Four Virginia Tech life science researchers have received Fralin’s New Investigator Award, which recognizes promising first-time tenure-track faculty who have joined Virginia Tech within the last two years. This year the recipients each received $10,000 to advance their research efforts as they see fit.
“We are delighted to provide some unrestricted funds to help several of our new investigators within the life sciences,” said Dr. Dennis Dean, the director of the Fralin Life Science Institute.
“These funds come from the Fralin endowment and can be used to support any activity within the research program of the investigator. Such unrestricted funds are particularly useful for new investigators because they provide a flexibility that might not be possible with other start funds. This is the sort of support Horace Fralin had in mind when he established the endowment, and we are extremely grateful for his generosity.”
Congratulations to the following faculty, all of whom are also members of the new Global Change Center at Virginia Tech:
Jacob Barney is an assistant professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a faculty member of the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech.
His research focuses on identifying and evaluating the processes and consequences of invasive plant species on natural and managed ecosystems, and studies how invasive plants respond to evolving climate-related scenarios.
Cayelan Carey is an assistant professor of biological sciences specializing in freshwater ecosystem ecology in the College of Science and a faculty member of the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech.
Her research integrates population, community, and ecosystem ecology to examine how natural and human-induced influences affect fresh water ecosystems.
Megan O’Rourke is an assistant professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.
Her research examines the environmental and societal impacts of different types of food systems, and addresses links between agriculture and climate change, ecological pest management, genetically modified crops, the emerging local food movement, and agricultural policy.
Kendra Sewall is an assistant professor of biological sciences specializing in animal behavior and neurobiology in the College of Science at Virginia Tech.
Her research seeks to understand how neural and behavioral processes — and the environmental and developmental factors that impact those processes — contribute to animal survival and reproductive success.