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Thea Whitman receives Aberle Faculty Fellow Award

Thea Whitman, assistant professor of soil science, has been selected to receive an Elton D. and Carrie R. Aberle Faculty Fellow Award.

Whitman’s research program combines soil biogeochemistry, microbial ecology and environmental change. She works in the field, in the lab and with bioinformatics. Equipped with cutting-edge techniques, her lab uses high-throughput sequencing approaches to characterize soil microbial communities and their functions. Whitman also studies biochar as a soil amendment using lab- and field-based experiments, and has published on policy implications for biochar. Her research also includes the effects of fire on soil properties and microbial communities.

Whitman is a trainer in the Microbiology Doctoral Training Program and currently holds the O.N. Allen Professorship in Soil Microbiology. She is an affiliate in plant pathology and the Nelson Institute and a member of the Environmental Chemistry and Technology program faculty. Whitman is also the lead investigator on a UW–Madison Microbiome Initiative grant and principal investigator of a project recently chosen to receive funding from the UW–Madison Data Science Initiative.

The Aberle Faculty Fellow Award, established by former CALS dean Abe Aberle and his wife, is designed to recognize and reward promising young faculty within CALS, providing support and encouragement during the critical, pre-tenure period. The award provides a $10,000 one-time stipend to support the fellow’s research program.