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The foundation specifically targeted goal-oriented research in honeybee decline, stipulating that studies supported by the gift should focus on pesticide exposure, parasites and viruses affecting honeybee populations. The foundation identified
The gift, according to Gary Felton, professor and head of entomology in
"We're attracting excellent students," Felton said. "The incidence of CCD and the prominence of
Candidates for the fellowship will be evaluated on the basis of grades, Graduate Record Exam scores, letters of reference, the quality of any published research articles to date and a statement of why they are interested in this field and the research associated with it, Felton said.
Felton noted that his department "had really good success" selecting two graduate students for pollinator health fellowships sponsored by ice cream maker Haagen-Dazs. Those students were also paired with senior researchers working on specific CCD questions.
"These gifts allow us the flexibility that will really contribute toward the health and welfare of our pollinators," Felton said. "They enable us to do things we couldn't otherwise afford, such as purchase specialized equipment."
Felton said that government grants sometimes don't fund major equipment purchases or maintenance costs. However, private gifts have been used to purchase equipment that has helped make his department a national leader in CCD research. That leadership, he said, has enabled
"One of the goals of our department is to recruit the best possible students," Felton said. "This type of gift will attract the very best students to us, will help us do the research in the short term and will help us continue our leadership role in the future."
The E.B. O'Keeffe Charitable Foundation, located in
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