization of eye surgeons who travel to developing countries to perform affordable eye surgeries for locals while teaching the techniques to surgeons in the area.
During her freshman year at Cornell University, she attended a Peace Corps information session and knew from then that this was something she wanted to do. “It just became part of the plan.”
Being in the Peace Corps was an incredible growing experience, she said. “I learned a lot about myself and the U.S. culture, as well as learning a lot of near-universal things about people and the new culture in which I lived. It is the hardest thing I've ever done, but one of the most rewarding. It's an eye-opener about policy, too. Once you see the problems that we only read about here, and once you participate in the initiatives that seem like such wonderful ideas in the newspaper, you realize that development and aid work is much more complicated than it's made out to be, and that we can't just pursue ideas that make us feel better if we really want to see any sort of sustainable improvement."
Crocker’s favorite part of the whole experience “was probably getting to know and love the family she lived with, and seeing how generously they accepted me into the family.”
She is happy to discuss development work, email email@example.com.
Image: Crocker fords a small river with her Peace Corps-issue mountain bike, which was her primary transportation during her service.
Huang awarded Tinkle Scholarship
Thursday, June 30, 2011
EEB graduate student Huateng Huang will receive the Donald W. Tinkle Scholarship from U-M Museum of Zoology. This $5,000 award is a special recognition of her research excellence. Huang’s research investigates the underlying genetic mechanism of speciation.
“Investigating the genetic divergence of neutral loci among species gives many insights about how species diverged from each other and the evolutionary driving forces behind it,” she said. “However, gene trees constructed from different loci often have different patterns, especially in recently diverged species. Variations between loci on a genome and between individuals in a population need to be considered to obtain a reliable estimation of species history. How to bridge the traditional population genetic approach with the approaches of molecular phylogeny is a field that requires further investigation. My research mainly involves testing how two stochastic processes -- mutation and lineage sorting -- affect our ability to recoverthe history of closely related species with both simulated and empirical data."
The scholarship was endowed by the family and friends of Tinkle, former curator of herpetology and director of the Museum of Zoology.
Records 61 to 70 of 84