Several graduate students submitted excellent proposals to the NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship program this year. Current graduate student Kelly McKeon and incoming graduate student Sam McComb were awarded fellowships for their proposals.
Kelly's research will focus on defining the mechanisms behind the initiation and growth of tidal marshes in the Hudson River, NY, using sedimentary tools to study how recent anthropogenic shoreline modifications have caused the development of new wetland areas. The goal of her project is to identify the conditions necessary for new marsh establishment in order to guide restoration efforts in NY and elsewhere.
Sam's research, which is unrelated to that she will be undertaking at U-Mass, is inspired by her fascination with the evolution of vascular plants. The project will explore the relationship between vascular plant evolution and marine carbon isotopic values through the analysis of Paleozoic carbonates.