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Na’Taki Osborne Jelks Named an Excellence in Ecology Scholar

November 2021

nataki_jelksNa’Taki Osborne Jelks, Ph.D., MPH, C'95, assistant professor in the Spelman College Department of Environmental and Health Sciences, has been chosen to be in first cohort of the Ecological Society of America's Excellence in Ecology Scholars. The program is for for early – mid career ESA members who have achieved a Ph.D. within the last 20 years.

“This effort seeks to remove critical barriers to full participation in the retention and promotion of scholars who have traditionally been excluded or underrepresented in our community to make ESA more inclusive, especially for Black, indigenous, and people of color,” said ESA President Dennis Ojima.

Scholars receive an award of $5000 over two years to support travel for a speaking opportunity at an ESA annual meeting or event, to support research or family/childcare, to host a research topic web event, and for publication fees in one of ESA’s open access journals. ESA anticipates the experience will build peer support among the scholars and its alumni in addition to access to mentors.

Dr. Jelks nvestigates urban watershed management; environmental health disparities; cumulative risk assessment; the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations; and the connection between urban watersheds, pollution, the built environment and health.

She also develops, implements and evaluates community-based initiatives that set conditions to enable low-income and communities of color to empower themselves to restore urban watersheds and improve environmental quality, reduce exposure to environmental health hazards and enhance human health and quality of life.