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Three UT doctoral students have been selected to be a part of the 2015 National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

The students receiving fellowships are:

  • NSF-Jordan Bush (2)Jordan Bush of Colorado Springs, Colorado—ecology and evolutionary biology. Her research project will focus on how invasive species disrupt the social behaviors of native species. Bush will use the native green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis, and the invasive Cuban brown anole lizard, Anolis sagrei, as a model system.
  • NSF-Brittnee Mound (1)Brittnee Mound of Orange Park, Florida—materials science and engineering. Her research project will focus on measuring and observing the cracking behavior of ceramics and other brittle materials. She will use a nanoindentation system, which measures the hardness of a material, to study the cracking process as it occurs in real time.
  • NSF- Todd Pierson (3)Todd Pierson of Indianapolis, Indiana—ecology and evolutionary biology. Pierson studies the ecology and evolution of amphibians. His research project uses genomic tools—methods for sequencing and analyzing DNA— to understand the diversification and hybridization in Appalachian salamanders.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP selects recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers.

Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $32,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, and receive opportunities for international research and professional development. GRFP’s reputation often helps recipients become lifelong leaders who contribute to both scientific innovation and teaching.

Rising seniors intending to apply for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship should contact UT’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships at Graduate students are encouraged to work with their departmental supervisors and the Graduate School.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,