ByWater Institute Scholars
The ByWater Institute welcomes faculty, postdoctoral fellow, and research staff colleagues from across Tulane to join us as ByWater Institute Scholars. Our mission is to catalyze thriving climate and water futures through transformative & collaborative scholarship. A robust community of scholars at Tulane and beyond is key to achieving our goals.
ByWater Institute Scholar is an open membership level for Tulane affiliates interested in the research themes of the Institute. Scholars are invited to all institute-wide social and academic convenings. They are invited to seek guidance from the ByWater Institute on team building, proposal development, award management, and other aspects of interdisciplinary collaboration around environmental research. They can be part of an online database of faculty expertise hosted on our website so that others may seek them out for collaboration.
ByWater Institute Fellows
Tulane Faculty at any career stage are invited to help us grow our programs and impact by becoming ByWater Institute Fellows. We will award up to five (5) 3-year fellowships per year. Interested faculty should propose a project that is mutually beneficial to the faculty member and the Institute. Fellows will receive awards of $15,000 to complete their project and support their personal scholarship goals within the 3-year fellowship period. In addition to the monetary award, Institute Fellows will be invited to participate in events with university leaders and key funders, and they will receive in-depth support for proposal preparation and award management. The ByWater Institute website will be a platform for science communication for the fellows, and they will have opportunities for science communication training with experts in the field.
SunshineVan Bael is an Associate Professor in Tulane’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is a community ecologist focused on understanding how plant-microbial symbioses influence plant resilience to stress in coastal and tropical areas. In the Gulf South, her lab has studied how vegetation, salinity, and water interact in urban, swamp, and marsh environments. An overall objective of the lab is to improve restoration outcomes through basic research on plant-microbial symbioses.
Ehab Meselhe, Ph.D., P.E., is a Tulane University professor with extensive research experience in computer modeling of coastal and river systems, as well as integrating physical, ecological, and social processes into inland watersheds. He served as Louisiana’s technical lead for the Mississippi River Delta Management Study and helped develop models for the 2012 and 2017 Coastal Master Plans. Dr. Meselhe is also a registered Professional Engineer and served as an Associate Editor for esteemed journals.
Annalisa Molini is an Associate Professor in River-Coastal Science and Engineering at Tulane University. Her research focuses on the connections between hydrological cycle, vegetation, and climate, and she has expertise in stochastic hydrology, hydrometeorology, and land/vegetation-atmosphere interactions. She has served as an expert team member for COP26's “Visions for a Net Zero Future.”
Laura McKinney is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Environmental Studies at Tulane University. Her research focus is on international development, gender, and the environment. She received awards from the International Society for Justice Research in 2015 and the Barbara E. Moley Teaching Award in 2022. Dr. McKinney also serves as co-chair of our Community Advisory Board.