P.J. Coleman, Master's Student, Received Wachovia Environmental Research Award

PJ Coleman, graduate student, is the recipient of the 2023-24 Wachovia Environmental Research Award!

The Wachovia Award, presented by the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies, is designed to recognize faculty or graduate students actively engaged in high-quality environmental research related to the southern Appalachians.

Coleman received the award for his work studying the diversity and distribution of Syrphid Flies along the Blue Ridge Parkway,as well as exploring aspects of their foraging behavior relevant to their efficacy as pollinators.

“Pollination is a critical ecosystem service supporting the vast majority of flowering plants, including many crop species that we depend on for food. When it comes to pollination, most of the buzz surrounds bees; however, many bee species are known to be facing significant global declines,” explained Coleman. “My research is focused on better understanding the diversity, distribution, and foraging choices of pollinating flies in the family Syrphidae (hoverflies) throughout the Southern Appalachians. Specifically, I have conducted a pilot inventory of hoverflies along the Blue Ridge Parkway, described their regional floral associations, and quantified foraging behaviors relevant to their efficacy as pollinators. A stronger focus on hoverflies and non-bee pollinators in general would greatly benefit our natural and agricultural assets, particularly in this age of pollinator peril that we currently find ourselves in."

Coleman's research was advised by Dr. Jennifer Geib.

Published: Apr 18, 2024 12:40pm