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PhD Students Sebastian Heilpern and Yen Joe Tan Receive Edward Prince Goldman Scholarship in Science

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GSAS doctoral candidates Sebastian Heilpern (Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology) and Yen Joe Tan (Earth and Environmental Sciences) were named the 2018 recipients of the Edward Prince Goldman Scholarship in Science from The New York Community Trust. The award is given annually to Natural Sciences graduate students selected by faculty, and includes a prize of $5,000 funded by the Sidney Prince Trust.

About the Awardees

  • Sebastian Heilpern (Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology) is a rising fourth-year student working under the supervision of Dr. Shahid Naeem. Mr. Heilpern’s scientific research is focused on the complex relationship between the multiple dimensions of biological diversity (e.g., taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity) and the magnitude and stability of multiple functions in ecological systems. The empirical system used to test the theory he has developed, and recently published, is the highly diverse Amazonian freshwater fish that are critical nutritional resources for communities found throughout the tributaries of the Amazon Basin. Unlike many students who tackle single scientific issues, Mr. Heilpern’s work synthesizes health, nutrition, and human wellbeing with the natural sciences of tropical biology, biodiversity, climate change, ichthyology, ecology, hydrology, and evolutionary biology.
  • Yen Joe Tan (Earth and Environmental Sciences) is a rising fifth-year student working under the supervision of Dr. Maya Tolstoy and Dr. Felix Waldhauser. His research spans several earth science subdisciplines, and addresses important questions in seismology, volcanology, and geodynamics. His specific focus is on improving our understanding of processes associated with the creation of new tectonics plates at mid-ocean ridges. In his most significant published contribution so far (Tan et al., Nature, 2016), Mr. Tan investigated the evolution of a suboceanic volcanic eruption using data recorded by seismometers deployed on the seafloor. The detailed observations derived in this study put important new constraints on the forces active at the boundary where plates are created and drift apart.