Jacqueline Popma, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology, has been awarded a Rackham International Student Fellowship of $10,000 for 2015-2016. The award assists outstanding international students and reflects the Rackham Graduate School's positive assessment of their future success.
“I am interested in how white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are changing forests in the Great Lakes region,” said Popma. “Increased deer populations pose threats to habitats due to heavy and selective browsing on vegetation. It is clear that deer in the Great Lakes region are able to radically change patterns of tree regeneration and forest floor plant community structure. However, it is currently unknown how deer browsing might alter belowground forest processes. My research focuses on coupling above and belowground ecological mechanisms and pathways through which deer affect forest ecosystems.”
She is performing field research at the University of Michigan Biological Station with her advisor, Professor Knute Nadelhoffer. She hopes to expand throughout Michigan and perhaps to other Great Lakes regions.
Popma grew up in the Netherlands. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees at Radboud University Nijmegen. For her master’s thesis, she was involved in a collaborative project at Villanova University, Villanova, Penn., after which she applied to UM to pursue her doctorate degree.