Nereus Program Alumnus Rebecca Asch Receives a Sloan Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences

Dr. Rebecca Asch, a Princeton University and Nereus Program alumnus, has been awarded an early career research fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Each year the Sloan Foundation presents this award to 126 tenure track faculty from the United States and Canada whose research focuses on chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, ocean sciences, or physics. The two-year fellowship recognizes the distinguished performance and unique potential of early career researchers to make a substantial contribution to their field of study. Eight fellowships are awarded each year in the field of ocean sciences. Since this fellowship was established in 1955, 43 Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, and 16 have won the Fields Medal for mathematics. The announcement page can be found here.

Rebecca Asch was a Senior Nereus Fellow between 2013-2016, when she was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University’s Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. As a Nereus Fellow, her research focused on using earth system models to understand how seasonal cycles in marine environments are changing as a result of climate change and how this could, in turn, affect ocean food webs and fisheries. Under climate change, fish are projected to reproduce earlier in the year since the timing of their reproduction can be temperature dependent. The timing of plankton blooms that young fish depend on for food is also changing as the climate warms, but Dr. Asch’s research as a Senior Nereus Fellow indicates that the rate of this change in bloom timing lags behind reproductive changes seen among many fishes. This has the potential to decouple linkages between young fish and their prey, which could lead to declines in fishery productivity. As an assistant professor at East Carolina University, Dr. Asch continues to study this issue with current projects in her lab focusing on fisheries in the Caribbean, California Current, and coastal North Carolina.

Dr. Asch is the second Nereus Program associate to be awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences. Nereus Program Principal Investigator Dr. Malin Pinsky, of Rutgers University, received this award in 2014.

Please join us in congratulating Rebecca on this exceptional achievement!