College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Policy

Chris Riley (Biodiversity, 2014)

ENSP Senior Chris Riley (Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, 2014) has received a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, which recognizes outstanding students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. NSF fellows receive three years of support from the agency, including a $32,000 annual stipend, a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the institution, international research and professional development opportunities, and access to a supercomputer.  The NSF received more than 14,000 applications for the 2014 competition and made 2,000 fellowship award offers.  

Chris will use his fellowship at The Ohio State University, where he plans to study the ecology of insects in urban areas.  Says Chris, "The gist is that the PI has acquired a ton of vacant lots in Cleveland and will “treating" them with different vegetation regimes (mowed grass vs. no mow vs. lawns with high diversity vs. low, etc., etc.).  We will then be looking into how these green spaces act as biodiversity hotspots for arthropods while helping to restore arthropod-mediated ecosystem services such as pollination and pest control through the presence of natural enemies." 

"Decisions regarding vacant land management will shape the ecological and social quality of inner-city neighborhoods for decades to come. Therefore, understanding how the composition of these habitats and their landscape context influence BEF relationships is a critical task," say the researchers.

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