CORVALLIS - A graduating doctoral student at Oregon State University has received a prestigious new fellowship just created at Yale University to study critical environmental issues and the loss of biodiversity.

Joseph Kiesecker will be named the first Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Fellow at the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.

Kiesecker next month will receive a doctorate in zoology from OSU and has been a leading researcher on the university's studies of global amphibian declines, in collaboration with Andrew Blaustein, an OSU professor of zoology. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in biology from the University of Northern Colorado.

His OSU doctoral thesis was titled "The Effects of UV-B Radiation, Pathogens and Introduced Species on Amphibians in the Pacific Northwest."

In his new position, Kiesecker will study the influence of fungal pathogens on larval amphibians. The larger goal is to understand how global and regional environmental change can stress organisms, increasing the prevalence of disease and affecting local biodiversity.

In recent years OSU scientists have developed some of the leading research programs in the world on the loss of biodiversity, ecological impacts of environmental change and amphibian declines.

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Andrew Blaustein, 541-737-5356