2017-2018 Luce Scholar

Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University

For her Luce year in Japan, Corey Ruder will be a visiting researcher at the Center for Ecological Research, working under the direction of Dr. Kei Koba of Kyoto University. Established in 1991 as an inter-university joint-use facility on Lake Biwa, the Center is located in Otsu in Shiga prefecture in a rural setting, and open to any scientists who conduct ecological research. It promotes basic research and international cooperative work in the field of ecology, including aquatic ecology, tropical ecology, plant-animal interaction, theoretical ecology, molecular analysis, and conservation ecology. The Center owns a high-performance research vessel on Lake Biwa and maintains experimental farms, ponds, and forests.

Corey is a field ecologist working at the forefront of climate change research. She is currently finishing her first year as a doctoral student at Washington State University Vancouver, where she is studying how internal waves affect the production of greenhouse gases in reservoirs. She is a recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. As an undergraduate, Corey was selected as a Beckman Scholar and spent a year and a half developing a reliable indicator of agricultural runoff in lakes. She continued her research for an additional year in a follow-up project linking runoff to increased production of a lesser-known, but extremely powerful greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide. In addition to her extensive research on lakes, Corey conducted a series of ecological research projects in Australia, traveled to Japan to analyze the spread of radioactive material across a farm near Fukushima, and studied permafrost thaw as a research assistant in Siberia. She has presented the results of her research at three conferences, including a poster at the American Geophysical Union 2016 Fall Meeting. Her hobbies include SCUBA diving and recreational boxing and she is the founder of the Ole Thrift Shop LLC, a student-run business aimed at decreasing campus waste and promoting conscious consumerism. As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Corey works to further our understanding of the drivers of climate change while increasing communication to the public and advocating for greater representation of women and minorities in STEM-related fields.