Henry Stevens and Billie Maguire were awarded NSF GRFP fellowships!

Posted in In the news

Major congratulations are in order for two incredible student researchers in the Department! Henry Stevens, a graduate student in the Marra Lab, and Billie Maguire, an undergraduate in the Wimp Lab, were recently awarded as part of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The GRFP is a prestigious grant given out annually by the National Science Foundation to support the research of outstanding graduate students. After a long and competitive application process, we are so proud of Henry and Billie for their incredible success!
As a member of the Marra Lab, Henry studies the ecology of North American birds across their life cycles. Given the global scale of the threats posed by climate change, studying migratory species is essential for understanding the impacts of climate change on the movement of animal species. To elucidate these effects, Henry proposes novel research into the annual movements of the migratory songbird Setophaga ruticilla, the American Redstart. With the GRFP, Henry plans to generate a species distribution model for American Redstarts that incorporates their full annual cycle, accounting for the key factors ignored by prior models. Using a 3-year geolocator study of the birds, Henry hopes to obtain the tracking data necessary to generate the model. We can’t wait to see his work take off! 
As a member of the Wimp Lab, Billie currently studies the ecosystems of east coast salt marshes. Next year, they will begin their Ph.D. program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, working with a colleague of Dr. Wimp’s to investigate the evolution of diet breadth in insect herbivores. As part of a large NSF-funded collaboration, Billie will collaborate with several other researchers using their GRFP grant. In their proposal, Billie plans to leverage the natural variation of host use in the fall webworm Hyphantria cunea to better understand the genetic and ecological mechanisms of host plant use and diet breadth. Good luck in grad school Billie, and congratulations on your first (of many) grants in your graduate career!
The Department is immensely proud of Henry and Billie for their hard work! Read more about the GRFP here: https://www.nsfgrfp.org/