Two student-advisor pairs at UW–Madison have received Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). HHMI Gilliam Fellowships have a twofold mission: to support underrepresented PhD students to pursue scientific research and to foster more inclusive academic environments at institutions that are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the sciences.
All gardeners know what it’s like to try and weed a garden. Even when you keep up with it, sometimes you miss a root or a seed, and the weeds grow back.
As it turns out, this experience applies not only to human gardeners but also to a type of ant that farms its own garden of fungus.
PhD candidate Kirsten Gotting studies evolutionary biology and fungus-growing ants as a member of the Currie Lab in the Department of Bacteriology and the Genetics Training Program. The Currie Lab’s collection of leaf-cutter ants, one of many types of fungus-growing ant, offers a window into the relationships between the ants, the fungus, and other pathogens and bacteria.
PhD candidate Isabel Anadon has received a prestigious fellowship from the American Bar Foundation to support her research on immigration policy and criminal law. Anadon is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology and a fellow with the UW Justice Lab.
PhD candidate, Art History
If you’ve ever driven by a roadside concrete art park – think sculptures, grottos, or even houses – and been intrigued, art history PhD candidate Cortney Anderson Kramer is the person to ask. Kramer studies and writes about this unique art style in the Midwest.
Lena Vincent started her career as a graduate student with big questions: How did life begin? Does life exist elsewhere in the universe?
“Realizing that you can turn these existential questions that everyone asks themselves into a scientific career was really exciting,” said Vincent, a PhD student in David Baum’s lab at UW–Madison.
Geoscience graduate student Yihang Fang will test whether protein control is the mechanism helping leaf-cutter ants form a layer of mineral “armor” as a fellow at the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History.
UW–Madison geography PhD candidate Allen Xiao has been awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Xiao’s dissertation explores how residents of Lagos, Nigeria, tell stories of and relate to their life experiences in the largest city in Africa.
Graduate student Katarina Braun and Gage Moreno’s work with sequencing the 2019 novel coronavirus has helped scientists better understand how the virus has traveled in Wisconsin and whether the protective equipment and safety protocols used in local hospitals are effective.
Art history PhD candidate Fernanda Villarroel has received two national fellowships that support her scholarship exploring the concept of the feminine through historical and contemporary art in Africa.
In her dissertation, anthropology PhD student Sarah Bruno uses bomba as a site and a method for exploring the emotions of Afro-Puerto Rican women on the island of Puerto Rico and throughout its diaspora. She has received a 2020 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for this work.