Laura Schoenle, a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program, was recently awarded a EPA STAR Fellowship for 2014.  This very competitive graduate fellowship program from the Environmental Protection Agency supports masters and doctoral candidates in environmental studies. Her award will cover tuition, salary, and $10,000 for research/expenses.

Laura will be studying the effects of mercury exposure on how red-winged blackbirds resist and tolerate infection with avian malaria. Laura is co-advised by Ignacio Moore (Virginia Tech) and Fran Bonier (Queen’s University).

Laura Schoenle,
Laura Schoenle, a doctoral student in biological sciences in the College of Science, studies stress hormones and disease in red-winged blackbirds.

“Laura’s work is really novel in that she is investigating interactions between stress and disease,” Moore said. “Most people look at one or the other. And yet, wildlife are facing assaults from multiple factors and thus studies like Laura’s are truly important for understanding how they will respond to these threats. Her participation in the Interfaces of Global Change graduate program highlights the importance of understanding interactions between multiple threats.”

Read the full story at VTx News.