Tag Archives: Forest Science


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Kelsey Carter

Kelsey Carter
Forest Science

I am a fourth year PhD candidate in Forest Science, working with my advisor, Dr. Molly Cavaleri. My research seeks to better understand how tropical plants are impacted by climate warming. Tropical forests cycle more carbon than any other biome, but we lack insight on the mechanisms driving these vital ecosystems. My research will better inform global models and allow us to close critical gaps in our understanding of how tropical forests might shift their carbon balance in response to the warming climate. Throughout my PhD, I have been very fortunate to perform my field work at the first field-scale warming experiment in a tropical rainforest (Tropical Responses to Altered Climate Experiment– TRACE), located in Luquillo, Puerto Rico. In total, I spent eight months living and working in Puerto Rico. Alongside pursuing my PhD, I completed my master’s degree in Applied Ecology at MTU. In addition, I gained teaching experience through Michigan Tech, both as a teaching assistant and instructor for undergraduate courses.

I am very grateful to the graduate school and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me the Finishing Fellowship. This fellowship will provide time for me to complete my degree and focus on publishing my research, which will allow me to be more competitive as apply for jobs in the next stage of my career.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Grace Parikh

Grace L. Parikh
Forest Science

I came to Michigan Tech in 2013 as a student in the Applied Ecology M.S. program with John Vucetich, where I had the privilege of working on the Isle Royale Wolf and Moose Project. The collegiality of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, in addition to the spectacular wilderness of the UP made it an easy decision to continue at MTU for a PhD, using a long-term data set compiled by Chris Webster. I have been working with John Vucetich and Chris Webster, studying winter adaptations of white-tailed deer with a 13-year data set, using a combination of field surveys, quantitative methods, and molecular techniques. I have also had a great deal of teaching experience, ranging from field to lecture-based classes.

I am very grateful for the support of my co-advisors, John Vucetich and Chris Webster. It is an honor to be awarded the Finishing Fellowship, and I look forward to wrapping up my dissertation and taking on new challenges.

 


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2019 Recipient – Stefan Hupperts

Stefan Hupperts
Forest Science

By spanning aboveground and belowground ecology, my research aims to strengthen our knowledge of plant and fungal community responses to disturbance and ultimately contribute toward improved forest management systems. My work will provide critical evidence to support or refute prevailing hypotheses that management systems in Great Lakes forests can be revised to better promote species diversity. Conclusions will also help identify which plant and fungal traits are selected for or against along disturbance gradients to better inform trait databases, future modeling efforts, and forest management.
I’m extremely grateful for the support of my advisor Dr. Yvette Dickinson, the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program, and the MTU Graduate School. Living, exploring, and conducting research in the forests of the Upper Peninsula has been an incredible privilege.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2018 – John “Moose” Henderson

John “Moose” Henderson
Forest Science

I returned to school in 2011 as one of the most senior members of the student body. I completed my master’s at the University of Nebraska and was accepted into the PhD program studying my passion, moose. For most students, completion of the PhD is the start of their career. For me, I had already completed 27 years as a laboratory scientist and moved into a new career doing wildlife photography. While photographing animals in Siberia, I decided I wanted additional education to further my ability to share about animal conservation.
I expect to graduate this spring; the month of May will be a time of receiving my sheepskin and my first Social Security check. I will use my degree in conjunction with my wildlife photography to help educate about the plight of animals, conservation, and the environment through presentations, teaching at nature centers, and books. I plan to head to Yellowstone to work on my fifth book and then back to Russia in 2019 to complete my sixth book.
I am very thankful to the Graduate School and to the donors who made my finishing fellowship possible.

As a self-financed student, the fellowship gave me the funds to complete my degree without working full time.


Spring 2018 Finishing Fellowship Recipients

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the awarding of Finishing Fellowships for doctoral candidates. Fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees.

