Student researcher earns bioenergy fellowship
By Cera Southerland, ’13
The Texas A&M Energy Institute, with a donation of $40,000 from ConocoPhillips, awarded eight fellowships to support graduate students in their energy research.
More than 40 students were nominated from 16 different departments at Texas A&M University, however, only one student among the eight recipients from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences was selected: Lyons.
“I was fortunate enough to be the only recipient from the College, and one of eight recipients to be awarded this fellowship in the university,” said Lyons. “It was quite an honor knowing this.”
Lyons’ dissertation work focuses on the model grass brachypodium and the Panicum mosaic virus complex, and his abstract is titled “Understanding Plant Associated Microorganisms – Viral Infections of Bioenergy-Related Model Grasses.”
Lyons said that receiving the fellowship, for him, means there must be real interest in his Ph.D. research and towards making real differences in bio-energy.
“This fellowship will allow me to present current scientific data as it pertains to my Ph.D. research at national and international levels,” Lyons said.
Lyons also said that the fellowship is helping fund his other ongoing project on the history and philosophy of science, which focuses on the emergence of brachypodium as a model for bioenergy, food and forage grass research.
Lyons is presenting his research at the Annual Energy Institute Conference held at the Hilton College Station on October 3 and 4. This conference features experts from academic programs and state agencies in the Texas A&M System who explore the challenges facing our water resources and opportunities of conventional and emerging technologies as they affect our economy.
After graduating, Lyons plans to continue at Texas A&M in a postdoctoral research position and with the support and guidance of his advisor, Dr. Karen-Beth Scholthof, and the department.
“My plans are to remain in an academic environment and slowly making my way up the academic ladder to professorship,” Lyons said.
Cera Southerland, ’13, is an agricultural communications and journalism student. She is chief student leader of IAAS and also serves as an Ambassador and Mentor for Study Abroad.