Graduate student Kai Wang received two NSF Fellowships



Our graduate student Kai Wang recently received two NSF Fellowships, including the East Asian and Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI) and the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)! EAPSI supports summer research activities conducted with foreign collaborators in East Asian and Pacific countries, and GRFP supports STEM graduate students who are pursuing research-based advance degrees in the US. The GRFP includes a 3-year living stipend, plus tuition coverage.

For both fellowships, Kai will focus on the systematics and phylogeography of agamid lizards in the genus Japalura sensu lato, particularly in the Three Parallel Rivers of the Hengduan Mountain Region in China. Utilizing population genetics and genomic data, Kai will stabilize the current problematic taxonomy of the genus. In addition, Kai will use the river-valley dwelling congeners from Southwest China as a model to investigate the impacts of the formation of the Tibetan Plateau and of the subsequent changes in river topologies on the evolution and speciation of lizards in the Three Parallel River system.

For summer 2017, Kai will continue his fieldwork in southwest China, including in eastern Tibet, northwest Yunnan Province, and southwestern Yunnan Province via funding from the EAPSI. In addition, Kai will also join an expedition to Myanmar this summer with collaborators from Chinese Academy of Sciences. His GRFP Fellowship will start in Fall 2017.

Congratulations to Kai!