A W.K. Kellogg Biological Station researcher is the recipient of a highly regarded award from the American Society of Naturalists, the oldest scientific society dedicated to the study of ecology, evolution and behavior.
Isabela Borges, a Ph.D. candidate in the Fitzpatrick Lab, recently was honored with the Society’s Student Research Award. The award supports graduate students conducting research that advances the Society’s goals of the conceptual unification of ecology, evolution or behavior. Borges was one of 10 scientists from an international field selected for the award.
About the award
“This is a highly competitive and prestigious award in our field – and Isabela is extremely deserving of it,” says Sarah Fitzpatrick, assistant professor at KBS and in Michigan State University’s Department of Integrative Biology. “I’m thrilled that ASN recognized the novelty and importance of Isabela’s work through this award!”
The award includes a $2,000 gift, which will support Borges’s research on the effects of inbreeding on the mutually beneficial relationship between plants and rhizobia, a nitrogen-fixing bacterium.
“Isabela’s research addresses an important, and previously unexplored, link between evolution and ecology that may have major consequences for natural populations in fragmented environments,” says Fitzpatrick. “That is, what happens to species interactions when habitats shrink and become more isolated?”
Isabela Borges earned a bachelor’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Toronto by way of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Borges arrived at KBS in 2018, where she’s pursuing a Ph.D. in integrative biology, through Michigan State University’s ecology, evolution, and behavior dual-degree program.
Her research interests include the evolutionary ecology of small populations, conservation genetics, and community ecology.