Tejas Reddy’s focus on coastal ecosystems has earned him a 2022 Udall Scholarship. The University of Georgia undergraduate is one of 55 students across the nation being recognized for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to the environment.
A third-year Honors student from Rome, Georgia, Reddy is majoring in ecology in the Odum School of Ecology and biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
The Udall Scholarship is awarded to sophomores and juniors on the basis of their commitment to careers in the environment, Native health care or Tribal public policy. The scholarship provides up to $7,000 for eligible academic expenses.
Reddy conducts research on coastal blue carbon ecosystems—which include salt marshes, mangroves and sea grasses—with Amanda Spivak, UGA associate professor of marine science. He is currently working with her on his senior thesis on how inundation and temperature drive decomposition in intertidal salt marshes.
“Blue carbon ecosystems are essential for the economies of coastal communities by buffering storm surge, serving as a habitat for economically important fisheries and promoting ecotourism,” he explained. They are also vital for sequestering carbon.
In 2021, Reddy spent spring semester studying coastal development and conservation on Sapelo Island with Spivak. In the summer, he participated in an NSF REU with the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science in Casco Bay, Maine, studying bivalve transmissible neoplasia, known less formally as clam cancer. During the fall semester, he traveled to Central America, focusing on field biology and ornithology through the UGA Costa Rica Study Abroad program.
Congratulations and best of luck to Reddy as he continues his research training.