Last week Samara Almonte wrapped up her time in the Blesh Lab by presenting a poster titled: “Do cover crop traits vary across monocultures and mixtures? An assessment of belowground biomass and specific leaf area.” Samara is an undergraduate at Western Washington University, and joined the Blesh Lab as a first-year Doris Duke Conservation Scholar. Though she was only with us for 8 short weeks, she jumped right in and learned all about cover crops while helping to collect, process, and analyze samples from an ongoing research trial conducted at the UM Campus Farm. We enjoyed having her as part of the team this summer!
Congratulations to PhD student, Alison Bressler! Alison was recently awarded a NCR-SARE Graduate Student Grant for her project titled “Cover crop mixtures for nitrogen use efficiency on grain farms in Southern Michigan.” The project will integrate on-farm experimentation, including assessment of biological nitrogen fixation and nitrogen mineralization rates, with applied, outreach activities focused on management of legume-grass cover crop mixtures.
Anne Elise passed her pre-candidacy exams (prelims) just in time for the holiday weekend, and is now a PhD candidate. Congratulations on passing this important milestone, Anne Elise!
Congratulations to Etienne Herrick, one of a select group of 19 undergraduates to win an award for her Honors Thesis. Etienne received the Virginia Voss Memorial Scholarship for excellence in writing for her thesis titled “Summer Cover Crops: Functional Traits and Ecosystem Services.”
This summer we are joined by Aminata Fofana and Sydney Fuller, two undergraduates in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UM-SEAS. Ami and Sydney are already enjoying some of the perks of doing research on local vegetable farms!
Two new PhD students, Alison Bressler and Anne Elise Stratton, have joined the lab this fall. You can read more about their backgrounds and research interests here.