Patterson, Perry, Bennett receive CANR Early Career Researcher Awards

Eric Patterson, Ph.D., Elizabeth Perry, Ph.D., and Abigail Bennett, Ph.D., honored with CANR Early Career Researcher Award

Eric Patterson, Ph.D., Elizabeth Perry, Ph.D., and Abigail Bennett, Ph.D., will be honored with CANR Early Career Researcher Awards May 2. During this year’s CANR Faculty and Staff Awards Reception, recipients of both the 2023 and 2024 CANR Excellence in Research Awards will be honored.

The CANR Excellence in Research Award program recognizes the outstanding contributions of CANR researchers to the research mission of Michigan State University (MSU). In particular, the awards focus on the impact that their achievements have had on academic and/or external stakeholder communities. The Early Career Researcher Award recognizes individuals with less than 5 years of service and research experience at MSU/CANR.

Eric Patterson and Elizabeth Perry are the recipients of the 2023 Early Career Researcher Award.

Eric Patterson, Ph.D., has been an assistant professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences since 2019. Patterson leads a team of researchers and graduate students in the Patterson Lab, whose primary mission is to explore and understand molecular and genetic traits of plant species in the attempt to better define what makes a weed, a weed. Patterson is additionally interested in how herbicides affect weed adaptation to stressors. Outside of the lab, Patterson provides technical support to the International Weed Genomes Consortium (IWGC). Prior to his time at MSU, Patterson was a postdoctoral researcher and Clemson Fellow at Clemson University.

Elizabeth ‘Bess’ Perry, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Protected Areas and Natural Resources Recreation Management in the Department of Community Sustainability and director of the Park Connections Lab. Perry collaborates with a variety of parks to address unique managerial concerns and highlight their contributions to sustainability. Her research also studies how parks and recreation can sustain connections with a variety of audiences. In 2022, Perry was awarded a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to study non-traditional uses of state game lands, working to better understand how visitors are using these spaces and in turn develop procedures to become more inclusive of these happenings. Perry holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. Prior to MSU, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Clemson University.

Abigail Bennett is the recipient of the 2024 Early Career Researcher Award.

Abigail Bennett, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of global inland fisheries ecology and governance in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Additionally, she is a member of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. Bennett’s research studies the role of fisheries in livelihoods and food security, with particular emphasis on how governance and trade shape connections between fisheries and human well-being. Working closely with entities such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Bennett hopes to emphasize how geographic understanding of fisheries and aquaculture can inform policies to aid individuals who depend on aquatic resources. In 2023, Bennett received the John K. Hudzik Emerging Leader in Advancing International Studies and Programs for recognition of her impactful work.


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