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NSF-postdocs-CNS
AwardNumber Title NSFOrganization Program(s) StartDate LastAmendmentDate PrincipalInvestigator State Organization AwardInstrument ProgramManager ExpirationDate AwardedAmountToDate Co-PIName(s) PIEmailAddress OrganizationStreet OrganizationCity OrganizationState OrganizationZip OrganizationPhone NSFDirectorate ProgramElementCode(s) ProgramReferenceCode(s) ARRAAmount Abstract
1202761 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Flavia Barbosa MO Barbosa Flavia A Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2016 $250,500.00 flavia.barbosa@univ-tours.fr Columbia MO 652117400 BIO 1157 1228, 7137, 7174 $0.00 Mutual mate choice in the bushcricket Ephippiger diurnus<br/><br/>Few decisions are more important for individual fitness than choosing when and with whom to mate. Although mate choice is a widely studied topic, little is known about cases where mutual mate choice occurs. The bushcricket Ephippiger diurnus provides a unique opportunity to explore mutual mate choice: females choose males based on their acoustic calls, and males provide females with a nuptial gift (nutritious spermatophores). The fellow will test the hypothesis that males display mate choice, and that their degree of choosiness depends on their nutritional status. The fellow will also investigate the relationship between the traits females use to evaluate males and male quality. Finally, the interplay between male and female choice as it relates to body mass will be investigated. Interactions between male and female preferences have received little attention, yet are likely to be an important selective force on mate choice in many species.<br/><br/>In this project the Fellow will receive training in working with Orthopterans, in recording and analyzing acoustic signals, and in analyzing spermatophore quality. The Fellow will pursue several outreach activities through the host institution. She will engage students in her research, and she is especially interested in engaging students from groups that are underrepresented in science. This project will foster integration between research and teaching: the Fellow will teach Behavioral Biology at the University of Tours using inquiry-based activities that will involve having students work on independent research projects relating to her research. This international teaching experience will expose the fellow to a rich cultural diversity and broaden her perspectives in the classroom, improving her skills at engaging students from diverse backgrounds.
1202884 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Chris Nasrallah CA Nasrallah Chris A Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2014 $123,000.00 canasral@ncsu.edu Berkeley CA 947203140 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 A Population Genomic Approach to Modeling Insertion-Deletion Evolution Between Species<br/><br/>One of the key ways in which genomes differ is that they have segments of DNA that have been inserted or deleted. These are known as indels, and they comprise an important class of variation both within and among species. If species are distantly related their genomes may contain many indels, potentially making the same stretch of DNA unrecognizable. But because the genomes of members of the same species are very similar, indels present are easier to identify. Genomes of many individuals will be compared in the same species to discover indels in the population. Estimates of the strength of natural selection acting on these indels of different sizes and in different parts of the genome will be used to develop a mathematical model of the evolutionary process that accounts for the size and genomic context of indels. This model will help to better understand the important role that indels play in the genomic evolution of different species.<br/><br/>Training objectives include the strengthening of skills in genomic analysis, probabilistic modeling, and computer programming. This project bridges the fields of population genomics and statistics and will foster collaborations between researchers in different areas while directly involving undergraduate students in scientific research.
1103664 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2012 07/06/2011 Fulton Rockwell MA Rockwell Fulton E Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2013 $123,000.00 fulton.rockwell@gmail.com Cambridge MA 021386804 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow whose plan involves innovation at the intersection of biology with physics and applied mathematics. The research and training plan for this fellowship to Fulton Rockwell is entitled,"Is water lost from plant leaves as a liquid or a vapor?? The host institutions for this research are Cornell University and University of Chicago; and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Abraham Stroock and Charles Kevin Boyce.<br/><br/>A fundamental gap in our understanding of leaf structure and function is whether transpiration follows a predominantly vapor or liquid path between the leaf veins and the `valves' on the leaf surface, the stomata. Answering this question will inform not only our understanding of leaf function, but also stomatal regulation of transpiration and the contributions of leaf structure to instantaneous water use efficiency, that is, carbon gained per water molecule transpired. The dominant mode of transport inside transpiring leaves remains an open question precisely because it occurs at the intersection of biology, chemical thermodynamics and transport phenomena. To address the question of competition between liquid and vapor, a combination of modeling and experimental determination of the internal geometry and material properties of leaves is being employed. <br/><br/>Training in coupled heat and mass transport is provided by the Stroock lab at Cornell University, whose members combine expertise in chemical engineering and microfluidics with an interest in bio-mimetic design. Expertise in obtaining structural information from analysis of micro-CT scans of leaves comes from training in the Boyce lab, at the University of Chicago, which seeks to reconstruct the physiology of fossil plants based on structure-function relations observed in extant lineages. Broader impacts include developing educational materials appropriate to both adults and school groups on the life of trees that incorporate a perspective on plants informed by the research results.
