Congratulations to Ana Yoko Ykeuti Meiga and Alexandra Bijak
Two UF PhD students, Ana Yoko Ykeuti Meiga and Alexandra Bijak, were selected to participate in the 2023 Climate Adaptation Science Retreat from the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (SE CASC) in collaboration with the UF Water Institute, a consortium university partner of SE CASC.
Ana Yoko Ykeuti Meiga is currently pursuing her PhD in the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment with a focus on Interdisciplinary Ecology. She is a member of Dr. Denis Valle’s lab where the research centers on movement and spatial ecology, behavioral ecology, and wildlife conservation. Ana’s research primarily concentrates on assessing the impact of landscape disturbances and fragmentation on giant anteaters, a species categorized as “vulnerable” under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Reflecting on her participation in the 2023 SE CASC Climate Adaptation Science Retreat, she shared,
“I participated in the 2023 SE CASC Climate Adaptation Science Retreat and appreciate this opportunity. It was a valuable experience, and the retreat provided opportunities for learning and networking, enlightening me on insights I had not previously considered. One of the remarkable things from the retreat is that conservation needs to work for both people and the planet. Being exposed to Climate Adaptation training, incredible speakers, interested parts, and field trips helped me to broaden this framework.”
Alexandra Bijak is a PhD student in the Soil, Water, and Ecosystem Sciences department working on seagrass meadow stability and carbon dynamics. Her research centers on the interplay between species diversity and meadow stability in relation to carbon storage, particularly through organic carbon burial in sediments and greenhouse gas production. She also explores strategies for managing these ecosystems to mitigate the effects of climate change. Reflecting on her experience at the Climate Adaptation Science Retreat, she noted,
“The Climate Adaptation Science Retreat provided me with the invaluable experience of visiting sites where science agencies are working closely with communities to preserve historic landmarks and manage threatened coastal ecosystems in the face of rising sea levels. This gave me a new perspective on my research and how to design projects that are more inclusive of different knowledge systems and community members. I also learned best practices for conducting team science and conservation decision-making that promote transparency and fairness. I am excited to apply these principles to my future research projects and produce more actionable science!”
October 3, 2023