Skip to content

From North Carolina to the Venice Lagoon, Student Wades into Wetlands Research

Fateme Yousefi Lalimi, a doctoral student in Environmental Science at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, received a grant to visit Dr. Andrea D’Alpaos’s lab at the University of Padova and conduct fieldwork in the Venice Lagoon, in order to strengthen her dissertation on coastal wetlands.

She was among 19 Duke students who received Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants in 2016-17 for training beyond their core disciplines. Her faculty mentor was Marco Marani. She shared an overview of her experience:

During my visit at Dr. Andrea D’Alpaos’s lab at the University of Padova in Italy, I had a great opportunity to develop skills necessary to advance my Ph.D. research. In particular, I was able to extend a hydrodynamic model of coastal wetlands to larger scales with the use of robust numerical modeling techniques.

Furthermore, I had a chance to conduct fieldwork in the Venice Lagoon marshes, which gave me an excellent opportunity to widen my field experience in one of the paradigmatic and charismatic examples of highly-impacted tidal environments. Visiting and working in Venice marshes expanded my observational perspective beyond the study sites I was familiar with in North Carolina and Virginia.

Besides the academic training and research aspect of this experience, I could extend my professional network and scientific collaborations with leading scientists in my field. I am currently working on a scientific paper that is the result of my trip last fall. I will soon submit the paper to a peer-reviewed journal.

This internal funding mechanism from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies encourages graduate students to step away from their core research and training to acquire additional skills, knowledge or co-curricular experiences that will give them new perspectives on their research agendas. Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants are intended to deepen preparation for academic positions and other career trajectories.

See who received these grants for 2017-18, and read about other 2016-17 recipients’ experiences:

Image: Fateme Yousefi Lalimi (center) collaborating with Italian scientists doing fieldwork in Venice Lagoon marshes