Students and Faculty Receive Grant Money for Research – December 2017


In the fall of 2017, four students and three faculty members received grants to support undergraduate research in the natural sciences at Warren Wilson College. Faculty member David Coffey has received $600 dollars from the Pugh Grant Fund for research on single-crystal perovskite synthesis. Student James Kitchens, along with biology professors Alisa Hove and Liesl Erb, received $700 from Pugh Grant Fund for research on relationships between animal sex ratios and climate change. Senior Preston Heavner, with professors Jeff Holmes, Liesl Erb, and Bob Eckstein, received $400 dollars from the Sutherland Grant Fund for research on stress in dogs through fluctuations in saliva cortisol levels. Senior Zac Dickerson, along with professor of agriculture Dr. Mary Bulan, received $200 dollars from the Sutherland Grant Fund for research on vertical farming methods.

Four grants totaling $1900 dollars were awarded. These projects in environmental studies, physics, biology, chemistry, and agriculture allow students to gain a greater understanding about the process of scientific research and the implications of that research in our community. As senior research mentor and professor Liesl Erb says, “These grant programs are so valuable for our students. Not only do they provide the opportunity to learn to develop a research proposal with real stakes, but, when awarded, they provide our students with the means to conduct research that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Several of my students have received research grants to conduct expensive genetic analyses that inform my research in wildlife conservation and help us better understand our local biodiversity.”

With this funding, donors to the college are supporting ongoing research efforts that will enhance our understanding of science and have lasting impacts in our community. For more information on the Pugh and the Sutherland Grant programs, please contact professor Amy Boyd, the Natural Science Division Chair.

Environmental Studies major Zac Dickerson and his vertical hydroponic garden.