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2014 James Smithson Fellowship Awardees

Posted on June 18, 2014 by in The OFI Blog


The Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI) is pleased to announce the 2014 James Smithson Fellowship Awardees. The James Smithson Fellowship is open to post-doctoral researchers in the fields of science, humanities and the arts who want to research the intersection between these fields and public policy. It is designed to offer early career opportunities to scholars and the chance to work closely with Smithsonian researchers and collections as well as an inside view of policy making through close work with Smithsonian leaders and throughout the Washington D.C. network.

Clark Rushing will be collaborating with Dr. Peter Marra of the National Zoological Park (NZP). During his time as a Smithsonian Fellow Clark will be assisted by researchers from the Migratory Bird Center and use a combination of long term monitoring data, cutting edge tracking and remote sensing technologies, and innovative analytical approaches to advance conservation of the Wood Thrush, a rapidly declining migratory bird.

Previously, Clark was a Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow at NZP in 2012. Clark is currently finishing his Ph.D. in Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University in 2005.


Shermin de Silva will be collaborating with Dr. Peter Leimgruber at the National Zoological Park (NZP). Shermin will be studying, “elephant landscapes”. She will spend one year at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) modeling how Asian elephants’ populations globally will be impacted by trends in land cover change. She will model demographic rates in relation to habitat, extent, and water availability. She will use a combination of person research from Sri Lanka and satellite imagery.

Shermin received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and is currently an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology at Colorado State University. She received her Bachelor of Ars in Integrative Biology and Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001.