Excellence awards to two grad students

The Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences recently awarded two graduate students excellence awards for 205. Haley Wiggins is the outstanding M.S. student and Ryan Bracewell is the oustanding PhD student.

Haley WigginsHaley Wiggins was the first student to be awarded a BS in the Wildland Restoration Program at UM and is now continuing her studies toward an advanced degree with Dr. Cara Nelson in the Restoration Ecology Lab. Her research focuses on the relationship between spatial structure, burn severity and resilience of vegetation composition and structure in forest stands altered by past management. In addition to excellence in research, Haley has received high scores as a teaching assistant, been active in outreach and service, and the recipient of many prestigious awards.

Ryan BracewellRyan Bracewell works concurrently in the Bark beetle Ecology and Evolution Lab with Dr. Diana Six and with Jeff Good in in the Division of Biological Sciences. Ryan is using next generation technologies to sequence and assemble the genomes of the western pine beetle and its two symbiotic fungi. He is using genomic data to conduct population genetic analyses on all three organisms simultaneously and to conduct the first study ever to investigate the evolutionary history of a bark beetle-fungal multipartite symbiosis. Other aspects of his work include studies on reproductive isolation in the mountain pine beetle and the evolution of differences in size between the sexes in Dendroctonus bark beetles. In addition, Ryan has been the recipient of several prestigious national awards, has exhibited excellence in teaching and conducted numerous outreach efforts to students in K-12.