From a cohort of 17,000 applicants, competing for 2,000 NSF 5 year Graduate Research Fellowships, 13 were awarded to UGA students. And TWO of them were from our department. Congratulations to Meg Babcock-Adams and Sarah Harrison. See below for a little more information on what they're researching, and why we think they're fantastic.
Meg: In my research I use both nonpolar and polar biomarker analyses of environmental samples to track inputs, transport, and transformations of organic carbon in the marine environment. The projects I have focused on are investigating the levels and distribution pattern of petroleum derived compounds in the Gulf of Mexico sediments following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and characterizing biomarker indicators of stress and/or recovery after a major bleaching event in coral tissues from the Upper Florida Keys.
Sarah: The aim of my research is to understand the evolution of oil in the marine environment. Oil is a highly complex mixture, and from the moment oil enters the marine environment, whether it is spilled or seeps out naturally, it undergoes a series of chemical and physical transformations, altering the composition of the original oil. I plan to use rigorous analytical organic chemistry to describe the oil, with a biogeochemical toolbox to quantify available nutrients and characterize the surrounding microbial community in oil contaminated surface waters in the Gulf of Mexico.