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Twentieth Round of Rasmuson Fellowship Recipients Announced


The Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center board members selected six fellowship recipients for the 2014-2015 academic year at their March 18 meeting. This marks the 20th year the center has awarded fellowships to UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences students.

The awards, totaling $233,169 this year, include full tuition and a stipend to support graduate student research that contributes to the scientific or applied knowledge base of Alaska’s marine waters and resources.

“It is always a good day when we meet with the Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center to hear presentations by current student fellows and review new applications,” said Michael Castellini, dean of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. “This is a great program, and we are grateful to the center for their continued support for SFOS students since 1994.”

Three new recipients were chosen for the coming year: Patrick Barry, Emily Lescak, and Benjamin Williams.

Barry is a fisheries doctoral student in Juneau with faculty advisor Anthony Gharrett. His research project is “Fine-scale genetic structure of a salmon population: A prelude to tests of hatchery-wild interactions and an evaluation of the efficacy of genetic analysis on natural fish populations.”

Lescak is a fisheries doctoral student based in Anchorage with faculty advisor Andres Lopez. Her research project is “Genetic basis for contemporary evolution in wild populations that experience dramatic changes to their environment.”

Williams is a fisheries doctoral student in Juneau with faculty advisor Gordon Kruse. His research project is “Implications of variability in reproductive biology on management of the fishery for walleye pollock, Gadus chalcogrammus, in the Gulf of Alaska.”

Additionally, the board awarded continued funding to three students: Michael Courtney, Thomas Farrugia and Charlotte Regula-Whitefield.

Courtney is a fisheries master’s student in Fairbanks with advisor Andrew Seitz. He is studying the “Dispersal patterns and summer ocean distribution of adult Dolly Varden from the Wulik River, Alaska, evaluated using satellite telemetry.”

Farrugia is a fisheries doctoral student in Fairbanks, also with faculty advisor Seitz. His research focuses on “Developing a bioeconomic model of the skate fishery in the Gulf of Alaska.”

Regula-Whitefield is a marine biology doctoral student in Fairbanks with advisor Sarah Hardy. Her research project is “Nutrition and reproduction in the California red sea cucumber: Applications for commercial fishery management and aquaculture.”

Elmer E. Rasmuson founded the Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center in 1994 with an endowment to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A second major endowment in support of the center was created through a bequest from Rasmuson's estate in 2001. The University of Alaska Foundation manages the endowments and interest on the principal is used to support the Rasmuson Fellowships.

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