PhD Student Seth Sykora-Bodie Wins Fellowships to Study in Australia and France

June 18, 2018

Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,

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PhD student Seth Sykora-Bodie


DURHAM, N.C. – Seth Sykora-Bodie, a doctoral student in Marine Science & Conservation at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been awarded two prestigious international fellowships to conduct research toward his dissertation in Australia and France.

Sykora-Bodie’s research is broadly focused on integrating social, economic and political concerns into the design, establishment and management of large-scale marine protected areas (MPAs). His dissertation focuses on Antarctic MPAs.

On Sept. 1, he’ll begin a six-month Endeavor Research Fellowship to study systematic conservation planning with Bob Pressey, a Distinguished Professor at James Cook University and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville, Australia.

Endeavor Research Fellowships are valued at up to $18,500 and are awarded annually on a competitive basis to outstanding international graduate students by Australia’s Department of Education and Training.

In April, 2019, Sykora-Bodie will begin a nine-month Chateaubriand Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Biology-Health at the National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris, where he will work with Joachim Claudet, a widely cited expert on the sustainability of social-ecological systems.

Chateaubriand Fellowships are valued at around $13,500 and are awarded annually on a competitive basis by the French government to outstanding doctoral students at American universities who wish to conduct research in France.  

As part of his doctoral studies at Duke, Sykora-Bodie has been participating in the annual negotiations of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to understand how the Convention parties have been implementing spatial management in international waters. Besides understanding the technical aspects of how MPA proposals are developed, he is also interested in how politics shape the eventual outcomes, and how past successes might inform future international conservation efforts, both in the Antarctic and elsewhere.

His faculty advisors at Duke are Lisa Campbell, Rachel Carson Professor of Marine Affairs and Policy, and Andrew J. Read, director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory and Stephen A. Toth Professor of Marine Biology.