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EEB graduate students Tom Giarla, Beth Pettitt and Gina Quiram have been awarded Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships for the 2011-12 academic year. Congratulations to these three students on this outstanding award.

EEB alumnus Paul Gugger has been designated the winner of the University of Minnesota Graduate School's "Best Dissertation Award" in the Biological and Medical Sciences. Paul will be nominated by the Graduate School for the national "Distinguished Dissertation in the Biological and Medical Sciences" award given by the Council of Graduate Schools, Washington D.C. Congratulations to Paul and his advisors, Jeannine Cavender-Bares and Shinya Sugita.

Mike Wells has been awarded the Elmer C. and Marcia F. Birney Fellowship for Summer 2011.

William Eddy was awarded a Graduate School Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship.

Kristen Becklund, Christine O'Connell, and Charlotte Riggs were awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Jane Cowles, Matthew Kaiser, and Michael Wells received Honorable Mentions for their proposals.

Congratulations to EEB graduate students Tom Giarla and Pamela Weisenhornwho were awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants from the National Science Foundation!

Dr. Jennifer Powers (EEB) was recently awarded an NSF CAREER grant. The $675,000 award will fund ongoing research on ecosystem processes in regenerating tropical dry forests with a focus on linking plant functional traits, stands and landscapes.

Dr. Jeannine Cavender-Bares has been named a 2011 Fulbright Scholar to Mexico. The Fulbright Scholar Program sends American scholars and professionals to countries around the world each year to teach and conduct research. Cavender-Bares will continue her research on New World oak species, investigating the role of migration and diversification in explaining the biogeography and community assembly of tree populations. In addition, with funding from the National Center for Ecological Synthesis and Analysis and the Institute on the Environment, Cavender-Bares will launch a two-year "distributed" graduate seminar on sustainability across six institutions.

Drs. Sarah Hobbie and Jeannine Cavender-Bares have been awarded Discovery Grants by the Institute on the Environment. Discovery Grants fund projects with the potential to make a transformative difference in interdisciplinary research and discovery. Hobbie is the principal investigator of "Connecting People, Land and Water in Urban Ecosystems" and Cavender-Barres is a co-principal investigator of "Opportunity Knocks: Transformative Steps in Plant Data Synthesis."

Dr. Jennifer Powers received $216,328 from the National Science Foundation to study the effects of lianas (woody vines) on community and ecosystem dynamics.

EEB graduate student Justin Becknell has been awarded a $5000 Thesis Research Grant from the Graduate School.