Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES

2015-2016 Voss Fellows

Therese (Tess) Carter ’16 is a Chemistry concentrator interested in atmospheric chemistry, green chemistry, and science policy. She will be working with Professor Meredith Hastings (Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences) and Dr. Chris Clark (US EPA) to explore the effects of nitrogen deposition on different ecosystems, in particular, on lichens, trees, and herbs. She hopes to both educate citizens about their own effects on the nitrogen cycle and nitrogen’s impacts on humans and to also inform the upcoming federal review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) secondary standards for nitrogen. Tess is also a 2015 recipient of the Royce Fellowship.

Alexis Durand ’16 is an Environmental Studies concentrator interested in conceptualizing just and equitable solutions to international climate change policy issues.  Alex is working with Professor Timmons Roberts (Environmental Studies and Sociology) to explore international policy approaches to losses and damages from climate change.  In particular, she is investigating opportunities for the incorporation of compensation for losses and damages within international climate change policy.  Alex hopes her research will inform the development of a loss and damage regime in the future.  Alex is from East Tennessee, and enjoys baking and backpacking in her free time.

Emmaline Suchland ’16 is a Biology concentrator interested in the effects of climate change on species’ survival, distributions, and risks of extinction, especially in a tropical setting. She is working with Brown PhD student Emily Hollenbeck in collaboration with Professor Dov Sax (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) to study the influence of climate on several species of epiphytes (plants that live on other plants). This summer she is working in the tropical montane cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica, as well as travelling to several other sites around Costa Rica and Panama. Her project involves climbing trees to survey epiphyte populations in the canopy, measuring physiological traits relating to water-stress tolerance in the lab, analyzing climate data, and collecting records of elevational and geographic ranges using herbarium specimens. Through elucidating how climate affects the distributions and survival of these plants, she hopes to help inform efforts of their conservation. Emma is from Seattle, Washington and is a captain of the track and field team at Brown.

Paul K. Wojtal ’16 is a Chemistry concentrator from Oberlin, Ohio. He is interested in the intersection of atmospheric and oceanic chemistry and public health. In particular, he is interested in how humans affect the environment, both living organisms and the nonliving portions of ecosystems and how the changing environment affects human health. He is working with Meredith Hastings (Brown University) in the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, looking at isotopic differentiation of NOx emissions sources. He will analyze air samples collected across Rhode Island to measure the relative amounts of different isotopes of nitrogen, with the aim to determine the contributions of natural and anthropogenic sources of nitrous oxides. He hopes that this will influence future policies about nitrogen emissions. At Brown University, he is a member of emPOWER, Brown RISD Hillel, a band named North of Home, and is training for a triathlon and a half-marathon.

Alexandra Swanson ’16






 Edwin (Ned) Willig ’16


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