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ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Program

BenU China Pollination Project team finds the flag at Shenyang JianZhu University.

The 2015 ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Award has awarded $34,955.00 to support undergraduate research in Asia during the summer of 2015. Student members of the team are Jermeen El-Zabet, Katie VittalM, Ann Pendergast, Annie White, Amy Klingbiel and Rachel Warren. The proposal, which was chosen for funding from a very strong applicant pool, consisted of a research proposal and essays from and recommendation letters for each of the student and faculty members Dr. Steven Day (Language and Literature) and Dr. Cheryl Heinz (Biology).

Worldwide concern about the plight of natural pollinators has increased the past several years. In China, several economically-important areas have lost their entire natural pollinator population. Our proposal takes a unique view, to look at human pollinated trees for changes in the very cues used by natural pollinators to select flowers. In addition, we will make observations of natural pollinator populations in multiple sites. This will allow us to draw more informed conclusions about our results, and to add to the growing database of information about pollinator abundance and distributions.

Bee photo taken by Dr. Heinz in Dalian, Liaoning, China

The initial program cycle of the ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Award program, run during the summers of 1998, 1999, and 2000, supported the research of thirty teams (a faculty mentor and one student researcher) in Asia, sixty “Fellows” in all. Beginning in 2001, the program expanded on this model, allowing each faculty mentor to take up to five students to Asia, to conduct research. During the past fifteen years, this program has provided 185 grants to 837 student and faculty fellows from 102 different colleges.