Two SERS students awarded prestigious fellowships to address major conservation challenges

Monday, February 8, 2016

Two doctoral students in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability have been awarded prestigious post-doctoral fellowships in recognition for their work on conservation and sustainability.

Steve Alexander has been awarded a highly competitive Post-Doctoral Fellowship position at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Maryland. His research program will lead to the development of new tools and approaches for social-ecological network models and he will apply those models to improve marine conservation in the Caribbean. This work builds directly on his doctoral research examining social networks in three marine reserves in Jamaica, which he successfully defended at the end of last term. While based at SESYNC, Steve will be collaborating with Dr. Örjan Bodin at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden.

Jeremy Pittman has been awarded a Liber Ero Fellowship in Applied Conservation Science. His research program will focus on conserving species at risk on Canada’s last remaining native grasslands. He plans to integrate tools from the natural and social sciences to examine how patterns of social relationships between people, ecological relationships across landscapes, and social-ecological relationships between people and their landscapes influence conservation outcomes in southern Saskatchewan. Jeremy will stay closely connected to SERS and will collaborate on his project with Dr. Brad Fedy, assistant professor in SERS, and an expert in grasslands conservation, along with Dr. Mark Lubell (University of California-Davis) and Tom Harrison (South of the Divide Conservation Action Program Incorporated).

“It is gratifying to see the scope and international impact of Steve and Jeremy’s research being recognized. They have worked hard to build top notch research programs and they have also made fantastic contributions to our School and my research group”, said Dr. Derek Armitage, associate professor in SERS and doctoral advisor to both Alexander and Pittman. “These awards are also further recognition of the fantastic quality of students we are attracting overall to our program. Year in and year out our SERS graduate students are being highlighted for their achievements and the innovative work they do that crosses disciplinary boundaries and addresses major sustainability problems”.

For further information, please contact: Dr. Stephen Murphy, Director

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