Student’s Research Leads Faculty Member to Fulbright Program Nod

Associate Professor of Biology Santiago Salinas

The Senior Integrated Project (SIP) of Grace Hancock ’22 has encouraged Associate Professor of Biology Santiago Salinas to extend Hancock’s inquiries overseas.

Salinas has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award, allowing him to go to his native Argentina this fall. There, he will study whether global warming could threaten fish with temperature-dependent sex-determination. In these species, cold waters tend to produce more females, and warm waters tend to produce more males.

Hancock, in Salinas’ fish ecology lab, studied temperature-dependent sex-determination in the Atlantic silverside, which are saltwater foragers that grow to be no longer than 6 inches in length. Salinas, in a similar way, will research Argentine fish such as pejerrey, which are freshwater residents.

“I’m excited to go and expand my professional network, and without Grace, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity,” Salinas said. “I was not really working on temperature sex determination until she wanted to.”

In addition to Hancock, Salinas credited K faculty members such as Professor of Romance Languages and Literature Enid Valle, Professor of Biology Ann Fraser, William Weber Chair of Social Science Amy Elman, Wen Chao Chen Professor of East Asian Social Sciences Dennis Frost, Margaret and Roger Scholten Associate Professor of Political Science John Dugas, and Jo-Ann and Robert Stewart Professor of Art Tom Rice for offering their application assistance and sharing their previous experiences in successfully seeking Fulbright honors.

“I’ll be interacting closely with Latinx biologists, and one of my hopes is to set up a network whereby scholars there who struggle with English can connect with classes here at K,” Salinas said. “My students would help with the scientific writing and offer advice to the biologists in a real-world way.”

The opportunity also is expected to begin a long-term collaboration with a faculty member at the Instituto Tecnológico de Chascomús, create a course on evolutionary ecology for that institution’s undergraduate and graduate students, and establish connections that would allow Argentine biologists to serve as potential research mentors for K students.

Salinas is one of about 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research or provide expertise abroad for the 2022-23 academic year through Fulbright. Those citizens are selected based on their academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and demonstrated leadership. The awards are funded through the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s international education-exchange program designed to build connections between U.S. citizens and people from other countries. The program is funded through an annual Congressional appropriation made to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also support the program, which operates in more than 160 countries.

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals in a variety of backgrounds and fields opportunities to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute solutions to international problems.

Thousands of Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 61 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 89 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 76 MacArthur Fellows. For more information about the Fulbright program, visit its website.