Ada Cecilia Bersoza Hernández ’15 is a Biology concentrator from Monterrey, Mexico interested in ecology. She will be working with Professor Dov Sax (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) and Dr. Qinfeng Guo (USDA Forest Service) to explore the extent to which climate conditions limit species high-latitude or high-elevation boundaries. She will compare temperatures experienced by woody plant species across North America at their highest latitude and altitude to help inform the extent to which climate per se (as opposed to other factors) limits species distributions. This analysis will provide insights that will be used to help develop conservation approaches in the context of climate change. Ada also is a 2014 Henry D. Sharpe, Jr. ’45 UTRA awardee and co-funded by the University’s UTRA (Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards) program.
Alyssa L. Browning ’15 is a dual concentrator in Environmental Science and Religious Studies interested in the intersection between humans and nature. She has recently returned from South Africa where she spent the spring semester studying savanna ecology and conservation. Alyssa hopes to build a career conducting applied research within the paradigm of strategic adaptive management and community-based conservation. This summer, Alyssa is working in conjunction with Christopher Neill (Brown University EEB, Marine Biological Lab) and Matthew Pelikan (The Nature Conservancy) to evaluate the efficacy of homeowner implemented land restoration on Martha’s Vineyard, MA. Their evaluation of vegetation structure as well as butterfly and bee abundance and diversity will help inform conservation strategies taken to improve habitat connectivity on the island.
Steven Hagerty ’15 is an Environmental Science and Economics concentrator interested in conservation biology, environmental policy and management of natural resources. He is working with Professor Mark Bertness (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) and Stephen Smith (Cape Cod National Seashore/National Park Service) to analyze how recreational overfishing ultimately affects small marine invertebrates that live in coastal Cape Cod. This research should help more clearly identify the structure of New England salt marsh food webs, the complete effects of human activity in coastal ecosystems as well as general implications for trophic cascades. Steve leads trips for Brown Outdoor Leadership Training and volunteers for Space in Prison for the Arts and Creative Expression. He enjoys backpacking and poetry.
Allie Reilly ‘15 is an Environmental Studies concentrator most interested in reconciling human society and the environment through policy. As a New Jersey resident, she is using her personal curiosities sparked by her family’s own experience with Hurricane Sandy to fuel her research. In collaboration with Caroline Karp (Environmental Studies) and Amanda Martin (RI Statewide Planning Program), she will be researching whether Hurricane Sandy had any impacts on coastal management policies in the Northeast. The research process will include legal examination of municipal ordinances, followed by a survey of and interviews with local government officials to understand how they respond to events like Hurricane Sandy. This work hopes to inform coastal management practices, and highlight policies that are adaptive in light of climate change and its subsequent impacts on the coast. Allie also is a 2014 Henry D. Sharpe, Jr. ’45 UTRA awardee and co-funded by the University’s UTRA (Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards) program.
Elena Suglia ’15 is a Biology concentrator interested in ecology, conservation, and science communication. She is working with Professor Mark Bertness (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) to determine the effects of sea level rise on salt marshes in New England. Salt marshes provide many ecosystem services but are becoming increasingly degraded by human impacts; therefore, their preservation is an important issue. Elena’s research will help inform conservation and management of coastal ecosystems in a warming world. Elena is from Rhode Island, and enjoys sailing, skiing, and kayaking. At Brown, she is a rugby player, Science Policy director of student-led science magazine The Triple Helix, and an undergraduate teaching assistant.