James T. Costa
James T. Costa

CULLOWHEE – A Western Carolina University biology professor is among 46 scholars and artists from around the world selected for a prestigious fellowship program at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

As recipient of the institute's Jeanne Rosselet Fellowship, James T. Costa, associate professor of biology at Western, will conduct research in the area of evolutionary and organismic biology. A specialist in social insect behavioral ecology, population genetics and molecular systematics, Costa will be working on a project titled “The Other Insect Societies: Reconsidering the Insect Sociality Paradigm.”

A member of Western's biology faculty since 1996, Costa received Western's University Scholar Award, the university's top award for faculty research, in 2002. He has received funding from numerous agencies to support his scientific research, including the National Science Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Through the Harvard fellowship program, Costa will be among eight creative artists, 14 humanists, 12 social scientists and 11 scientists working individually and across disciplines on projects chosen for both quality and long-term impact.

“The purpose of a residential fellowship like ours is to bring artists and scholars together to interact in ways that will change both them and their work,” said Drew Gilpin Faust, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. “We strive to offer enough similarity – clusters of common intellectual concern – and enough difference to generate intersections that are predictable as well as ones that are unanticipated and even surprising.”

Upon their arrival in September, the fellows receive office space and access to libraries and other scholarly resources at Harvard for a year of research and advanced study.

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Last modified: Monday, August 9, 2004
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