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Annelisse Aigster Director, Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Virginia Tech

Dr. Aigster is the Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Education in the Graduate School at Virginia Tech. She is a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (NSF-IGERT) fellow. In 2009-10, she served as Program Manager of the MILES IGERT at Virginia Tech. Her interdisciplinary research involved studying macromolecules at the interface of biology and chemistry. She has presented her doctorate research at various professional conferences and has published her research in various journals. Since 2010, she has led the Interdisciplinary Graduate Education efforts of the Graduate School at VT. 

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Kathleen Alexander Associate Professor Virginia TechFisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Dr. Alexander researches the influence of human behavior on the emergence of infectious disease in humans and animals, particularly in Africa using interdisciplinary approaches. She  established a field laboratory in Northern Botswana which has both molecular genetics and bacteriological investigations capacity—the first of its kind in the region.  There, she studies the interactions between humans and local wildlife in regards to disease transmission.  She is also president of Caracal, a non-profit agency that exists to support this mission. Her overall goal is to increase the ability to manage and maintain healthy ecosystems which support both biodiversity and human populations. She strongly believes in promoting interdisciplinary technical skills & communication abilities in her students.  She has significantly contributed content and support to IDR since its inception.

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Kacie Allen Virginia TechHNFE

Kacie earned her BS in Human Performance at Howard University. She graduated from Virginia Teach in 2013 with her PhD in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. She is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine.

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Katy Battle Virginia TechWildlife Science

Katy graduates with her BS in Wildlife Science in May 2014. While working on her BS, she was a research assistant in Dr. Kathleen Alexander’s Wildlife Health and Disease Ecology Laboratory at Virginia Tech. Katy will be pursuing my M.Sc. in Tropical Avian Ecology and Conservation Decision-Making from NC State.

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Mary Christine Dassira Virginia TechArt (Fine Arts)

Mary graduated from Virginia Tech in 2013 with her BFA in Virginia Communication Design. She is currently a graphic designer in Northern Virginia.

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Sarah Elizabeth Dymond Virginia TechGeography

Liz is a Master’s student in the Department of Geography.  She studies the ecological and human factors driving and influencing the spread of Lyme disease across the state of Virginia.   Recognizing the necessity of an interdisciplinary education, as an undergraduate she took classes in urban planning, environmental science, biology, and public health.  As a graduate student, Liz has finally found the melting pot in which she can throw all her interests – with the hope of ultimately improving someone’s quality life through these efforts

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Megan Kathleen Holcomb Virginia TechFisheries & Wildlife

Megan began her graduate studies at Virginia Tech in Water Quality and Coupled Human – Environmental Systems this spring. She earned a BS in Environmental Science with a water resources focus at The Ohio State University. She is interested in the emerging discipline of ecohydrology to better address the changing and practical needs for water resource management. Advancements in hydrological modeling have the potential to affect the livelihood of communities and entire countries currently facing increased water stress around the world. Understanding how local and global hydrologic systems interact with ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles is critical when investigating the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment.

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Carol A. Johnson Virginia TechDepartment of Geosciences

Carol is a senior Ph.D. student in the Geosciences department.  She graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Chemistry from Purdue University in 2007.  Her research focuses on naturally-occurring mineral nanoparticles and how they transport and transform metal contaminants in the environment.  She is happy that her research allowed her to spend some time outside doing field work in Germany with some microbiologists for 8 months in 2011.  She is also incredibly grateful for the EIGER IGERT program for training her to become an interdisciplinary scientist and is excited to be a part of the IDR Society

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Kayla Jordan Virginia TechGeography

Kayla is a  junior in the Department of Geography .  She has minors in geosciences, meteorology, and biology.  After she graduates from Virginia Tech, she hopes to go to graduate school to study climatology.  She is active member of the Geographic Society and also a member of the Alpha Phi fraternity, whose primary goal is to raise money for cardiac care.  She is currently involved in a research project concerning the biogeography of two tree species in Appalachia and soon be assisting in research studying microclimatic conditions in bogs. 

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Allison Renee LeBlanc Virginia TechGeography

Allison is a second year Ph.D. student in the Geospatial and Environmental Analysis Program, College of Natural Resources and Environment, Virginia Tech. Her research investigates the long-term environmental history of sites in the southwestern and eastern Dominican Republic, Barbuda, and Antigua using multi-proxy data (pollen, spores, charcoal, etc.) sources contained in sediment cores collected from coastal bodies of water. Allison graduated with a Master’s of Science in Geography from Virginia Tech in March of 2011.

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Ahsanur Rahman Virginia TechComputer Science & Application

Ahsanur Rahman is a PhD student in the Computer Science department at Virginia Tech. He is currently working under Dr. Murali as a Research Assistant. Ahsanur is primarily interested in Computational Systems Biology and Data mining. He is involved in several projects which are highly interdisciplinary by nature. In his research, he combines concepts/techniques from Genetics, Data Mining, and Information Theory to find “interesting” set of proteins from protein interaction networks. Ahsanur graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology with a B.Sc. in “Computer Science and Engineering” in 2008. After working as a teacher for more than two years, he admitted into VT in Fall 2010.

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Nicole J. Thompson PhD student Virginia TechPsychology

 Nicole Thompson is a doctoral student in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program at Virginia Tech. Her primary research interests lie in the area of leadership, team processes, and interdisciplinary collaboration.  As a EIGER Fellow in NSF’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program from 2008-2012, her thesis examined the influence of intragroup trust and performance feedback on information sharing in interdisciplinary and homogenous teams

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Eric Vance Research Asst Professor AY Virginia TechDepartment of Statistics

Dr. Vance was a triple major in mathematics, economics, and
statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and then eleven years later received his PhD in Statistical Science from Duke University. In between his undergraduate and graduate studies, Dr.
Vance traveled around the world three times, backpacking through 67 countries in Europe; Asia; Australia; Central and South America; and Africa. Dr. Vance is the director of LISA: Virginia Tech’s Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis

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Robert White Virginia TechGeography

Mac is a senior in the Department of Geography.  He has gained experience with interdisciplinary research and work through his employment with the Center for Geospatial Information Technology. There, he worked on projects that brought together architecture, computer science, biology, geography, information technology, heath nutrition and exercise, history, and many other disciplines. After graduating, Mac will pursue a career in Intelligence, where he will be able to use the knowledge he gained from Interdisciplinary work at Virginia Tech to innovate how Intelligence is gathered and analyzed. 

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