2015 SETAC/EA Jeff Black Fellowship Award Winner
Rhode Island College
The selection process for awarding the EA sponsored Jeff Black Award is never easy. Master’s students are starting to hone their focus and are filled with an infectious enthusiasm for science. The awardee for 2015, Timothy Bock of Rhode Island College is no exception. Bock returned to college following a career ending injury, and a new passion was born. Under the supervisory direction of Rebeka Merson, Bock became intrigued with studying the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), a ligand-activated transcription factor that is highly conserved in vertebrates and mediates the metabolism of many environmental toxins. His exemplary performance in the lab – he is attentive to experiments, maintains meticulous lab notes, and gives sharp attention to the protocols – opened the opportunity to work with the Merson lab and the US Environmental Protection Agency in the field. His collaborative efforts to study apex predators’ responses to toxic chemicals, working directly with skate embryos, have not only demonstrated his versatility and ability to move to higher levels of biological organization, but motivated Bock to pursue research and develop a career path in ecotoxicology.