Christopher Cheleuitte-Nieves receives 2011 Tom Slick Fellowship

Christopher Cheleuitte-Nieves receives 2011 Tom Slick Fellowship Congratulations to Christopher Cheleuitte-Nieves! He has been selected to receive a Tom Slick Fellowship in 2010-2011. The Tom Slick Fellowship is the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' most prestigious competitive scholarship. It is awarded to outstanding graduate students to support the completion of their dissertation after they have been admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.

For his Ph.D. research, Christopher is working with Drs. Ben Wu and Humberto Perotto on a project to better understand the movement patterns of free-ranging ungulates in semi-arid rangelands in South Texas. Knowledge of scale-dependent factors that affect the distribution of ungulate herds, such as cattle, is essential for the development of more accurate predictive models of animal movement and the management of sustainable agriculture. Work was conducted in the Uvalde AgriLife Research Center in a 457ha ranch using a Bonsmara cattle herd as a model. More specifically, Christopher will use Global Positioning System (GPS) collars, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing technology to evaluate the seasonal and diurnal patterns of herd spread and explore grouping dynamics, the influence of dominance ranks on spatial associations and the relationship between seasonal forage biomass, use of shade, water and supplemental feed areas on animal distribution.

As a product of his research project, Christopher has been awarded 1st Place in the Graduate Research Oral Presentation competition at Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Annual Meeting in October 2009. Also 2nd Place in the Graduate Oral Research Contest at the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) 24th Annual Career Fair and Training Conference in February 2009. His profile is featured on the Office of Graduate Studies web-site at Texas A&M University. Furthermore, Christopher obtained the 2nd Place in the Student Research Poster competition at the Texas A&M 6th Annual Pathways Conference in 2008. Also, his profile was published in the Graduate Student Council's Special Winter Edition newsletter in 2008. Following his commitment to increase ethnic and cultural diversity in the sciences fields, Christopher has served as a graduate student recruiter during various minorities focused venues such as the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Career Fairs, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Annual Meetings, and the Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity, and Sustainability (SEEDS; a program of the Ecological Society of America) activities.