The Fulbright Program in Ukraine is pleased to invite you to a talk by CHRISTOPHER ROBINSON, U.S FULBRIGHT RESEARCH FELLOW 2017-2018 to be held on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 6:00 p.m., at the Fulbright Office (20 Esplanadna Street, Suite 904, M [1]“Palats Sportu”, Kyiv).

A presentation by U.S. Fulbright Grantee Chris Robinson on a month-long expedition in the Chornobyl Exclusion zone, detailing the research of his and his colleagues and the encounters with an ecosystem experiencing rebalance.

This talk will be conducted in English.

Please register for the event. [2]

Christopher Robinson graduated from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2015 (B.S. in Microbiology) where he worked in malarial and plant pathology research laboratories, including the Smithsonian and the UMass plant pathology laboratory. An internship with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center provided the impetus for his interest in soil microbe health. During the summer of 2014 at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Christopher became engaged in the dynamics of orchids, studying the microbiome (endobacteria) of orchid mycorrhizal fungi. Many hours tinkering with intracellular bacteria and molecular techniques expanded his repertoire of scientific tools and questioning.

Having left the Smithsonian, Chris entered into a plant pathology laboratory in his senior year of college. He worked at the USDA Agricultural Research Service laboratory, which specializes in vegetable plant diseases. Christopher has won an undergraduate grant from the American Phyotopathological Society, and participated in extension educational programs with Massachusetts farmers regarding care of a crop threatened by a fungal pathogen. This led to his focus on microbial soil ecology, which he pursued in his laboratory experience, as well as an interest in communicating practical research outcomes to affected communities.

As a Fulbright grantee, Chris will conduct field and lab research on soil microbial communities in the forests surrounding the Chornobyl nuclear plant disaster. The tragedy at Fukushima is evidence that these accidents will continue to occur; there is a need for observation at an environmental scale to elucidate the full range of effects on human health and agriculture.  Christopher’s background in soil microbiology and ecology gives him the tools to make these observations.

Beyond his research goals, he plans to share information, awareness, and techniques to Ukrainian scientists, farmers, and foragers.

Fulbright fellow at Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University, Christopher is affiliated with the Department of General and Molecular Genetics, and works under the supervision of Dr. Iryna Kozeretska, Fulbright Scholar.  He conceived this research project based on his own scientific interests and sought out an affiliation with Prof. Timothy A.

Mousseau, U.S. Fulbright Scholar, whose research complements his personal project.

Upon return to the United States, Christopher is planning to apply to doctoral programs in microbial ecology, concentrating in programs that seek to apply microbial communities in remediating catastrophic environmental impacts.