Erin Gleeson ’18 Awarded The Steve and Riea Lainoff Crop Trust Fellowship in Honor of Cary Fowler

head and shoulder shot of a college student standing in front of a Collegiate Gothic campus building

Erin Gleeson, who recently graduated from Rhodes with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, has been awarded The Steve and Riea Lainoff Crop Trust Fellowship in Honor of Cary Fowler. The fellowship is made possible through the generosity of Steve and Riea Lainoff who are the parents of two Rhodes graduates Brian and Mark Lainoff.

Gleeson will join the partnerships and communications team of the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust) in Bonn, Germany, in August. The 12-month fellowship provides the opportunity for a recent graduate to develop an understanding of the Crop Trust’s work and the issues associated with agricultural biodiversity conservation. Previous fellows have assisted in planning conferences and events, developing communications materials, and even accompanying deposits to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

“I am passionate about conservation biology and ecosystem science, especially concerning the effects that climate change will have on important ecosystem services. Crop diversity is one of these services that is central for a secure global food supply,” says Gleeson. “I am inspired by the Crop Trust’s mission, and I am honored to have been selected for the fellowship. I hope to pursue a career in environmental resource management, and this fellowship will be an incredible opportunity to develop an understanding of the issues associated with protecting important environmental resources for future human generations.” 

Gleeson has served as a student environmental coordinator, working with staff and students to coordinate recycling efforts and increase participation and education about recycling. She also has been a research fellow at the Memphis Zoo; GIS technician at the Center for Applied Earth Science and Engineering Research; and student researcher at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. Gleeson has research experience in ecology, arctic biology, and geographical information systems.

Aside from working in research labs, Gleeson is active on the women’s lacrosse team and in Chi Omega Fraternity. She is a graduate of Franklin High School in Franklin, TN.