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Biology graduate student receives National Science Foundation fellowship

Jose Sanchez

Jose Sanchez, a graduate student in the Georgia Southern Department of Biology, has been awarded a highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship to conduct ecological research in South America.

Sanchez is one of only three students selected to participate from a competitive, nationwide search. The fellowship is funded by a NSF International Research Experience for Students grant. The grant, administered by the University of North Texas, is designed to fund interdisciplinary research and biocultural conservation in the world’s southernmost forests.

“I’m proud to represent Georgia Southern University as part of this program,” said Sanchez. “I will get the chance to apply my research to the conservation of an important ecosystem and the local culture that depends on this system.”

Sanchez will travel to the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve in southern Chile in December for a two-month research expedition. The fellowship will pay all expenses, including a weekly stipend. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with international collaborators to conduct cutting-edge research in a unique setting.

The program’s goal is to integrate science with sociocultural issues. Thus, Sanchez will conduct independent research on the ecology of freshwater streams and the importance of these aquatic ecosystems to local people. This sub-Antarctic region is home to several threatened indigenous cultures.

Being awarded this prestigious fellowship will contribute to Sanchez’s development as a scientist, says Checo Colon-Gaud, Ph.D., director of the Department of Biology graduate program.

“I’m proud of him for pursuing this opportunity and thrilled that he will be representing not only the biology graduate program, but also the University as a whole,” said Colon-Gaud.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 118 degree programs serving 20,418 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit


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