(listed by nominating department)

Spring 2018 Recipients

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Jeffrey Kiiskila

Biological Sciences
Andrew Chapp

Chemistry
Gemechis Dereje Degaga
Ashok Khanal
Shanshan Hou

Computer Science
Gorkem Asilioglu
Zhaoxiang Jin

Electrical Engineering
Aref Majdara
Husam Sweidan
Chaofeng Wang

Forest Science
John Henderson

Geophysics
Marine Foucher

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Kishan Bellur
Meng Tang
Le Zhao
Xiucheng Zhu
Saeedeh Ziaeefard

Physics

Meghnath Jaishi
Dolendra Karki
Mingxiao Ye


Second Century Stewardship 2018 Research Fellowships

request for proposals was recently announced for the Second Century Stewardship 2018 Research Fellowships. The Second Century Stewardship initiative is a partnership among National Park Service, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Schoodic Institute.
Proposals are due October 23. There will be an informational webinar on September 13 at 1pm eastern. Those interested can register here for the webinar.
The goal of the fellowships is to support early-career researchers (assistant professors, postdocs, grad students, researchers at NGOs, etc.) to do research and communication that help NPS and other organizations adapt and respond to changing human-natural systems. The research must be relevant to Acadia National Park, but can include other areas too.
We encourage proposals from researchers in a wide range of disciplines, including natural and social sciences, and proposals that cross disciplines.
Each proposal may request up to a total of $20,000 for research over 1-2 years. The Second Century Stewardship partners will also provide mentorship, communication training and support, and other types of support for each fellow.
Sincerely,
The Second Century Stewardship Team

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Colin Phifer

Colin Phifer
Forest Science

Colin Phifer2
What does interdisciplinary mean? For Colin Phifer, a PhD student at Michigan Technological University, it has meant working with the wildlife ecologists he is used to as well as learning the methods and terminology of social scientists, hydrologists, soil scientists and engineers all working on the same questions but from different angles. For the past 4 years, Colin has been one of the over 130 members of an international, interdisciplinary team studying the socio-ecological effects of bioenergy development in four countries (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and United States). Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships in International Research and Education program (PIRE), Colin’s research focuses on how land-use change associated with bioenergy development influences native bees, birds and ecosystem services while other PIRE team members examine water, soil, and social and policy impacts. After surveying for both native bees and birds in three of the countries, he is now applying ecosystem service modeling to understand trade-offs with multiple ecosystem services and land-use change.

Colin completed his MSc at the University of Hawaii in conservation biology and his BS from Humboldt State University in California. From bats to birds, plants to pollinators, gibbons to whales, Colin has worked in the US and abroad to conserve biodiversity and provide for human well-being. He wants his work to lead to actionable, impactful science and informed decision-making.

The Finishing Fellowship granted by The Graduate School in spring of 2017 has supported Colin in completing his part of the larger project. When not working, he enjoys cooking, reading a good (science fiction) book, and playing hockey with his son.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipient Chathura Gunasekara

Chathura Gunasekara
PhD Candidate in Computational Science and Engineering Program
School of Forest Resource and Environmental Science

Chathura_Gunasekara_Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before Chathura started his Ph.D., he did his undergraduate degree in University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, majoring in Computational Physics. He has always been interested in interdisciplinary research, where computational techniques are used to solve tough scientific challenges. He discovered his lifelong career in Bioinformatics, when he joined the lab of Dr. Hairong Wei in 2013. His current research is in plant systems biology and bioinformatics, specifically, identifying genetic regulatory networks.

Plants will always be a vital component in every living species including humans. With the increasing human population, there is an increasing necessity to harness the limited resources to produce enough food from crop plants or timber from economical plants. The recent technological advances in genetics, genomics, and ergonomics have made promising discoveries that we can improve the yield but thanks to the advances in computing capabilities in terms of hardware and software. In recent years, the field of biology has transformed from data scarce discipline to a big data discipline and has become increasingly depended on computational approaches. In his research, he focused on several key areas of this computational challenge and developed solutions which were highly successful.

Being an international student, who worked as a research assistant to support his Ph.D. studies, the finishing fellowship awarded to him from the Graduate School will allow him to completely dedicate his final semester to writing his Ph.D. dissertation and prepare publications to share his research findings to the scientific community. Chathura plans the next phase of his career by joining a high impact research laboratory as a post-doctoral researcher.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Summer 2017 Recipients

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the awarding of Finishing Fellowships for doctoral candidates. Fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees.

(listed by nominating department)

Summer 2017 Recipients

Biological Sciences
Haiping Liu
Yiping Mao

Chemical Engineering
Rachel Martin

Computational Science and Engineering
Zilong Hu

Forest Science
Chathura Gunasekara
Colin Phifer

Mathematical Sciences
Bryan Freyberg

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Mohammad Reza Amini
Shuo Wang
Wentao Yao
Le Zhao

Physics
Mohammad Hosain Teimourpour