Doctoral Fellowships for tomorrow's leaders

Laci M. Gerhart

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Laci is a 2008 – 2012 Self Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology.  She received a B.S. (2006) in biology from the University of Kansas.  As an undergraduate, Laci was a Watkins-Berger Scholar, which is awarded to the top 100 female students in Kansas.  While an undergraduate, she spent two summers as a student park ranger working at Clinton Lake for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Following her graduation, Laci spent one year working for the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service in KU’s School of Education.  She has been a volunteer since 2006 for Operation WildLife, a nonprofit animal rehabilitation center, organizing public education programs and also fundraising activities.  Her research is focused on understanding how plants responded to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from the last ice age and how they will respond in the future.  Her long-term goal is to found a non-profit ecological organization that strives to overcome the negative effects of global changes on plant species.

Mentor: Joy Ward, Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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