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2020 Tinker Graduate Student Projects

Maria Alejandra Garcia (PhD student, Community Sustainability, CANR)

Gendered Intra-household Decisions and Alternative Coffee Markets in Colombia

Maria Alejandra_website.jpgMaria Alejandra's study focuses on gendered intra-household decision-making over the use of agricultural land among small-scale farmers. This gender analysis examines small-scale farmers' engagement with alternative markets in the Colombian coffee sector (e.g., specialty, organic, fair-trade, or biodiversity coffee). Do women have the same power as men to decide to pursue new initiatives on their land? What are the gendered impacts of alternative markets on a micro-scale?

Ernesto Granados Acoltzin (PhD student, Anthropology and Environmental Science & Policy, SSC)

Water Policies in the Local Context: Baja California and the Colorado River

Granados_website.jpgErnesto will initiate research with indigenous communities, organizations and stakeholders in Baja California, Mexico to identify the narratives that frame the management of the Colorado River in local cultures and how these cultures are affected by major policy decisions.

Kyle Jaynes (PhD student, Integrative Biology, CNS)

Genomics of Population Declines and Recoveries in Iconic Harlequin Toads and the Amphibian Killing Fungus in Ecuador

Kyle_Jaynes_Photo for website and news article.jpgKyle's research will examine the genomics of species persistence and recovery and environmental predictors of a deadly amphibian pathogen through study of a highly vulnerable group of frogs: Harlequin toads in the Ecuadorian Andes. This work will contribute to knowledge concerning how declining populations respond to a rapidly changing world.

Isabela Lima Borges (PhD student, Integrative Biology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior, CNS)

Ecological Drivers of Plant Population Structure in Brazilian Rupestrian Fields

Isabela lima_website.jpgMountainous regions in central Brazil are home to an enormous diversity of endemic plants, most of which are distributed in small, isolated fragments. Isabela will study the genetics and ecology of these endemic plants to understand the conservation status of these species and explore how small populations persist and adapt to novel conditions.

Jessica Martinez Cruz (PhD student, Philosophy, CAL)

Land Struggles and Indigenous Healer Practices in Nicaragua

Jessica Martinez_webite.jpgJessica will travel to the Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica/History Institute of Nicaragua and Central America in Nicaragua to conduct research on land struggles and the practices of Indigenous healers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Nicaragua.

Marisol Masso (PhD student, Curriculum, Instruction, & Teacher Education, COE)

US Policymakers' Perceptions of the Argentine Education System

Masso_website.jpgMarisol will study how a group of senior US educational policy experts perceives and understands the Argentine education system over the course of a professional exchange visit to Argentina. Using interviews and participant observation to 'see' Argentine education through the eyes of US policy makers, Marisol will use the perceptions of the US policy makers to identify blind spots and overlooked issues in Argentine research and policy on education, in order to frame new directions for research on Argentine education policy.

Emily Milton (PhD, Anthropology and Environmental Science & Policy, SSC)

By Land or by Sea: An Isoscape for Paleo Mobility and Diet in the Central Andes

Milton_website.jpgEmily will conduct environmental sampling in the departments of Junín and Arequipa, Peru, to establish preliminary isotope baselines for prehistoric archaeological studies of human mobility and diet in the Andes.

Tiago Sousa Prado (PhD student, Media & Information Studies, CCAS)

The Role of Technology and Innovation Policies in Reducing Digital Inequalities in Brazil

Tiago_Sousa _photo for website and news article.jpgTiago seeks to understand how innovation and technology policies have been designed and implemented with the aim of reducing digital divides in low- and middle-income countries. He plans to explore policy design and implementation in Brazil, via interviews with both public and private stakeholders involved in these processes.

Alyssa Wolfe (PhD student, Second Language Studies Program, CAL/COE/CCAS)

Investigating Learner Phrasal Verb Form Knowledge with Eye Tracking

Wolfe_website.jpgAlyssa Wolfe is working to understand English learner knowledge and processing of phrasal verbs, focusing on native Spanish-speaking learners of English. Her project will use eye tracking measurements of reading behavior to investigate learner processing of phrasal verbs as units, rather than individual words.

Leonardo Ziccardi (PhD student, Forestry and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior, CANR and CNS)

Testing Drivers of Amazon Forest Response to Climate: A Novel Approach Upscaling from Leaf Level Traits and Environments to Canopy Tower and Satellite Observations

Leonardo_2_Photo for website and news article.jpgUsing innovative technology developed at MSU and climbing techniques to access the Amazon canopy, Leonardo will take leaf-level measurements of microenvironments, photosynthetic parameters, and hydraulic traits to improve our understanding of photosynthetic responses and hydraulic strategies among species and environmental conditions in tropical forests.