Scholarships

The Zoological Lighting Institute™ seeks to provide the following scholarships, grants and post-doctorate positions. Your aid, whether financial or in effort, will improve animal welfare and protect the biodiversity of environments that we all depend upon.

Scholarships

Luminous Husbandry Scholarships

The Zoological Lighting Institute seeks to provide six $5000.00 scholarships, to support graduate students working on projects related to the role of light quality in successful animal husbandry. These scholarships will be distributed to students improving the care of aquatic animals, amphibians, birds, insects, reptiles and mammals.

Luminous Environment Scholarships

The Zoological Lighting Institute seeks to provide six $5000.00 scholarships, to support graduate students working on projects related to the role of light quality in crucial environments. These scholarships will be distributed across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Post Doctorates

Luminous Husbandry Post Doctorates

The Zoological Lighting Institute seeks to create a $75000.00 Post-doctorate position, to support research on projects related to the role of light quality in successful animal husbandry. This position will be offered to scholars improving the care of aquatic animals, amphibians, birds, insects, reptiles and mammals.

Luminous Environmental Science Post Doctorates

The Zoological Lighting Institute seeks to create a $75000.00 Post-doctorate position, to support research on projects related to the role of light quality in crucial environments. These scholarships will be distributed across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Grants

Luminous Husbandry Animal Keeper Grants

The Zoological Lighting Institute seeks to provide six $5000.00 grants, to support animal keepers working on projects related to the role of light quality in successful animal husbandry. These grants will be distributed to keepers in AZA Member Institutions, dedicated to improving the care of aquatic animals, amphibians, birds, insects, reptiles and mammals.

Nocturnal Conservation Grants

The Zoological Lighting Institute seeks to provide six $5000.00 grants, to support conservationists working on protective or restorative projects related to the role of light quality in the environment. These grants will be distributed to conservationists working through AZA Member Institutions, dedicated to creating and preserving viable nocturnal habitats.

ZLI's scholarship recipient, Avalon Owens

Avalon Owens is a Ph.D. student in the Lewis Lab at Tufts University. She obtained her B.A. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard Unversity, and a Master's in Entomology from National Taiwan University. In Taiwan, she worked in the Yang Lab studying the impact of ambient light on the flash behavior of a local firefly, Aquatica ficta. She discovered that A. ficta respond to short wavelength (blue or green) light, but are much less sensitive to wavelengths above 590 nm (orange to red). When put under short wavelength light, these fireflies flashed less frequently, but the average intensity of their flashes increased - that is to say, they flashed more brightly so that they could still be seen against the illuminated background!

Following this exciting discovery, Avalon has thrown herself into the burgeoning field of artificial night lighting research, keeping her focus on fireflies. Under the helpful guidance of international firefly legend Sara Lewis, she has begun an in-depth investigation into the effects of light pollution on the behavior and fitness of North American fireflies. She is particularly interested in these questions:

  • What are the effects of ambient light on courtship and mating?
  • Can fireflies escape from illuminated habitats, and do they?
  • Are dusk-active fireflies more resilient to light pollution than night-active ones?
  • How do urban fireflies manage to adapt to life in light polluted habitats?

In the long term, Avalon hopes to collaborate with the ZLI to develop firefly-friendly lighting regimes for use in public and private firefly habitats, in order to help minimize the impact of artificial light and keep affected firefly populations happy and healthy for many generations to come.

avalon owens zli scholarship

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