Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES

Meet The Fellows

2018-2019 Voss Fellows


Robert M Blattner '19
Concentration: Biology ScB (IMMU)
Research Mentor: David Rand

The New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) is an imperiled native mammal in decline coincident with the introduction of the Eastern cottontail (S. floridanus). Robert is investigating innate immune gene biogeography in this native-invasive species pair to better understand the demographic history and population viability of these two species. This is the first investigation of innate immune genes in Sylvilagus spp. and will provide insight into anthropogenic invasion dynamics. His work complements further research by Kim Neil and David Rand on parasite-mediated selection in this species pair. 

Hallie S Fischman ''19
Concentration: Biology ScB (MAR)
Research Mentor: Mark Bertness

Coastal sand dunes act as a valuable buffer against sea level rise and storm surge. However, dune restoration efforts are notoriously unsuccessful. Hallie is looking at ways to optimize dune restoration through the planting of grasses at different configurations and densities in Georgia and Massachusetts. She discovered the optimum planting strategy to reestablish dunes across a variety of physical conditions.

 Micah I Jaffe '19
Concentrations: Geology ScB
Research Mentor: Tim Herbert

Micah's research investigates how growing conditions, such as salinity, acidity, temperature, and nutrient concentration affect the production of alkenones in haptophytes. More specifically, he is conducting experiments to test the hypothesis that growth rate and nutrient variation changes the ratio of certain alkenones, allowing detection of such changes.

Emmie J Le Roy '19
Concentration: Geology-Chemistry ScB
Research Mentor: Meredith Hastings

Emmie is working with Professor Meredith Hastings and Dr. Wendell Walters to better constrain the sources and fate of atmospheric ammonia, a key component of the reactive nitrogen cycle. Ammonia reacts with other anthropogenic emissions to form fine particulate matter, having adverse effects on air quality. Ammonia deposition also contributes to increased nitrogen availability, which can disturb sensitive ecosystems. Her research project investigates how ammonia in the atmosphere is removed by precipitation and seeks to test if the relative amounts of different isotopes of nitrogen measured in rainwater samples are a useful tracer of ammonia emission sources.

Molly C Magid '19
Concentration: Biology & Science AB, Science & Technology Studies AB
Research Mentor: Tyler Kartzinel

Molly Magid is interested how species respond to climate change and how genetic analysis can be used to inform conservation.  Molly also enjoys finding ways to communicate science to the public that is clear, novel, and engaging. Magid is working with Dr. Tyler Kartzinel to investigate how blowfly communities in Equatorial Guinea respond to habitat disturbance. Molly is also collaborating with the Biodiversity Initiative, a research group focusing on wildlife surveys, ecological studies, and conservation in Equatorial Guinea, and these results will provide crucial information to the Biodiversity Initiative about the native blowfly diversity in tropical forests.

Charlotte J Merzbacher '19
Concentration: Biomedical Engineering ScB
Research Mentor: Ian Y. Wong

Charlotte Merzbacher is a biomedical engineering student at Brown University with interests in computational biology and biochemistry. Charlotte is working with Professor Ian Wong and Professor Agnes Kane to apply computer vision and tissue engineering approaches to predict nonmaterial toxicity after environmental exposure using 3D spheroid models of lung fibrosis.

Past Fellows

2017-2018 Fellows

2016-2017 Fellows

2015-2016 Fellows

2014-2015 Fellows

2013-2014 Fellows

2012-2013 Fellows

2011-2012 Fellows

2010-2011 Fellows



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