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National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Four A&S Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Four students from the College of Arts and Sciences are among eight UT students selected to be part of the 2020 National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program, which recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, GRFP has a history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success academically and professionally.

Luke Blentlinger

Luke Blentlinger, graduate student in the Department of Geography, will focus on using evidence preserved in lake sediments to reconstruct past environmental conditions in tropical savanna ecosystems. He will use various lines of evidence to determine how climate, fire, and humans have influenced savanna vegetation in Central America over the past several thousand years.

Brittany N. Zepernick

Brittany N. Zepernick, graduate student in the Department of Microbiology, will focus on various causes that contribute to harmful algal blooms (HABs) in freshwater systems. She will use a variety of laboratory and field assays to study the annual rise and fall of HAB species, and discern the effects of these blooms on potential competitors.

Morgan Fleming

Morgan Fleming, graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will be researching thermal physiology in ectotherms. She will focus on the vulnerability of tropical and temperate species in an effort to better predict their response to climate change.

Katie McCullough

Katie McCullough, graduate student in the Department of Microbiology, will explore how ocean microbes cope with reactive oxygen stress and nutrient limitation. She will fuse mathematics and microbiology to understand how some marine phytoplankton become reliant on others in their microscopic communities to survive environmental threats.

Read more about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and other UT graduate students who received a fellowship.