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UW Graduate Student Wins Boyd Evison Fellowship

June 29, 2009

University of Wyoming graduate student Nicholas Dowie recently received the Boyd Evison Graduate Fellowship for 2009 from Grand Teton National Park and the Grand Teton Association (GTA).

The fifth recipient of the Evison Fellowship, Dowie is pursuing his Ph.D. in botany in the UW Department of Biology. He graduated in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in plant biology from Montana State University. Dowie is most interested in the study of evolutionary ecology, mycorrihizal symbioses (mutually-beneficial relationships between fungi and plant roots) and myco-heterotrophic plants that obtain carbon from various species of fungi.

The Evison Fellowship, established in memory of Boyd Evison to honor his extensive and dedicated service to the GTA and the National Park Service (NPS), provides tuition assistance and a yearly stipend to cover travel and field research costs.

Dowie plans to use his fellowship award to study the symbiotic relationship between three specific organisms in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks: conifer trees; pinedrops, a unique non-photosynthetic plant that spends most of its life underground and receives carbon from fungi to reproduce; and a truffle-like fungus that associates with conifers to obtain carbon.

Following a 42-year career with the NPS, Boyd Evison retired in 1994 and soon began his second career as executive director for the GTA, a non-profit park partner dedicated to aiding interpretive, educational and research programs for Grand Teton National Park. He died in 2002.

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2009

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