1202719 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 06/01/2012 06/12/2012 Robin Hopkins NC Hopkins Robin Fellowship Julie Dickerson 05/31/2014 $123,000.00 robin.hopkins@duke.edu Durham NC 277080001 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 Mathematical models for reinforcement of assortative mating<br/><br/>Mathematical models are used to gain insight into complex evolutionary processes and to quantify evolutionary forces. This study proposes two projects that use mathematical models in both of these ways to investigate the role of natural selection in speciation. Specifically, this work investigates the process of reinforcement in which selection favors the evolution of reproductive isolation that decreases costly hybridization. The first proposed project would create analytic models to determine the conditions under which selection against hybrids can cause reinforcement of assortative mating. The second proposed project will combine mathematical models with empirical observations to estimate the strength of selection, the rate of hybridization, and migration affecting reinforcement in the Texas wildflower, Phlox drummondii. A spatially-explicit simulation model will be developed based on the geography and genetics of natural P. drummondii populations. This model will be fit to empirical data to give the first estimates of evolutionary parameters involved in reinforcement. <br/><br/>The proposed projects will train the postdoctoral fellow in diverse mathematical, simulation, and statistical methods such as learning to create and solve dynamic systems, methods of approximation, and likelihood methods. This fellowship work includes creating a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) club at a local Austin middle school, which serves a diverse student body. The major goal of the STEM club will be to guide students through the design and execution of their own research projects.
1202800 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 07/01/2012 06/26/2012 David Bell NC Bell David M Fellowship Julie Dickerson 06/30/2014 $123,000.00 bellland80@gmail.com Durham NC 277012065 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 Climatic and hydrologic influences on tree regeneration and distribution in the western United States.<br/><br/>Though rapid climate change is widely recognized as a major threat to ecosystem stability, there is little agreement about how resilient species and communities will be to future conditions. The consequences of climate changes will be particularly pronounced for dry-region ecosystems such as forests of the western US due to strong elevation and climatic gradients. Predicting patterns of tree species regeneration will be central to understanding the impact of climate change on western forests. This research will examine the climatic and hydrologic limitations on tree reproduction, and ultimately the limitations on tree distributions, in the western US by developing a statistical framework for assimilating diverse, publicly-available datasets across space and time.<br/><br/>The Fellow will be mentored by Dr. William Lauenroth, an expert in semiarid plant community dynamics, and Dr. Andrew Finely, an ecologist and statistical modeler. This project stresses the interdisciplinary nature needed to address pressing issues such as the influence of global change on species distribution and the development of methods for utilizing extensive, publicly-available datasets. The research benefits society by identifying tree species with the greatest risk of local and regional population decline as well as highlighting geographic areas where tree regeneration is likely to fail under future predicted climate regimes. This information will help guide land managers and policymakers in managing forests on public and private lands across the western US.
1202818 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 06/01/2012 06/12/2012 Kimberly Rosales CA Rosales Kimberly R Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 05/31/2014 $123,000.00 krosales@coh.org Costa Mesa CA 926262230 BIO 1157 7137, 1228, 7174 $0.00 Regulation of protein phosphatase specificity in response to nutrient deprivation<br/><br/>Although much is known about how protein kinases function to regulate cell signaling pathways, how protein phosphatases are regulated to de-phosphorylate proteins and counteract kinase function has not been established. How serine-threonine protein phosphatases are regulated by extra- or intracellular signals to achieve specificity towards various substrates is poorly understood. Phosphatase specificity towards a substrate is largely controlled by its binding proteins. Protein phosphatase specificity is achieved through the assembly of a trimeric complex in which the catalytic C subunit interacts with the scaffolding A subunit. This AC complex can then associate with over 15 regulatory B subunits through the A subunit. Binding of a specific B subunit determines substrate specificity. Although protein phosphatase complexes function in almost all known signaling pathways such as stress signaling and cell cycle regulation, the central question that remains unanswered is: How are protein phosphatases actively regulated by different signals to acquire specificity despite the promiscuous activity of their catalytic subunit? A specific B subunit has been identified that is transcriptionally up-regulated in response to glucose deprivation. This B subunit may play a critical role in regulating cell survival under glucose limiting conditions. The proposed research will elucidate the mechanisms that regulate phosphatase substrate specificity in response to glucose deprivation. <br/><br/>Training objectives include learning techniques of mass spectrometry and phosphatase assays. Broader impacts include increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities at the postdoctoral level, as well as mentoring high school and college students from disadvantaged groups who will partake in research at the host institution.
