Michelle Fearon, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology, was named a 2019 Dow Sustainability Doctoral Fellow. She is one of 11 exceptional doctoral candidates representing 10 different disciplines from eight U-M schools and colleges. Each new fellow receives up to $15,000 to help support their research in the coming year.

“My dissertation research will investigate the patterns and mechanisms of transmission of multi-host pathogens in pollinator communities along a landscape gradient from areas with high proportions of natural habitat to areas with high proportions of agriculture,” said Fearon. “The results from this work will contribute to maintaining diverse, healthy pollinator communities that can sustainably pollinate crops and native plants.”

Michelle Fearon identifies bees she collected under a stereoscope in the lab to determine differences in pollinator community diversity and composition.

“We are excited to accept this new cohort of talented doctoral students into the Dow Fellows Program,” said Margaret Wooldridge, director of the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program and U-M College of Engineering professor. “They represent the brightest of Michigan, and we look forward to a year of activities to help them refine their skills and contribute to sustainability leadership.”

Dow Doctoral Fellows join a growing community of more than 1,000 sustainability scholars devoted to developing and implementing practical and innovative ideas. Dow Master’s and Doctoral Fellows seek to become sustainability leaders in academia, business, government and non-governmental organizations. Fellows focus on interdisciplinary approaches to a broad array of sustainability challenges related to water, energy, transportation, built environment, climate change, food, health, human behavior and more.

This is the fifth cohort of Dow Sustainability Doctoral Fellows at U-M, and they will participate in the program from January to December 2019. The University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute administers and supports the Dow Doctoral Fellows program. Made possible by The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, the program prepares future sustainability leaders to make a positive difference in organizations worldwide.