Six Graham Fellows named to research environmental sustainability

Six doctoral candidates will receive $50,000 fellowships from the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute to support interdisciplinary research related to environmental sustainability.

Now in its fourth year, the Graham Graduate Fellowship Program provides financial support and academic collaboration for doctoral candidates pursuing interdisciplinary research concentrating on environmental sustainability.

Issues of particular focus to the Institute and the fellowship program include: energy; freshwater and marine resources; human health and environment; biodiversity and global change; sustainable infrastructure, built environment and manufacturing; environmental policymaking and human behavior. To date, 25 doctoral students have been awarded this prestigious fellowship.

Faculty members nominated 28 candidates this year. Research proposals were judged on their potential for scholarly and practical impact, the degree of cross-disciplinary focus, and probability of success.

The fellowships have been awarded to the following doctoral candidates, whose academic units, research topics and faculty advisers are:

• Kathleen Bush, School of Public Health/Urban Planning: "Harmful Algal Blooms from a Toxicological, Ecological, and Human Health Perspective and Integrating New Techniques," professor Howard Hu

• Rebecca Henn, School of Natural Resources and Environment: "Constructing Green: Leveraging Sustainability in the Built Environment," professor Andrew Hoffman

• Doug Jackson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: "High-Biodiversity Agriculture for the Future: Using the Sciences of Ecology and Complexity to Understand Natural Pest Control in Agro-Ecosystems," professor John Vandermeer

• Robert Levine, College of Engineering (CoE): "Novel Thermo-Chemical Processing of Microalgae to Concomitantly Treat Wastewater and Produce Biofuels," professor Phillip Savage

• Ethan Schoolman, Department of Sociology: "Fencing Themselves In: Sustainable Growth and the Future of the City," professor George Steinmetz

• Giridhar Upadhyaya, CoE: "Biologically Mediated, Simultaneous Removal of Nitrate and Arsenic from Drinking Water Sources," professor Lutgarde Raskin

"We really are supporting some of the best and brightest Ph.D. students who are dedicated to making advances in environmental sustainability," says Donald Scavia, director of the Graham Institute. "And the fact that these emerging scholars represent such a diverse cross-section of disciplines and research approaches is key for successfully addressing this complex and critical issue from all sides."

As part of a broader goal to cultivate a "community of scholars" through the program, Graham Fellows are given multiple opportunities to engage with one another through monthly seminars, annual retreats, research workshops and other activities. The 2009 Graham Fellows officially will join the broader community of Graham Fellows in late January.

For more information about the fellowship program, go to