Lauren Lynch is one of 16 Illinois students and recent graduates to win Fulbright grants to pursue international education, research, and teaching experiences around the world this coming year. Lynch is completing her doctorate in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and in wildlife and fisheries conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a master’s in natural resource management from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Her Fulbright grant will take her to the city of Cotonou, Benin, to study the impacts of urbanization on bees and the pollination services they provide. Lynch said many families in Cotonou maintain household gardens as a supplementary source of food and income. By measuring the effects of urbanization on the abundance and diversity of bees, her research seeks to contribute to improving food security in West African urban ecosystems and beyond. As a future professor, Lynch said she aspires to develop an urban ecology research program that would allow undergraduate students to engage in socially and culturally conscious research.
Learn about the other 15 winners from the Illinois News Bureau.