Western Alum Holly Stover has been named one of Starfish's "Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25". The Starfish is an organization made up of people mostly under 25 who write online articles to educate the public about current environmental issues and what can be done to address them on a local scale.
Western Biology professor Greg Thorn knows first hand of Stover's dedication. He first came to know her when she took his course "Flora & Vegetation of Ontario" in 2007. "She was already very keen on environmental science and plant identification," says Thorn. "She particularly enjoyed (and contributed to) the field trips that are part of the course." She then went on to do a year long science internship as a "remediation associate" with Imperial Oil in Calgary starting in May 2008. When she returned to Western to finish her fourth year project under Greg Thorn's direction in 2009, “From the beginning she was very keen - digging into related literature and suggesting ideas for her research directions."
Stover was nominated by a former Western classmate Marissa Tsoi, "I first met Holly as a volunteer for EnviroWestern, where she served as President for a year. She and I spent time gardening the wildflower and vegetable plots at the University of Western Ontario the summer of 2009... Her scholarly interest in bioremediation is paralleled in her every day commitment to living green though: she is a long-standing vegetarian who lives in Eco House at the University of Alberta, a 3-person residence based on sustainable principles. The house is made of recycled building materials, has an earth tube heating system, solar water heating, low-flush and low-flow water features and the garden has organic vegetables and native prairie landscaping." Stover also volunteered to promote the undergraduate programs in Environmental Science at Fall Preview and March Break Open House. Thorn adds "Somehow she managed all this and still found time to go camping and on field trips of the Ontario Field Botanists to learn more plants." According to Thorn, Stover presented the results of her thesis research as a poster at the recent Soil Ecology Society meetings in Kelowna BC (for which she received one of four honorable mentions), and submitted them for publication in the Journal of Applied Soil Ecology. Thorn adds, "Holly is the only one of my past honours students who has taken the initiative to bring their work to publication."