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Graduate student spotlight – Claire Carver & Danny Martin

We are excited to announce that three graduate students in the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Claire Carver, Peter Olayemi, and Danny Martin, have recently received awards that will help further their research.

Claire Carver kayaking in a glacier lake
Claire Carver on the Firth River in Ivvavik National Park; seeing the Arctic was a huge part of her inspiration to work on climate change mitigation.

Claire Carver head shotClaire Carver, a masters student in the Greenhouse Gas Management program, was recently awarded a USDA fellowship through the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate Fellowship Grants Program. Congratulations, Claire!

Claire Carver’s goal in attending Colorado State University’s Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting program is to transform climate science into policy and economic forces through the development and implementation of a comprehensive rural sustainability action model. Developed from the perspective of the western ecosystems and rural economies, the action model will address greenhouse gas emissions, assist in the rapid transition to renewables, enact climate change mitigation strategies, implement climate education, and allow for local innovation. It was instilled early in Claire’s career that scientists have a duty to go beyond the lab and advocate, so the implementation of solutions is a key component of her work. Prior to attending CSU Claire help to run a non-profit STEM education organization, that brings science and programs to rural southwest Colorado students. When the non-profit expanded their mission to make their region carbon neutral Claire realized the complexities achieving this goal and decided she could influence comprehensive change through the framework of the MGMA program.

picture of a agricultural field

Peter Olayemi

Peter Olayemi is a Ph.D. student in the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory who was recently awarded a scholarship through Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Program. Congratulations, Peter!

Peter Olayemi’s goal is to elucidate specific characteristics of the soil microbiome that support farmer-centric outcomes associated with soil health. Coming from Nigeria, he sees a big opportunity in utilizing research to help feed the world’s rapidly increasing population through sustainable agriculture. His current project is focused on exploring the potential of a novel soil amendment from cheese production through agronomic trials on wheat and corn. He intends to utilize the recently acquired Annie’s scholarship to conduct more studies that will enhance our understanding of how crop plants recruit their associated microbiomes and to understand the mechanisms by which this recruitment occurs. In the long term, this scholarship will help support research that will contribute to better precision and efficacy of agricultural biologicals in the field.

Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi) in northeastern Colorado
Colorado Checked Whiptail (Aspidoscelis neotesselata), an endemic species of conservation concern found in southeastern Colorado, and one of the focal species of my dissertation research. Photo taken by D. Martin.

Danny Martin measuring the length of a Colorado Checked Whiptail (Aspidoscelis neotesselata) Daniel Martin, a Ph.D. student in the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, was recently awarded F. Breniman Jr. Memorial Graduate Student Assistance Scholarship. Congratulations, Danny!

Daniel (Danny) Martin is a Ph.D. candidate studying landscape-scale distributions of terrestrial reptiles in the central Great Plains. His work uses species distribution and occupancy modeling approaches to estimate environmental influences on historical and contemporary distributions of reptiles. Danny’s work also evaluates different standardized survey methods designed to detect reptiles for long-term monitoring, as many of these species are expected to undergo range expansions or contractions relative to ongoing changes in climate and habitat. Danny recently received the F. Breniman Jr. Memorial Graduate Student Assistance Scholarship, an award considered for graduate students conducting research in grasslands. This will help him further his work on terrestrial reptile distributions in short- and mixed-grass prairies of the central Great Plains ecoregion. If you are interested in reptiles, check out the Great Plains Reptile Monitoring Project!

In the photo above, Danny measuring a Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi) in northeastern Colorado. Photo by Laura Rosen.