Applied Ecology Ph.D. student, Mariely Vega Gómez, has been selected for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)! The program supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing full-time research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in STEM or STEM education. This highly selective award provides three years of support towards their studies.
“When I learned that I have been offered the NSF GRFP, I was initially so surprised that I just had to double-check my screen to make sure I was actually seeing such fantastic news,” says Vega Gómez. “What followed was an immense sense of joy and appreciation towards the Ramírez Lab and everyone else that contributed to this outcome by providing their feedback. I feel like a world of opportunities has just opened up for me and I’m incredibly motivated to seize every one of them.”
“My project is focused on evaluating how tropical montane stream ecosystems respond to natural disturbances; specifically droughts and hurricanes. The macroinvertebrate assemblages inhabiting the streams of the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico are the model organisms that will help me assess this question. My interest in this topic does not only stem from a great appreciation of my island and its natural resources; it is also rooted in a deep concern for our lack of understanding and preparedness to adequately protect our freshwater systems from current and future disturbance patterns.”