Sept. 3, 2019

Twenty Scientists Awarded 2019 Early-Career Research Fellowships by National Academies' Gulf Research Program

WASHINGTON – The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced today the recipients of its 2019 Early-Career Research Fellowships. Now in its fifth year, the fellowship program supports the development of emerging scientific leaders who are prepared to work at the intersections of environmental health, community health and resilience, and offshore energy system safety in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. coastal regions.

The Gulf Research Program’s Early-Career Research Fellowship helps early-career researchers during the critical pre-tenure phase of their careers. Fellows are provided with a $76,000 financial award along with mentoring support to help them navigate this period with independence, flexibility, and a built-in support network. The support allows them to take risks on research ideas, pursue unique collaborations, and build a network of colleagues who share their interest in improving offshore energy system safety and the resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems.

The fellowships are awarded to individuals who demonstrate a strong scientific or technical background, superior scholarship, effective communication skills, and an ability to work across disciplines, among other attributes. Nearly 70 Early-Career Fellowships have been awarded since 2015.

The 20 recipients of the 2019 Early-Career Research Fellowships are:

Trisha Atwood
Assistant Professor, Watershed Sciences
Utah State University

Shanondora Billiot
Assistant Professor, Social Work
University of Illinois

Traci Birch
Assistant Professor, Architecture
Louisiana State University

Edward Camp
Assistant Professor, Fisheries and Aquaculture Governance
University of Florida

Andia Chaves Fonnegra
Assistant Professor, Biology
Florida Atlantic University

Rebeca de Jesus Crespo
Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences
Louisiana State University

Kim de Mutsert
Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences and Policy
George Mason University

Jessica Fitzsimmons
Assistant Professor, Oceanography
Texas A&M University

Mariana Fuentes
Assistant Professor, Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Florida State University

Evan Goldstein
Research Scientist, Geography, Environment, and Sustainability
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

James Nelson
Assistant Professor, Biology
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Kwame Owusu-Daaku
Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of West Florida

Allison Reilly
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Maryland

Isabel Romero
Research Associate, Marine Sciences
University of South Florida

Derek Sawyer
Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences
The Ohio State University

Lauren Stadler
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rice University

Elaina Sutley
Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
University of Kansas

Yufei Tang
Assistant Professor, Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Florida Atlantic University

William Tarpeh
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
Stanford University

Gabrielle Wong-Parodi
Assistant Professor, Earth System Science
Stanford University

To learn more about the recipients and the Gulf Research Program’s Early-Career Research Fellowships, visit Applications for 2020 Early-Career Fellowships will open in early December.

The National Academies' Gulf Research Program is an independent, science-based program founded in 2013 as part of legal settlements with the companies involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It seeks to enhance offshore energy system safety and protect human health and the environment by catalyzing advances in science, practice, and capacity to generate long-term benefits for the Gulf of Mexico region and the nation. The program has $500 million for use over 30 years to fund studies, projects, and other activities in the areas of research and development, education and training, and monitoring and synthesis. Visit to learn more.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit

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Kacey Templin, Media Relations Officer
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