TRU students receive prestigious award, supporting environment research projects

Anonymous donors support students whose research furthers understanding of the environment

TRU Graduate students Breanne McAmmond and Chloe Howarth were the recipients of the Environmental Science and Natural Resource Science Fellowship Awards. The two awards, valued at $7,500 each, are presented to upper-level undergraduate or graduate students in the streams of Natural Resource Science and Environmental Science.

The recipients were selected based on their scholarly achievements, their commitment to research and their demonstrated potential for future contributions to our understanding of the environment, per the fellowship’s own criteria.

McAmmond, who completed her undergraduate degree at TRU, currently works with Dr. Jonathan Van Hamme in TRU’s Applied Genomics Laboratory. Their research is on using bacteria to degrade per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAs, which are known as “forever chemicals.” PFAs can cause health issues in animals and humans, and there are currently no known means of removing PFAs from the environment.

Howarth, who completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Victoria, is working with Dr. Karl Larsen on research that seeks to understand migration patterns of BC’s Western Rattlesnake. Howarth’s research will include tracking juvenile rattlesnakes to determine whether young snakes have the same migratory patterns as adults. 

This grant, and others like it, not only lessens the financial burden of pursuing their studies but also acknowledges their excellence in research thus far.

“This takes the financial stress away from being a student and allows me to fully focus on my research,” said McAmmond. “It’s also nice to have my research recognized, and to have that extra confidence knowing that, even in a small way, I have contributed to this field of research.”

“It is always so great to know that other people think what you’re working on is worthwhile. This is so validating,” said Howarth.

These fellowships were generously created by an anonymous donor. Students who receive these awards are selected based on their potential for future contributions to our understanding of the environment.

To learn more about graduate research funding opportunities, visit TRU’s website.