Research Recap for Feb. 19

Western’s faculty and students are engaged in exciting research across a variety of fields. Periodically, Western Today will share short summaries of the latest developments in grants and research at Western Washington University.

Andrew Weitz secures WRF fellowship to research climate change’s impact on local forests

WWU Biology Instructor Andrew Weitz was recently awarded a three-year postdoctoral fellowship from the Washington Research Foundation to work with Western’s Andy Bunn in the Department of Environmental Sciences. Weitz is the first-ever recipient of a WRF fellowship at WWU. He will be studying the vulnerability of different tree species in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest to mortality in response to climate change-induced reductions in spring snow water availability. 

Tesla Monson awarded new grant from the Leakey Foundation

Tesla Monson, assistant professor of Anthropology and leader of the Primate Evolution Lab at Western, was recently awarded a $23,265 grant from the Leakey Foundation to research the evolution of cranial variation in colobine monkeys. The project, which will include data collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, also includes funding for undergraduate researchers to learn more about 3D scanning techniques in anthropology. 

Biology’s Robin Kodner part of team awarded new $275,000 NSF grant to research snow algae

Associate Professor of Biology Robin Kodner and colleagues from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Minnesota have been awarded a new $275,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to research single-celled algae that live on snow and glaciers. Their research will take place in the Cascades.


Thanks to Western's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and Western’s Tesla Monson for many of these capsules. Have an update or quick summary of your own research to share? Send it to John Thompson, assistant director/research and content creation in the Office of University Communications, at


Friday, February 19, 2021 - 10:44am
Tesla smiling next to a table of research samples

Tesla Monson at the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa with fellow researchers Marianne Brasil (left) and Leslea Hlusko (right).

Andrew Weitz next to a gray pine tree that died in 2015 during the California drought