1202808 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 06/01/2012 06/12/2012 Taal Levi CA Levi Taal Fellowship Julie Dickerson 05/31/2015 $189,000.00 thetaaltree@gmail.com Santa Cruz CA 950605812 BIO 8054 7174, 7137 $0.00 The ecology of host-vector-pathogen interactions and tick borne disease risk<br/><br/>There is growing recognition that changes in host community ecology and interactions in the food chain can contribute to the emergence of infectious diseases. Many diseases cycle within a single species or area, but are transmitted to humans from their wildlife host either by direct contact, or more often by an arthropod vector. Because most infectious pathogens which can be transmitted across species are harbored by wildlife that occupy low levels in the food chain (particularly rodents), predation of these hosts may be critical to disease suppression. However, this is not well understood. A familiar case of disease emergence that is driven by changes in the host community is Lyme disease-the most prevalent vector-borne disease in North<br/>America. The increases in Lyme disease in the northeastern and midwestern USA over the past three decades coincide with a range-wide decline of a key small mammal predator, the red fox, likely due to expansion of coyote populations. This research explores the hypothesis that changes in predator community structure have facilitated the emergence of Lyme disease by sampling the abundance and infection prevalence of the vector and host community in fox-dominated and coyote-dominated sites and by incorporating predation and vertebrate community structure into disease models.<br/><br/>The postdoctoral fellow will develop expertise in laboratory techniques to assay vector and hosts for pathogen infection, as well as statistical and analytical techniques for modeling the ecological drivers of infectious disease. The results of this research may have profound policy implications regarding how wildlife is managed while accounting for public health considerations.
1202751 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 09/01/2012 06/26/2012 Prashant Sharma MA Sharma Prashant P Fellowship Julie Dickerson 08/31/2015 $189,000.00 psharma@fas.harvard.edu Cambridge MA 021382902 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 The availability of landmass plays a key role in the diversification of terrestrial lineages through evolutionary time. How geological dynamism affects the inference of evolutionary history of a biogeographic theater is poorly understood. To address how geological history affects a specific function of phylogenetic informativeness that is required to infer evolutionary history, a combination of (1) modeling effects of geology on simulated phylogenies; and (2) empirical hypothesis testing with phylogenies drawn from a geologically dynamic theater, Southeast Asia, is proposed. Progress on this question will inform understanding of biotic distributions and elucidate methods by which informative phylogenetic markers can be identified for individual biogeographic theaters. The relationship between geological history and phylogenetic informativeness occurs at the intersection of biology, geology, and mathematics. Addressing this problem requires both biological expertise to understand the context (taxon distribution and phylogenetic inference) and mathematical training in numerical modes of analysis.<br/><br/><br/>Broader impacts include development of education material suitable for both undergraduates and school groups on phylogenetic reconstruction of evolutionary history, which will incorporate a perspective on geological history informed by the results of the proposed research. Modeling and biogeography teaching modules developed for an interdisciplinary undergraduate course in the third year of the program will be freely distributed through the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the City University of New York. The proposed modeling software will be distributed for students and researchers alike through the American Museum of Natural History to explore the effects of geological events on simulated phylogenies.
