Announcing the 2023 SNRE Nadeau Graduate Research Award winners

The School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Nadeau Graduate Research Award, which supports graduate students pursuing their master’s or doctoral degrees in Interdisciplinary Ecology. The Robin E. Nadeau Fund was established to promote research and education in SNRE, and the annual award highlights the unique interdisciplinary studies happening across the school.

SNRE graduate students can apply for the Nadeau grant to support research activities such as travel to internationally recognized institutions to learn new techniques; participation in scientific meetings related to their research; presenting research at national and international meetings; and conducting research in the field. The next application cycle will open in spring 2024.

The recipients of the 2023 Nadeau Award are:

Vanessa LunaVanessa Luna-Celino

Vanessa Luna is a Peruvian biologist interested on promoting effective environmental governance in tropical regions. Her research focuses on community-based fire management in the Peruvian Andes. In this region, fire is an important agricultural tool in local communities and the most affordable way to open farmlands and control undesirable vegetation and pests. However, as in many other tropical countries, agricultural burns are prohibited and are a significant problem when not properly controlled.

The Robin E. Nadeau Award will support Vanessa in the final stage of the data collection for her dissertation, which involves completing the data collection for one of her chapters, and organizing two multi-stakeholder workshops for the dissemination and validation of research results.

“The long-term goal of my research is to (potentially) develop strategies for incorporating local fire knowledge into regional and national fire management policies,” Vanessa said. “Overall, my main goal as a doctoral student is to promote the bridge between research and action through science communication and spaces of social learning on effective fire-related practices and policies.”

Savannah TroySavannah Troy

Savannah is interested in understanding how southern African bird communities in savanna habitats are threatened by multiple forms of habitat degradation involving shrub encroachment and edge effects from industrial agriculture. She is also studying the role of the bird community in contributing to broader savanna ecosystem function through regulating insect-caused leaf damage to plants. Her work is based in the Lowveld acacia savannas of Eswatini, and the Nadeau research grant will contribute to her field expedition there this coming fall.

“With this study, I will conduct an experiment that excludes birds from foraging on selected woody plants in protected savanna habitats,” Savannah said. “I hope to understand if the absence of insectivorous bird foraging pressure changes the impact insects have on plant damage. I will conduct this experiment across a gradient of habitat degradation to better understand the trophic relationships between birds, insects, and plants in the context of pressing conservation issues for that system.”

Natalia Uribe CastanedaNatalia Uribe-Castañeda

Natalia Uribe-Castañeda is a Colombian Fulbright Scholarship recipient with a background in marine management and 12 years of experience working with coastal communities. Her research is focused on community engagement in coral reef restoration.

“I am identifying strategies that motivate communities to support the restoration of coral reefs and the barriers that could hinder their participation,” Natalia said.

To do so, she is assessing three community-based coral reef restoration programs. These programs are Corales de Paz in Colombia, Fragments of Hope in Belize, and Iconic Reef Guardians in Florida, USA. She has already conducted the first round of data collection in Colombia and Belize. The Robin E. Nadeau Fund will provide travel support to complete the last study case data collection by assessing the Iconic Reef Guardians program in the Florida Keys.

Hannah Gottesman (not pictured)

Hannah is a doctoral student broadly interested in movement ecology of fishes and fisheries sustainability. Her research focuses on the spatial ecology and population connectivity of gag grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis) to help better understand their resilience. As a Cornell University undergraduate, Hannah used passive acoustic telemetry to investigate the temperature-dependent migration of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) in collaboration with the Applied Ecology Lab at North Carolina State University’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology. The Nadeau grant will support her dissertation research.


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Posted: May 2, 2023

Category: Academics, Natural Resources
Tags: Interdisciplinary Ecology, Nadeau Graduate Research Award, School Of Natural Resources And Environment

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