KU professor to study biodiversity in the Philippines with Fulbright award

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A professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas has won a scholarly award that will allow him to spend a year in the Philippines studying biodiversity.

Through a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award, Rafe Brown will conduct fieldwork sampling amphibians and reptiles, studying the biodiversity of a stretch of “pristine tropical forest that extends from a volcanic peak to the sea,” according to a KU news release.

“This opportunity means the world to me and is something I have been imagining for more than two decades,” Brown said in the release. “I’m thrilled that it is coming to fruition and looking forward to the year ahead.”

The Fulbright Awards are competitive fellowships. Brown is one of 800 U.S. citizens who will teach or conduct research abroad through the program during the 2024-25 year, according to the release.

Brown has studied the “evolution, distribution, dispersal and diversity of land vertebrates in the archipelagos of the Philippines, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands” for more than 20 years, according to the release.

He will have the opportunity to remain in the Philippines through monsoon season, when he will witness the weather system’s effect on amphibian activity in the rainforests.

Read more about the award and Brown’s plans in this KU news release.

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Kaw Valley Almanac for July 15-21, 2024

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Gray coneflower, Ratibida pinnata, is a long blooming native perennial whose name refers to the gray cone under the brown disk florets, here being visited by a bumblebee interested in their sweet nectar.


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