1202865 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Kevin Penn CA Penn Kevin M Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2014 $123,000.00 kpenn@ucsd.edu San Diego CA 921306904 BIO 8054 7137, 7174 $0.00 Quantitative assessment of the population and functional diversity in phytoplankton and coral 'holobiont' metagenomes<br/><br/><br/>Coral reef health is declining while harmful algal blooms appear to be increasing in frequency and distribution. Both are likely reflective of global climate change. However, the dynamics of the microbial communities associated with these aquatic habitats is not well known. The project goals are to analyze metatranscriptomes of phytoplankton and coral associated microbes in order to: 1) characterize the genetic diversity of discrete populations and 2) evaluate functional diversity by focusing on nutrient acquisition and secondary metabolite genes.<br/><br/>The training goals are to further develop bioinformatics tools needed to identify significantly different and similar gene expression occurring among coral reefs and freshwater phytoplankton blooms. This project has the potential to impact two different fields of biology. Typically, secondary metabolite type genes (which make many of the antibiotics in use today) are overlooked in studies of evolution and ecology because researchers are not interested in drug discovery while natural product researchers do not have the expertise to properly study the evolution and ecology of these gene types. This project will help bridge the gap and place studies of natural products in the context of evolution and ecology rather than simply for the discovery of novel drugs for pharmaceutical companies. However, incorporating studies of natural products into ecologically driven research will provide important data to researchers looking to discover new pharmaceuticals. The project will also train young scientists through MIT's undergraduate research program and establish the first Coral Club in Cambridge where scientists can present research in an informal setting and volunteer at museums in the Boston area.
1202882 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 10/01/2012 06/26/2012 Sarah Evans CO Evans Sarah E Fellowship Julie Dickerson 09/30/2014 $123,000.00 sarah.evans@colostate.edu Fort Collins CO 805231499 BIO 8054 7137, 7174 $0.00 Quantifying microbial memory and its influence on ecosystem time lags using Bayesian modeling<br/><br/>Ecosystems do not respond instantaneously to environmental change, but rather possess a "memory" of past conditions. This memory alters the magnitude and timescale of an ecosystem's response to climate stress. Therefore, a lack of understanding of what controls ecosystem memory could contribute to inaccurate predictions of climate patterns and biogeochemical dynamics. Microbial communities control carbon and nitrogen (biogeochemical) cycling in the soil. Contrary to previous assumptions, recent evidence shows that microbial communities themselves possess a memory that could contribute to ecosystem responses. However, microbial memory has not been explicitly quantified, or assessed as a possible mechanism contributing to ecosystem memory. The aim of this project is: to develop a model framework to examine the magnitude and timescale of microbial memory; to determine the importance of this microbial mechanism in predicting lags in soil gas flux; and to identify the microbial traits (physiology or community composition) that are best linked to the larger scale functions they mediate. <br/><br/>This research couples innovative statistical tools (hierarchical Bayesian modeling) and new biological concepts (microbial memory), bridging conceptual and collaborative gaps between ecology and mathematics. The project will improve the postdoctoral fellow?s statistical skills, broaden the scope of future work, and give the fellow novel tools to analyze large ecological datasets. Results from this project will be widely disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and university-mediated public seminars, and contribute to ecological workshops that introduce life scientists to Bayesian methods.
1202795 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 IOS NPGI PostDoc Rsrch Fellowship 06/01/2012 06/12/2012 Jason Peiffer NY Peiffer Jason A Fellowship Diane Jofuku Okamuro 05/31/2015 $195,900.00 jap333@cornell.edu Ithaca NY 148502993 BIO 8105 9109, BIOT, 9179, 7577 $0.00 This action funds a National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2012. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow to focus their studies in plant genomics with an emphasis on quantitative genetics, modern breeding approaches, and bioinformatics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Jason A. Peiffer is "Combinatorial Optimization of Molecular Plant Breeding Strategies". The host institution for the fellowship is North Carolina State University and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Trudy F. C. Mackay and Eric A. Stone. <br/><br/>Phenomics and high-throughput sequencing have drastically increased the information available to crop geneticists and breeders. From this information, linkage and association mapping of alleles and genomic prediction of breeding values have enhanced our knowledge of genetic architecture. New analytical approaches are needed to efficiently use this architectural knowledge in the optimization of mapping efforts and to better inform breeding practices. Drawing techniques from the disciplines of combinatorial optimization, statistical mechanics, and information geometry, this project will optimize the selection of mapping and genomic prediction populations for multi-environment trials. These techniques will incorporate prior genetic knowledge in an adaptive sequential manner to better explore the fitness landscape of potential genotypes. By implementing related techniques, scientists will be able to use this understanding of a population's orientation on the landscape to direct cross-pollination and selection decisions that better exploit genetic diversity and allow breeders to more rapidly converge on a desired phenotype for a given crop application and environment. <br/><br/>Training objectives include computational science, applied mathematics, evolutionary biology, and genetics. Broader impacts include capacity-building and advanced training for students from the United States to engage in interdisciplinary research in plant improvement and associated sciences such as physiology, quantitative genetics, and computational biology. Programs and source code facilitating execution of these approaches will be made publicly available.
1202813 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Peter Zee IN Zee Peter C Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2014 $123,000.00 pzee@indiana.edu Bloomington IN 474057005 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 Impacts of stochastic ecological immigration history on evolutionary diversification<br/><br/>The determinants of biodiversity are of central interest to evolutionary biology. While it is understood that the processes of evolutionary diversification and extinction, coupled with ecological immigration, contribute to diversity in biological communities, the nature of how these processes interact to shape diversity is not clear. These complex interactions require both theoretical and detailed experimental investigations. This research investigates how immigration history impacts the evolutionary diversification process. Large-scale microcosm experiments in a bacterial experimental adaptive radiation in the laboratory will test how elements of immigration history influence the rate and extent of diversification. The development a synthetic model of evolutionary community assembly incorporating effects of immigration and applying analytical tools from physics and applied mathematics, will enable the identification of parameter combinations significantly contribute to the dynamics of diversification.<br/><br/>Training objectives include learning and applying modeling approaches from physics and applied mathematics, such as stochastic differential equations and branching processes, to address the complex biological phenomena. Understanding the forces that generate and eliminate diversity in communities is of critical importance for the conservation and restoration of native habitats. Broader impacts include actively mentoring and advising undergraduate students and K-12 educational outreach.
1202720 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 08/01/2012 06/26/2012 Kristine Snyder CO Snyder Kristine L Fellowship Julie Dickerson 07/31/2014 $123,000.00 snyderkr@umich.edu Boulder CO 803090526 BIO 8054 7137, 7174 $0.00 Brain Connectivity During Human Locomotion<br/><br/>While walking is an activity most people do every day, how the brain functions during this movement remains an open scientific question. The project goal is to determine what brain areas are active, what roles they play, and how they interact throughout specific walking and walking-like behaviors. To accomplish this, electrocortical simulations will be used to determine what specific aspects of interaction are captured by a variety of functional connectivity measures. Next, independent component analysis will identify neurological sources from EEG data recorded during standing and walking in healthy and Parkinson's subjects, and in healthy subjects performing a simplified version of walking. Finally, functional connectivity will be measured between EEG signals and electrocortical sources in brain regions such as the anterior cingulate and the left and right sensorimotor cortices during these conditions to determine how the brain functions move the body in a changing environment.<br/> <br/>This research will provide the fellow with experience in computational neuroscience. The project's results may benefit compromised populations by improving rehabilitation practices, such as in analysis and treatment of movement disorders. Understanding brain function in individuals with Parkinson's or spinal cord injury, could potentially lead to assistive devices that restore motor function. Further, this project will aim to increase the number of women involved in science by mentoring undergraduates and by putting on a camp for young girls that uses hands-on labs to show how neuroscience and math can explain simple everyday movements.
1202666 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 IOS NPGI PostDoc Rsrch Fellowship 06/01/2012 06/12/2012 Shelby Repinski CA Repinski Shelby Fellowship Diane Jofuku Okamuro 05/31/2015 $196,800.00 slrepinski@gmail.com Berkeley CA 947021622 BIO 8105 BIOT, 9109, 9179, 1329 $0.00 This action funds a National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2012. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow to focus their studies in plant genomics with an emphasis on quantitative genetics, modern breeding approaches, and bioinformatics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Shelby L. Repinski is "Genome-wide Association Study of Domestication Traits in Carrot (Daucus carota L.) Inbred Lines". The host institution for the fellowship is the University of Wisconsin - Madison and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Philipp Simon, Patrick Krysan and Brian Yandell. <br/><br/>Carrots are among the top-ten most economically important vegetable crops in the world and have many health-promoting characteristics such as being the richest source of provitamin A carotenoids in the U.S. diet. Though the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway has been unveiled, many of the underlying genetic components are still unknown. Several other key agronomic traits in carrot such as lateral root prominence, storage root sugar type, and ease of flowering also lack a known genetic control. This project will generate molecular markers to facilitate rapid screening for agronomic traits in carrot. Specifically, the project will employ next generation sequencing technologies and a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population to begin to identify quantitative trait loci for sugar, carotenoids, and root prominence as a first step to identifying gene(s) for carrot improvement.<br/><br/>Training objectives include bioinformatics, quantitative genetics, biochemistry and plant genomics. Broader impacts include capacity-building and advanced training for students from the United States to engage in interdisciplinary research in plant improvement and associated sciences such as physiology, quantitative genetics, and computational biology.
1202793 NSF NPGI Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 IOS NPGI PostDoc Rsrch Fellowship 08/01/2012 06/26/2012 Patrick Edger MO Edger Patrick P Fellowship Diane Jofuku Okamuro 07/31/2015 $197,100.00 pedger@gmail.com Ashland MO 650101207 BIO 8105 1329, 9109, 9179, BIOT $0.00 This action funds a National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2012. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow to focus their studies in plant genomics with an emphasis on quantitative genetics, modern breeding approaches, and bioinformatics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Patrick P. Edger is "Constructing Plant Metabolic Networks and a Comparative Framework to Identify Genes to Manipulate Biosynthetic Pathways in Crops". The host institution for the fellowship is the University of Arizona and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Michael Barker (University of Arizona) and Michael Freeling (University of California - Berkeley). <br/><br/>In order to begin addressing more complex questions in biology (e.g. elucidating genotype to phenotype relationships and plant-environmental interactions), the next phase of biology must involve integrating the wealth of diverse biological resources (e.g. sequenced genomes, gene expression data, protein data, and metabolic data) available to the scientific community. This study seeks to investigate how metabolic networks, the complete set of biochemical reactions in the cell (e.g. photosynthesis, respiration, and biosynthesis of defensive secondary metabolite compounds, have evolved over time (e.g. topology and content), to distinguish plastic portions from more conserved sections, and ultimately identify sub-networks that are more amenable to modification for crop improvement. <br/><br/>Training objectives include bioinformatics, biochemistry, and plant genomics. Broader impacts include capacity-building and advanced training for students from the United States to engage in interdisciplinary research in plant improvement and associated sciences such as physiology, quantitative genetics, and computational biology. Outreach activities include the development of a visualization tool that will allow plant biologists to more easily analyze gene expression differences at the global network level and to calculate differences in metabolic costs. In addition the Fellow will be participate in introductory bioinformatics workshops that will train both undergraduate students and more advanced researchers in basic computer programming skills and in the use of available tools to analyze and interpret various datasets.
1202754 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 07/01/2012 06/26/2012 Charles Linkem KS Linkem Charles W Fellowship Julie Dickerson 06/30/2014 $123,000.00 cwlinkem@gmail.com Lawrence KS 660462626 BIO 8054 7137, 7174 $0.00 Testing and developing new tools for analyses of phylogenomic data to resolve the tree of life<br/><br/>Resolving rapid radiations in the tree of life is a major challenge of evolutionary biology. Advances in next-generation sequencing technology aim at ameliorating this challenge by expanding the amount of sequence data available for each species. The incorporation of next-generation sequencing into current phylogenetic approaches requires innovative methods of analysis. This project will develop new models for the analysis of next generation sequence data with the aim of resolving the phylogenetic relationships of rapid radiations. The use of complex and realistic simulations will test current and new phylogenetic models for the efficacy of analyzing next-generation data. Simulation studies will provide the benchmarks for next-generation phylogenetic study design.<br/><br/>Training objectives include developing expertise in mathematical modeling, data simulation, and bioinformatics. Educational outreach includes mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students in biological sciences and creation of public exhibits in the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Broader impacts include development of open-source software tools and incorporation of new models into existing programs such as BEAST, BEAGLE, and RevBayes. Dissemination of results will occur through peer-reviewed publication in open-access journals, presentations at scientific meetings, and all data will be made publicly available.
1202803 NSF NPGI Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 IOS NPGI PostDoc Rsrch Fellowship 10/15/2012 06/26/2012 Rachel Meyer NY Meyer Rachel S Fellowship Diane Jofuku Okamuro 09/30/2015 $195,900.00 dramlit@gmail.com New York NY 100351620 BIO 8105 BIOT, 9179, 1329, 9109 $0.00 This action funds a National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2012. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow to focus their studies in plant genomics with an emphasis on quantitative genetics, modern breeding approaches, and bioinformatics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Rachel S. Meyer is "Selection for Salt Tolerance in African Rice (Oryza Glaberrima) in Indigenous Riverine Agricultural Habitats of Western Africa". The host institution for the fellowship is New York University and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Michael Purugganan. <br/><br/>One major factor limiting worldwide crop production is high salinity, which affects 50% of global irrigated land area. Farmers in the Atlantic Coast region stretching from Senegal to Liberia plant indigenous crops that are tolerant to saline conditions. This project focuses on one such crop that is a major staple: African rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud.). O. glaberrima is irrigated by rivers with a conspicuous salinity gradient. Thus, the agricultural system developed for O. glaberrima implies that varieties have been arranged with matched fitness to local saline levels. However, farmers also practice agriculture in unique ways including dyking of mangrove swamps, soil overturning, and sometimes desalination, which spurs several critical questions. How has the O. glaberrima genome been modified to tolerate salinity? To what extent do specific agricultural practices play a role in the ability of O. glaberrima to be cultivated in saline environments? Is it geographic characteristics or cultural practices that guide selection for this crop? To address these questions, the genomes of 100 germplasm accessions from three agricultural river systems will be surveyed in order to build a SNP map for O. glaberrima and identify DNA regions that distinguish germplasm from saline coastal versus freshwater inland environments. Interviews will be conducted to gather information about land conditions, farming techniques, and community roles in seed trading along these rivers. DNA sequence data will be correlated with the salinity at collection locales, culturally specific agricultural practices, and salt injury tests. Results will connect aspects of human innovation to agroecology and selective crop breeding, while specifically addressing challenges faced by a need to practice agriculture on areas of high salinity. <br/><br/>Training objectives include data management of entire genomes and population analyses, in-depth agroecological analysis, and cross-training between NYU and international institutions. Broader impacts include include capacity-building and advanced training for students from the United States to engage in interdisciplinary research in plant improvement and associated sciences such as physiology, quantitative genetics, and computational biology. Outreach activities include training workshops in West Africa and other countries to enhance utility of genome sequence generated and use of agroecological data to design tools to help farmers, and K-12 DNA barcoding mentoring.
1202759 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2013 06/29/2012 Maxine Zylberberg CA Zylberberg Maxine Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2016 $250,500.00 xylberg@gmail.com Davis CA 956163708 BIO 1157 1228, 7174, 7137 $0.00 Viral communities of the Papua New Guinea avifauna <br/><br/>Migratory birds spreading avian flu, bats serving as SARS reservoirs, and the spread of West Nile virus have highlighted the importance of epidemic disease in today's globalized world. Understanding the processes that facilitate disease spread in wildlife is crucial for conservation and human health. Using new and previously collected samples from Papua New Guinea, the evolution and distribution of viruses will be described. High throughput, metagenomic sequencing will be conducted using blood samples and cloacal swabs collected from hundreds of birds across 20 islands. The resulting data will be used to assemble virus genomes and classify viruses. This information along with information on island characteristics (i.e., size, isolation, human disturbance, avian community) will be used to test hypotheses regarding the factors underlying viral evolution and biogeography.<br/><br/>This work will provide critical insights into the importance of variation in geography, human influence, and host species to the spread and distribution of pathogens, and a basis for improving models of disease emergence. In conducting this research, the Fellow will develop new quantitative, computational, and laboratory skills, which will enhance her ability to develop, lead and carry out a multi-faceted, cross-disciplinary research program on wildlife disease ecology. In addition to conducting research, the Fellow will mentor undergraduates through the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) Summer Systematics Institute, and develop skills in teaching the public about science through CAS's museum programs. This project will also provide excellent opportunities for both minority undergraduate students in the Bay Area and Papua New Guinea locals to learn to conduct research, allowing the Fellow to continue to work towards her goal of broadening participation of minorities and women in science.
1202889 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 11/01/2012 06/26/2012 Sean Fogarty CA Fogarty Sean P Fellowship Julie Dickerson 10/31/2014 $123,000.00 spfogarty@gmail.com Davis CA 956162863 BIO 8054 7137, 7174 $0.00 Evolutionary causes and consequences of personality variation in social groups: Do fish schools benefit from individual social personality variation?<br/><br/>Two of biology's most exciting and influential lines of research have emerged from animal behavior in the past decade. First, the study of complex collective behaviors, like shoaling, has shown how these behaviors may emerge from the individual behaviors of independent agents, and the functions they may play. The second emerging line of research, behavioral syndromes or animal personalities, focuses on the causes and consequences of consistent individual behavioral differences. The project will clarify 1) whether individuals vary in their ability to detect and respond to food and predators vs. exploit the information produced by others, 2) whether this tradeoff in use of public vs. private information is related to shoaling behavior, leading to consistent differences in the use of high risk/reward positions within the group (social role specialization), and 3) whether the particular social composition of detectors (private information) vs. responders (public information) affects either the group's ability to respond effectively to food and predators or the relative fitness of different types of individuals.<br/><br/><br/>The Fellow has an extensive mathematical biology background, which will be enhanced by the chosen mentors (Dr. Couzin and Dr. Leonard). The Fellow will be trained to deploy such techniques as real-time video tracking, parallelized simulation of individual based models, analysis with Markov Chain Monte Carlo models, development of robotic fish, and implementation of adaptive dynamics models. Insights gained from the project will be presented at Dr. Couzin's OpenSwarm website, which is being developed to teach the public about collective behavior.
