Taylor Fellowship will send PhD student to Australia for study

Abigail Lynch

May 23, 2011

Abigail Lynch, a University Distinguished Fellow, will travel to Australia to study fisheries management in the context of climate change thanks to The William W. and Evelyn M. Taylor Endowed Fellowship for International Engagement in Coupled Human and Natural Systems.

The award, announced Wednesday, provides $10,000 toward her studies.

Lynch is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and a member of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. She has a dual major in ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavior and a doctoral specialization in environmental science and policy.  Her dissertation research focuses on developing a decision-support tool to regulate harvest management strategies for lake whitefish in a changing climate.

This summer, Lynch will be a research associate with the Applied Environmental Decision Analysis Hub at the University of Queensland, one of the premier fisheries decision support institutions in the world. 

“Through this international experience, I will gain valuable international perspectives to assist with my own dissertation research,” Lynch said. “With the William W. and Evelyn M. Taylor Endowed Fellowship for International Engagement in Coupled Human and Natural Systems, I will conduct an exploratory analysis of decision support applications for fisheries management in the context of climate change.

“By collaborating with my host research group, one of the largest concentrations of applied modeling ecologists in the world, at the forefront of the emerging field of environmental decision making, I will be acquiring the skills, colleagues, relationships and networks with these experts in the field to pursue my current graduate research, as well as future collaborations, grants, and publications,” she added.

Taylor and his wife Evelyn established the fellowship to provide opportunities for fisheries and wildlife-related graduate students to significantly engage in understanding the scientific and cultural challenges and opportunities dealing with coupled human and natural systems at the global level. This interest is a result of the impact that the Taylors experience through multiple interactions with other cultures regarding the importance of fish, wildlife and water resources.

Bill Taylor, a university distinguished professor in global fisheries systems, served as chairperson of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife from 1992-2008 and acting dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources from 1999-2001. He also was president of American Fisheries Society.

Lynch received her B.S. in biology and B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and an M.S. in marine science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary.


Sue Nichols

CSIS Assistant Director

(517) 432-0206, nichols@msu.edu