Plant Pathology student Cassandra Wattenburger Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

April 5, 2016
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Cassandra (Cassie) Wattenburger, a PhD student working with Dr. Larry Halverson, was recently awarded a highly competitive Fellowship from the 2016 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Wattenburger is originally from the Palouse of Washington. She received her bachelor's in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry at Western Washington University. Before starting her graduate studies at Iowa State she worked as a research associate with Dr. Kristen Hofmockel. Cassie started her graduate studies here in the fall of 2015. She is currently advised by Drs Halverson and Hofmockel and her project is investigating the role of soil microbes; particularly those involved with nitrogen cycling in sustainable agriculture. For her NSF application, she proposed to investigate the interaction between arbuscular mycorrhzal fungi and nitrifying bacteria and how they relate to nitrogen leaching from the soil. The fellowship funds three years of stipend and tuition. Wattenburger hopes to someday become a PI in a Department of Energy or USDA research laboratory and continue to work on agriculture and sustainability. 

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