College of Arts & Sciences

UNCW Doctoral Student Receives Prestigious Fellowship

OCTOBER 2, 2019

Marae Lindquist ’23, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in biology and marine biology, has received the NC Sea Grant/NC Sentinel Site Cooperative Joint Graduate Fellowship, becoming the second joint graduate fellow in the program’s history.

“I am thrilled that my proposal to model sea level rise on winter populations of marsh sparrows was selected,” Lindquist said. “These birds live their whole lives in marshes that are on the front lines of sea level rise.”

Her research evolved from her involvement in assistant professor of biology and marine biology Raymond Danner’s project to analyze the space use, habitat, density and abundance of the birds’ winter population on Masonboro Island. According to Danner, Lindquist is a “sharp, enthusiastic, hard-working and skilled researcher who is on an excellent career trajectory in science and education.”

Guided by its Strategic Plan, UNCW encourages students to pursue applied learning experiences by seeking grants and fellowships and conducting advanced research.  

Lindquist hopes her research will provide government policymakers with much-needed information about marsh sparrows. “If we have an idea about how marsh sparrow habitat will be affected by sea level rise, then we can pair that with our prior research to understand population changes and potentially help with conservation strategies in their winter grounds,” she said.

North Carolina Sea Grant provides research, education and outreach opportunities relating to current issues affecting the North Carolina coast and its communities. There are five cooperatives under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sentinel Site Program: Chesapeake Bay, Hawaiian Islands, North Carolina, Northern Gulf of Mexico and San Francisco Bay. Sentinel Site Cooperatives bring together science, management and technology to address the impacts of sea level changes on coastal communities.

- Diamond Bentley ’21 and Andrea Monroe Weaver