Congratulations to Ecology and Evolutionary Biology graduate students Abrianna Soule and Rosemary Glos on receiving the 2023 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships (GRFP) to support their ongoing research! 

The GRFP "ensures the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States.” It seeks to broaden participation in science and engineering of underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. The program provides a three-year annual stipend of $37,000, along with a $16,000 cost-of-education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution). 

“I am currently finishing up analyses and writing the manuscript for the first chapter of my dissertation, which tests the Latitudinal Biotic Interactions Hypothesis that plant defense investment should be greater towards the equator as a result of higher density and diversity of species in tropical environments,” said Soule. 

Soule says she is thankful for her EEB community and her advisor, Marjorie Weber, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, who pushed her to apply. “I am grateful for the support from my advisor and lab mates who helped me shape the proposal.” 
Embodying the values of GRFP, she strives to make her field inclusive. “As a scientist and activist, I think science communication should be accessible and digestible for all audiences,” said Soule. “In particular, I am passionate about the exchange of knowledge between scientists and people who are incarcerated.”

Soule established, with the help of several EEB students and staff, a science seminar and discussion panel series in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Corrections. This program will premiere at the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester at Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan.

Rosemary Glos is thrilled to be an NSF Graduate research fellowship. With the help of her advisor, Marjorie Weber, assistant professor of EEB, mentors, and peers, she was able to refine her application which ultimately led to her selection. The NSF fellowship will ensure her work, studying how plants defend themselves, can continue. 

“Currently, I am focusing on plant hairs (trichomes), a mega-diverse set of structures that include stinging, barbed, and sticky hairs. If you have ever touched a stinging nettle, you know how effective these can be!” said Glos. “I am measuring the characteristics of different hairs on herbarium specimens to understand how they have evolved and diversified across the stick-leaf family (Loasaceae).” 

Glos’ research includes plants not native to Michigan. Receiving this fellowship allows flexibility to travel when her study group is in season and visit collections at other institutions.

“The plant group I study is not native to Michigan, so my research uses cultivated plants, herbarium specimens, and data from fieldwork in the western United States,” said Glos. “Last spring, I conducted fieldwork in Southern California and I am currently writing a proposal for a project in Colorado.” 

More about the NSF Fellowship Program