Ph.D. candidate Claire Johnson ’16 recently received an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will help her continue her work studying cyanobacteria on the North Carolina coast.
Having studied at the Outer Banks Field Site, a partnership between ECU’s Coastal Studies Institute and UNC’s Institute for the Environment, Study Abroad and the E3P programs, while at Carolina for her undergraduate degree, Johnson developed an interest in environmental research. Specifically, Johnson’s research focuses on rates of nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria living on Sargassum, an unrooted plant that floats at the ocean’s surface, with the goal of stimulating carbon draw-downs.
Given her hard work as an undergraduate, Johnson was awarded a competitive Graduate Research Fellowship from NSF, which includes $138,000 to continue her educational pursuits. She is using this fellowship to work at the home of the Outer Banks Field Site and continue her studies at the Coastal Studies Institute.
“I think with this fellowship I’ll be introduced to all different kinds of things and be able to see more what the industry versus academic tracks would look like, going to these development conferences and talking to other students in this program,” said Johnson. “I think it’ll be really informative.”