EES PhD Student Zach Wood Receives the Janet Waldron Doctoral Research Fellowship

EES Ph.D. student Zachary Wood was recently awarded the Janet Waldron Doctoral Research Fellowship by the University of Maine Graduate School. Zach has just finished his first year of graduate school at the University of Maine. Within his first few weeks in the program, Zach taught himself how to program in Matlab and built an agent-based eco-evolutionary trophic cascade model. He and his adviser Dr. Michael Kinnison have applied this model to both theoretical and applied questions in fisheries sustainability. Zach has written the results of that work into a manuscript that is currently in peer review at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Concurrently to conducting this work, he developed a large scale experiment that he ran in California last summer. Zach has already analyzed some of the major results which will likely serve as the basis for another NSF proposal. He also set up a mosquitofish lab where he is rearing captive populations to conduct smaller scale experiments to support Dr. Kinnison’s current NSF grant as well as his own interests. Not only has Zach excelled academically in his first year at the University of Maine, but he has also stayed involved in the school’s community. Zach has been a teaching assistant for several classes, and he is currently the SBE representative to Graduate Student Government. For the last eight months, he has been writing a science outreach column for the Bangor Daily News. Zach also provides mentoring to multiple undergraduate researchers and serves as a resource on R, statistics, and modeling. Kinnison and Dr. Brian Olsen, EES Graduate Coordinator, agree that Zach’s performance “goes so far beyond what anyone could reasonably expect of even our top students”. He has brought a remarkable level of experience and productivity to his PhD program, and has proved that he is deserving of this prestigious award.