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'Women in Science' fellowship to fund postdoc's study of deep-sea methane
Date:6/17/2008

they are destabilized, large amounts of methane could be lost from ocean sediments and reach the atmosphere.

"That's a concern," Lapham said, "because studies have suggested that methane-filled hydrates have been agents of climate change in the geologic past."

After graduating from FSU in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, Lapham earned her Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2007 -- where as it happens, her advisor was both an undergraduate and graduate alumnus of FSU. In April 2007 she returned to FSU as a "post-doc" in the oceanography department. There, she assists Professor Jeff Chanton, with his research while also pursuing her own, and helps train graduate students in the department's laboratory.

It's been a banner year for Lapham.

In addition to the $40,000 Women in Science fellowship she recently received, earlier this year the National Research Council (NRC) awarded her $50,000 in support of her research and also is providing the funding for her two-year courtesy faculty position at FSU.

What brought Lapham back to her undergraduate alma mater?

"I first worked for Jeff Chanton as an undergraduate here in the '90s, and then, like now, I was always impressed not only with his contagious excitement about his research but also with the type of research being conducted in the FSU oceanography department," Lapham said. "So often it has some noteworthy impact on the state of Florida, and that's what appeals most to me -- conducting research for a purpose, and finding answers to questions that the average person really cares about."

The 2008 L'Oreal USA Women in Science Fellowship competition culminated in late May with three days of events in New York City that included an awards ceremony, media training, networking opportunities and professional development workshops for the winners. Sponsored by the AAAS, the workshops comprised topi
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Contact: Laura Lapham
lapham@ocean.fsu.edu
850-645-4639
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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