Biology student awarded Smithsonian Institution fellowship

Biology student awarded Smithsonian Institution fellowship

Posted on April 14, 2020
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Three women biology researchers examine plant closely

Biology Ph.D. student Alyssa Young (far left) works with her advisor, Dr. Sally Koerner (center).

The biology department’s Alyssa Young has been awarded a $7,500 Smithsonian Institution Fellowship. The funding will support her project “Legume-rhizobia symbiosis as a tool to enhance restoration success in a fire-prone ecosystem.”

Young (above left) will spend ten weeks at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland, in Dr. Kimberly Komatsu’s Ecosystem Conversation Lab.

The Environmental Health Sciences Ph.D. student will focus on a symbiotic relationship that helps plants use nitrogen in the atmosphere while providing microorganisms with shelter and food. Young and her advisor, UNCG biology professor Sally Koerner (above center), are interested in how this relationship might be leveraged to enhance restoration efforts in fire-prone areas.