Two Memorial students, John Huxter and Corina Rice, were awarded the prestigious Rothermere Fellowships this year. The graduate fellowships are valued at between $75,000 and $100,000 over three years, which covers the cost of graduate study in the United Kingdom.
This will be the second consecutive year that the prestifious fellowship has been awarded to a student from the Department of Psychology. John Huster follows one of last years' winners, Peter Langdon, who began his fellowship at the University of London's Institute of Psychiatry last September.
Mr. Huxter, a master's student in psychology, has been working with Dr. Carolyn Harley and Dr. Gerard Martin for the past two years on cognitive mapping and place cell recording. The research focuses on learning more about how we orient ourselves according to space in different environments. This is done through the careful monitoring of the activity of nerve cells, appropriately called "place cells," in the brain's hippocampus.
"It's really due to [Mr. Huxter's] efforts that we have successful place cell recordings here at Memorial," said Dr. Harley. "We actually hope John Huxter will become one of those future leaders."
Mr. Huxter will be working at the University College London in the laboratory of Dr. John O'Keefe, a world leader in cognitive map and cell recording.
Ms. Rice, a master's student in biology, has been working with Dr. Margaret Burton for the past two years on the reproductive process of the arctic char, work that Dr. Burton said is "very important for the understanding of aquaculture and the world fisheries."
Ms. Rice will be researching the reproductive biology of gadoid fish at the University of Aberdeen under the supervision of Dr. Peter Wright and Dr. Dominic Houllihan.
Mr. Huxter said that without the award, he and his family would never have been able to afford the costs of tuition and moving.
"Winning this award makes it possible for us to pursue this," he said.
Mr. Huxter and his family, wife Judy and 11 month old daughter, Holly Margaret, plan to leave for England in August. Ms. Rice willl leave for Scotland in January, for what she hopes will eventually become a university teaching position in the area of fisheries research.