Great Hearts Alumna receives National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Veritas Preparatory April 18, 2018

Veritas Preparatory alumna Meredith Palmer, Ph.D., has been selected to receive a National Science Foundation (NSF) postdoctoral fellowship, a Smithsonian postdoctoral fellowship, and a Fulbright Scholars fellowship.

According to the NSF, the agency receives several thousand applications annually for its graduate and postdoctoral fellowships, and this year will award about 40 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology.

On her website, Meredith describes herself as, “…an ecologist and post doctoral research associate working with the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve at the University of Minnesota. I study predator-prey dynamics in North American and African terrestrial mammal systems, examining the direct and indirect effect effects of predators on prey behavior, prey demography, and ecosytem functioning. I am exploring anti-predator decision-making in large herbivores in response to predators such as lions, hyenas, cheetahs, wild dogs, leopards, and wolves, and tracking the cascading effects of predators on soil and plant communities. I incorporate predator behavioral and demographic information collected from long-term predator monitoring projects in the Serengeti and at Cedar Creek in addition to deploying and managing extensive camera trapping initiatives and utilizing manipulative experiments and exclosures. Currently, I am studying how ecological communities respond to predator reintroductions, looking to see whether functional ecological relationships between predators and prey are restored and examining the effects of renewed predation risk on plant productivity and community composition. I rely heavily on the involvement of citizen scientists and use these initiatives to develop educational tools and increase scientific literacy by engaging members of the general public in the scientific process.”

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