Pfeiffer awarded 2016-17 Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant

February 24, 2017

Vera Pfeiffer, a doctoral candidate in the Nelson Institute's Environment and Resources program, has been awarded a  2016-17 Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant for graduate research abroad. She will study ecology in the Czech Republic.

Pfeiffer is among 21 UW–Madison students awarded Fulbright grants, the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently. These students are among more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad for the 2016-17 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the country’s flagship program for international exchange.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and leadership in their respective fields. The program, which provides recipients with funding for a full academic year of study, research or assistant teaching abroad, is sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, with significant contributions from participating governments and host institutions.

Advised by Nelson Institute professor Janet Silbernagel, Pfeiffer's research examines how land use affects habitat structure important to various groups of bees and how landscape structure affects the distribution of pollinators across the landscape. In multiple studies, she is assessing how landscape factors contribute to urban bee assemblages in Madison; how various types of urban and ex-urban land use areas provide foraging resources to bumble bees across Madison; and how bumble bee foraging changes across the mass bloom of cranberry plants in the marshes of Central Wisconsin, an intensive cranberry production region.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 370,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists opportunities to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

UW–Madison has been among the leading U.S. research institutions producing Fulbright fellows and scholars. In the most recent round, UW–Madison produced 60 applications, with 34 chosen as semi-finalists, including 21 finalists, who have been offered and accepted grants.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs:

For more information about applying for Fulbright student programs through UW–Madison, contact Mark Lilleleht,

Adapted from a story originally published by Kerry G. Hill of the UW-Madison International Division.