De Jesús Crespo Awarded 2019 Early-Career Research Fellowship

Writer: Kacey Templin, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,
Contact: Allison Walters,

Sept. 3, 3019
WASHINGTON – Rebeca de Jesús Crespo, who received a doctorate in integrative conservation and ecology from the University of Georgia in 2015, has received a 2019 Early-Career Research Fellowship from the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Now in its fifth year, the fellowship program supports the development of emerging scientific leaders who are prepared to work at the intersections of environmental health, community health and resilience, and offshore energy system safety in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. coastal regions.

De Jesús Crespo is an assistant professor in the department of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University, where her research links landscape level patterns of anthropogenic activities, ecosystem services, and socio-economic factors to indicators of ecological integrity and human health. She previously worked as a biologist for the Puerto Rico Department of Environmental and Natural Resources and as a postdoctoral researcher for the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Health and Environmental Research Laboratory, where she earned the Gulf Ecology Division Scientist of the Year Award and the EPA Environmental Justice Award.

The Gulf Research Program’s Early-Career Research Fellowship helps early-career researchers during the critical pre-tenure phase of their careers. Fellows are provided with a $76,000 financial award along with mentoring support to help them navigate this period with independence, flexibility, and a built-in support network. The support allows them to take risks on research ideas, pursue unique collaborations, and build a network of colleagues who share their interest in improving offshore energy system safety and the resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems.

The fellowships are awarded to individuals who demonstrate a strong scientific or technical background, superior scholarship, effective communication skills, and an ability to work across disciplines, among other attributes. Nearly 70 Early-Career Fellowships have been awarded since 2015.

The 20 recipients of the 2019 Early-Career Research Fellowships are:

  • Trisha Atwood
    Assistant Professor, Watershed Sciences
    Utah State University
  • Shanondora Billiot
    Assistant Professor, Social Work
    University of Illinois
  • Traci Birch
    Assistant Professor, Architecture
    Louisiana State University
  • Edward Camp
    Assistant Professor, Fisheries and Aquaculture Governance
    University of Florida
  • Andia Chaves Fonnegra
    Assistant Professor, Biology
    Florida Atlantic University
  • Rebeca de Jesús Crespo
    Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences
    Louisiana State University
  • Kim de Mutsert
    Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences and Policy
    George Mason University
  • Jessica Fitzsimmons
    Assistant Professor, Oceanography
    Texas A&M University
  • Mariana Fuentes
    Assistant Professor, Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
    Florida State University
  • Evan Goldstein
    Research Scientist, Geography, Environment, and Sustainability
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • James Nelson
    Assistant Professor, Biology
    University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • Kwame Owusu-Daaku
    Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences
    University of West Florida
  • Allison Reilly
    Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    University of Maryland
  • Isabel Romero
    Research Associate, Marine Sciences
    University of South Florida
  • Derek Sawyer
    Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences
    The Ohio State University
  • Lauren Stadler
    Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Rice University
  • Elaina Sutley
    Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
    University of Kansas
  • Yufei Tang
    Assistant Professor, Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    Florida Atlantic University
  • William Tarpeh
    Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
    Stanford University
  • Gabrielle Wong-Parodi
    Assistant Professor, Earth System Science
    Stanford University

To learn more about the recipients and the Gulf Research Program’s Early-Career Research Fellowships, visit Applications for 2020 Early-Career Fellowships will open in early December.

The National Academies’ Gulf Research Program is an independent, science-based program founded in 2013 as part of legal settlements with the companies involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It seeks to enhance offshore energy system safety and protect human health and the environment by catalyzing advances in science, practice, and capacity to generate long-term benefits for the Gulf of Mexico region and the nation. The program has $500 million for use over 30 years to fund studies, projects, and other activities in the areas of research and development, education and training, and monitoring and synthesis. Visit to learn more.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit