LOYOLA BIOLOGY: Michael Pashkevich, of Mandeville, a senior biology major at Loyola University of New Orleans, has won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to support his doctoral work at the University of Cambridge, starting fall 2017. Only 95 people from around the world received the award this year; only 36 of 800 applicants in the U.S. won the scholarship; and Pashkevich is the sole winner in Louisiana. The win is a first for Loyola University New Orleans. Pashkevich plans to study with the Insect Ecology Group in the Museum of Zoology, University of Cambridge, where he has already been granted and accepted admission to do field work in Sumatra, Indonesia. His research will focus on the functional role of spiders in Southeast Asian oil palm plantations and how restoring the banks of waterways affects plantation biodiversity. The larger implications of the Cambridge work are to assess sustainable agricultural techniques and to determine whether spiders — due to their feeding habits — are a potential nonchemical alternative to traditionally used pesticides, Pashkevich said.