Graduate Student Research Fellowships

The Jornada Basin LTER provides support for half-time, 12 month (up to $24,000/y), and summer research fellowships (up to $6000/summer) for graduate students conducting research directly related to the goals of the Jornada LTER. Graduate Research Fellows may be eligible for up to 2 years (halftime) or 2 summers of support, for students in good standing with their university and with the Jornada LTER Program. The number of fellowships and amount each year depends on funds available. For details and instructions regarding the 2024 fellowship program, see the attached flier and application form.

Applications are due to Madeleine Soss by March 1st, 2024. Email Madeleine ( or Niall Hanan ( if you have any questions.

Past Fellowship Recipients

  • Michael Mba Kusibu
    Harnessing the Potential of Dryland Cyanobacteria for Environmental Sustainability and Dryland Ecosystem Restoration Advisor: Nicole Pietrasiak
  • Ana Mercedes Heredia Velasquez
    Improving the biocrust re-inoculation process by understanding Microcoleus vaginatus symbiosis with the nitrogen-fixing heterotrophs in it’s cyanosphere Advisor: Ferran Garcia-Pichel
  • Lance Fountain
    Spatial and temporal factors that influence Pogonomyrmex rugosus seed preference for rangeland restoration reeds Advisor: Erik Lehnhoff
  • Annessa Foss
    Flower phenology in a dryland ecosystem as affected by climate Advisor: Osvaldo Sala
  • Brenda Almanza
    Biocrust Physiological Response to Rainfall Gradients
  • Anna Downing
    Resolving Structural Diversity Controls on Small Mammal Biodiversity Along a Vegetation Volume Gradient at Grassland, Shrubland, and Forest at NEON/LTER Sites
  • Emily Embury
    Fungal Communities in the Changing Vegetation Regime of the Chihuahuan Desert
  • Sarah Ramirez
    Effects on Microbial Desert Volatiles on Native Plant Growth
  • Dylan Stover
    Phosphorus Dynamics in the Critical Zone
  • Trevor Roberts
    Quantifying shrub structure as an indicator of community interaction in a US southwestern shrubland
  • Madeline Buhman
    Effect of Ecosystem VPD vs Soil Moisture Control on NPP
  • Parikrama Sapkota
    Soil microbes in dryland ecosystems can aid in plant community adaption to climate change
  • Ruby Hurtado
    Quantification of Soil Moisture Variations within Ephemeral Playas Utilizing Cosmic-Ray Neutron Sensing
  • Finlay Warsop Thomas
    Biological soil crusts and the cyanosphere
  • Anthony Schaefer
    Linking Biological Soil Crust Cover and Composition to Ecological Site Health
  • Ryan Schroeder
    Soil seed bank density across a grassland to shrubland gradient
  • Julie Rakes
    Are plaques found in mature biocrusts indicative of predatory bacteria? Is the organism absent when symptoms are?
  • Corey Nelson
    The symbiotic foundation of biocrust microbiomes and its application in ecological restoration
  • Charles Kimsal
    Understanding cross-scale interactions in the basin, providing process-based explanations of phenomena occurring across heterogeneous landscapes, and characterizing hydrologic connectivity in a semi-arid ecosystem
  • Seth Burruss
    Estimating biological soil crust cover in the Chihuahuan desert using hyperspectral remote sensing from unmanned aerial vehicles  
  • Kieran Andreoni
    The importance of coupled herbivore-climate interactions in triggering and reinforcing shrub encroachment processes
  • Robert Wojcikiewicz
    Remote sensing of biotic and abiotic factors contributing to shrub encroachment in dryland ecosystems
  • Christopher Vito
    Effects of long-term alterations of precipitation on community and ecosystem functioning
  • Tyler Turk
    Connectivity and Seed Availability: the Role of Seeds in Chihuahuan Desert State Transitions
  • Caroline Toth
    Demographic bottlenecks as drivers of dominant shrub distribution in the Jornada Basin
  • Molly Reichenborn
    Impacts of Mesquite Control on Plant Recovery and Plant-Insect Interactions
  • Zachary Keller
    Hillslope-Channel Connectivity in Runoff across a Bajada Landscape
  • Samuel Jordan
    Drought and disturbance in North American Drylands
  • Mikaela Hoellrich
    Linking Biogeochemical Function and Microbial Diversity in Chihuahuan Desert Biocrusts
  • Courtney Currier
    Long-term directional changes in precipitation on ecosystem functioning: From plant phenology to nutrient cycling