Natural History Award and Fellowship recipients have done all kinds of exciting research and projects in the past year. Click through the slide show for details about some of the awardees’ recent work.
Shanta Hejmadi (CBS) is studying evolutionary history and extinction risk in raptors. Here, Hejmadi sits with lammergeier, bald eagle, and harpy eagle specimens at Chicago's Field Museum.
Pu Wang (CBS) uses one-celled organisms like tetrahymena (pictured), to study the origin of biological complexity. She collects samples from the coastal area of Ito, Japan.
Laura Peschel is studying the tallgrass prairie ecosystem from South Dakota to Minnesota, investigating whether there is enough genetic variation in prairie patches for them to adapt to climate change. Here she measures the length of a partridge pea's flower.
Megan Kobiela is working to determine how monarch butterflies are affected by increased sodium in their milkweed host plants due to road salt application in the winter. Before we can restore roadside land for pollinator health, we need to understand how they're affected by roadside pollutants.
Rebekah Mohn (CBS) is dissecting the evolution of the North American sundew, a type of carnivorous plant. Pictured is one of her study organisms, Drosera capillaris.
Corrie Nyquist (CFANS) is assessing the longevity of chironomids, or midges, in thermally variable streams in southwestern Iceland.
Monica Watson is studying fungal symbionts of the fall armyworm, to understand how migration affects the fungal pathogens in the insects. Pictured here is a fall armyworm infestation on a sorghum plant.
Sean Keogh (CBS) is surveying the Mississippi River near La Crosse, WI for federally endangered freshwater mussel species, Higgins' eye. Credit: Daguna Consulting.
Annie Hawkinson (CFANS) measuring vegetation for her MS thesis field work in the Minnesota brushlands.
Tom Gable (CFANS) is studying whether beavers buffer moose populations from wolf predation in Voyageurs National Park. Credit: Tom Gable, Voyageurs Wolf Project.
Christina Smith (CBS) studies plant response to water availability and drought in a changing world. Smith, pictured here, is in a crane high above the canopy of the Panama rainforest.
Dakota Rowsey (CBS) is studying island-endemic rodents of Luzon, Philippines. Pictured here is a skull of a species of tweezer-snouted shrew mouse that is only found on a single mountaintop in southern Luzon.
Amy Waananen (CBS) is studying how pollinators mediate the connectivity of fragmented habitats in Kensington, MN. Credit: Julia Brokaw.
Kaitlin Kimmel (CBS) is surveying the DroughtNet Plot at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in East Bethel, MN.
Amanda Gorton is investigating adaptation in a native plant, common ragweed, across three timescales of environmental change: past climate, recent urbanization, and future precipitation. She has collected seeds all the way from Minnesota to Louisana to support her work.
Jamie Mosel (CFANS) is studying forest responses to climate change stressors such as drought in the Chippewa National Forest. Here, plots planted with seedlings are part of an ongoing experiment.
Alex Shepard is studying butterflies as he researches why organisms vary in their abilities to adapt to stressful environments. Shepard is pictured in the field with a butterfly-catching net.
Laura Toro-Gonzalez (CBS) studies symbiotic relationship between fungi and plants. Her field work is focused in Costa Rica's Guanacaste Conservation Area.
2018 Natural History Awards
Evan Whiting – Earth Sciences, CSE
Exploring the responses of lizard communities to rapid climate change 56 million years ago
Advisor: David Fox
Zacky Ezedin – Plant & Microbial Biology, CBS
Tropical plant systematics
Advisor: George Weiblen
Anna Peschel – Conservation Biology, CFANS
Predicting the adaptive capacity of Chamaecrista fasciculata to climate change in the tallgrass prairie
Advisor: Ruth G. Shaw
Christina Marie Smith – Plant and Microbial Biology, CBS
Plant response to water availability and drought in a changing world
Advisor: Jennifer Powers
Jamie Mosel – Natural Resources Science and Management, CFANS
Adaptive silviculture and forest responses to climate change stressors
Advisor: Rebecca Montgomery
Katharine Zlonis – Integrated Biosciences, UMD
Conservation genomics at the southern range margin of a low arctic species: Primula mistassinica (Primulaceae)
Advisor: Briana Gross
Laura Toro-Gonzalez – Plant and Microbial Biology, CBS
The role of ectomycorrhizae and arbuscular mycorrhizae in plant survival and performance in tropical dry forests and their applicability in restoration projects
Advisor: Jennifer S. Powers
Monica Watson – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
Evolution of virulence of fungal entomopathogens as a consequence of migration of lepidopteran hosts
Advisor: Georgiana May & Kathryn Bushley
Pu Wang – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
Investigating the possibility of experimentally evolving multicellular protozoans
Advisor: Michael Travisano
Amy Waananen – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
Towards a mechanistic understanding of how pollinators mediate connectivity of fragmented habitats
Advisor: Dan Cariveau & Diane Larson
Corrie Nyquist – Entomology, CFANS
Assessing chironomid longevity in thermally variable Icelandic streams
Advisor: Leonard Ferrington
Thomas Gable – Conservation Sciences, CFANS
Do beavers buffer moose populations from wolf predation?
Advisor: Joseph Bump
Alexander Shephard – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
Hormesis as a form of phenotypic plasticity enhancing survival to evolutionarily novel stressors: is reduced fecundity a cost?
Advisor: Emilie Snell-Rood
Megan Kobiela – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
Predicting evolutionary responses to anthropogenic change: life history tradeoffs and stress tolerance in monarchs exposed to road salt
Advisor: Emilie Snell-Rood
Zoological Society Fund
Rebekah Mohn – Plant & Microbial Biology, CBS
Dissecting North American sundew (Drosera) evolution
Advisor: Ya Yang
Samuel Weaver – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
Exploring patterns of environmentally mediated gene flow and adaptation along an elevational gradient between two hybridizing species of Plethodontid salamanders
Advisor: Ken Kozak
Charles H. Bell Avian Conservation Fund
Shanta Hejmadi – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
Evolutionary history and extinction risk in raptors (Falconiformes and Accipitriformes): A new framework for integrating phylogeny and community assembly in risk assessment.
Advisor: Keith Barker
2018 Natural History Fellowships
Sean Keogh – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
Graduate recruiting fellowship
Advisor: Andrew Simons
Amanda Gorton – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
Adaptation in ragweed across timescales of environmental change
Advisor: Peter Tiffin
Dakota Rowsey – Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, CBS
The roles of ecological opportunity and incumbency in the macroevolution two island-endemic rodent clades
Advisor: Sharon Jansa