SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — David Rodriguez, a Southwest Texas State University graduate student in biology, has been awarded an $18,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Grant.
Fellowships provide three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees. On a competitive basis, NSF annually awards $18,000 in fellowship money to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students who show high promise of conducting research in their chosen academic disciplines.
Rodriguez is currently conducting research on the Forelimb Musculature of the Crocodilla with several goals in mind, including the use of crocodilian muscle data and muscle scar distribution to reconstruct the forelimb musculature of dinosuars. Other research includes the Evolution of Feathers, to determine the primary function for which feathers evolved. He is also researching the mechanism of calcium carbonate deposition in shell and bone to understand how mineralization occurs and how the shape of skeleton is laid down.
Rodriguez, originally from Del Rio, attended Southwest Texas Junior College before transferring to SWT and graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biology. He has been actively involved as a research assistant, laboratory assistant and laboratory instructor in the Biology Department.
As an undergraduate, he was on the Dean’s List, member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and founding member of the Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity, a Latino-based fraternity at SWT. On top of all this, he also finds time to mentor young kids from the Allenwoods Housing Projects.