Three Rutgers graduate students have been selected as 2018 GradCAP Scholars. The Graduate Student Climate Adaptation Partners Scholars Program (GradCAP) is sponsored by the USDA Northeast Climate Hub and developed to enhance the engagement of graduate students who are conducting natural/social science research addressing aspects of climate adaptation in the context of agronomic, horticultural, aquacultural, or forest systems. The selected students include Michael Acquafredda, Michael Allen, William Errickson.
Michael Acquafredda is a PhD candidate in Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources. His research is focused on whether selective breeding for a heat-tolerant surfclam is a viable strategy for enhancing the survival of surfclams exposed to high temperatures on farms. This is highly relevant to the influence of rising temperatures under climate change to aquaculture.
Michael Allen is a PhD candidate in Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources. He studies the effectiveness of policy to conserve grassland birds in the northeast. Hayfield management affects the populations of bird species, which is strongly related to climate and can affect biodiversity in the future.
William Errickson, PhD candidate in Plant Biology studies the role of rhizobacteria in ecosystems in the northeast in improving crop productivity and stress tolerance. His research has focused on microorganisms that can be used as biofertilizers to improve plant growth during stress conditions associated with climate change, such as heat and drought.
Rutgers GradCAP Scholars Michael Acquafredda, Michael Allen, and William Errickson attended a March 2019 workshop in Maine, capping off a year-long project offered by the USDA Department of Agriculture Northeast Climate Hub network. Mike Acquafreda helped to moderate a session and all the scholars participated in paper drafting, gave webinars, and wrote research abstracts.
GradCAP scholars at the March 2019 Conference at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.