Dr. Dotson's Fulbright Fellowship
July 17, 2021
Department Chair Dr. Taylor Dotson will be participating in a Fulbright Fellowship opportunity to study ecosystem restoration in Germany from January through July of 2022. This will not be his first trip to Germany as he has visited several times in the past. Dr. Dotson will be working with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, or iDiv, as well as teaching a course. His work with iDiv will consist of an investigation into ongoing rewilding research. Rewilding is the process of attempting to restore certain ecosystems to their natural state.
Researchers at the Centre are investigating the possible imbalances in ecosystems caused by human overhunting of megafauna thousands of years ago and the consequent possibilities to repair such imbalances through introduction of large new species to struggling ecosystems. This idea is generally met with some controversy as historical attempts to introduce and reintroduce species have often produced unforeseen negative consequences.
Dr. Dotson will be studying the nature of this research on a social level, including the controversy around it in the ecology community. He hopes to uncover useful insights into the ways in which the personal values of researchers affect their research, recommendations, and interpretations of findings.