Student Profile – Shelby Hayhoe Riskin
Undergraduate School: Grinnell College
Graduate School: Brown University and MBL joint program
What made you choose the Brown/MBL program?
I chose the Brown/MBL program because of the opportunity to work across two really wonderful institutions on a project that really inspires me. I am able to work in a critically important area on what I think are important questions with the support of many smart, dynamic, and interested people. I also like that my project is building collaboration between my advisors and I see the collaboration of all of our interests as a real strength of my project.
What are you studying?
I am looking at the effects of agricultural conversion in the Amazon. I am working in Mato Grosso state, an area in the heart of the arc of deforestation on a large soy farm. At the small watershed scale, I am looking at differences in stream chemistry and nutrient export between forested and soy watersheds. Terrestrially, I am looking at how farming inputs are changing the biogeochemistry and fertility of soils in the region. I am also interested in if these changes at the field level will ever influence adjacent ecosystems, through wind or water erosion, for example.
What do you hope to do after completing your graduate work?
I am not sure exactly where I would like to end up – but I hope to continue to work on the functioning of ecosystems and the science of global change.