1202716 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Paulo Olivas FL Olivas Paulo C Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2014 $123,000.00 Olivas.PC@gmail.com Miami FL 331992516 BIO 1157 7174, 1228, 7137 $0.00 Determining the effect of climate change on the carbon dynamics of the high elevation tropical humid puna<br/><br/>Recent scientific evidence shows that global temperatures are increasing. The effects of increased temperatures are expected to be more dramatic in polar regions, however, the tropics may also be especially susceptible to warming as a result of the specialization of tropical species to a narrow range of climatic conditions coupled with rapid rates of warming. Nevertheless, investigation of the potential effects of warming in tropical ecosystems has been extremely limited. Humid puna lands - grasslands located at high elevations in the Andes Mountains of South America - harbor fragile ecosystems with a high level of endemism; puna areas also are under high pressure as a result of fire, grazing, and climate change. Human populations, such as native Quechua, depend on puna ecosystems for subsistence. To better understand potential responses of high elevation tropical ecosystems to climate change, a thermal and hydrological manipulation experiment will be conducted to determine the potential effects of climate change on the high elevation humid puna ecosystem of the tropical Andes. <br/><br/>During the tenure of the fellowship, the Fellow will focus effort on the development and strengthening of quantitative skills, statistical analysis and model development. The Fellow will work on establishing experiments, and training and mentoring local Peruvian technicians and undergraduate and graduate students from the USA. Additionally, the proposed sponsoring institution, The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG), represents a unique outreach opportunity by translating research into activities and programs that can be used for environmental education of K-12 students and the general public.
1202724 NSF NPGI Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 IOS NPGI PostDoc Rsrch Fellowship 08/01/2012 06/26/2012 Cory Hirsch WI Hirsch Cory D Fellowship Diane Jofuku Okamuro 07/31/2015 $197,400.00 hirsch.cory@gmail.com Madisoin WI 537061514 BIO 8105 1329, 9179, BIOT, 9109 $0.00 This action funds a National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2012. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow to focus their studies in plant genomics with an emphasis on quantitative genetics, modern breeding approaches, and bioinformatics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Cory D. Hirsch is "A Systems Biology Approach to Understanding Anthocyanin Biosynthesis and Regulation in Potato". The host institution for the fellowship is Michigan State University and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Robin Buell and David Douches.<br/><br/>Anthocyanins, the purple and red pigments found in plants, have numerous health benefits including a high anti-oxidant content with human health benefits. The scientific goals of the proposed research is to investigate anthocyanin production at the genetic, biochemical, molecular, and systems level in potato, a crop species that is emerging as an important component of the 21st century world food needs. This project will couple classical plant breeding approaches with modern technology enabled genome-wide approaches to generate and integrate multiple data types to provide a genome-scale understanding of the mechanisms by which genes govern anthocyanin production in potato. <br/><br/>Training objectives include classical breeding, biochemistry, quantitative genetics and plant genomics. Broader impacts include capacity-building and advanced training for students from the United States to engage in interdisciplinary research in plant improvement and associated sciences such as physiology, quantitative genetics, and computational biology.
1202886 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 11/01/2012 06/26/2012 Charles Williams WA Williams Charles D Fellowship Julie Dickerson 10/31/2014 $123,000.00 cdave@uw.edu Seattle WA 981951800 BIO 8054 7137, 7174 $0.00 Spotting paths and planning maneuvers: How birds fly through a complex cluttered world<br/><br/><br/>Flying animals regularly navigate through forests, urban settings, and other very complex environments at high speeds. These flights require, 1) rapid visual recognition of the surrounding environment, 2) quick and accurate planning of unobstructed paths, and 3) accurate maneuvers. These three behaviors are interdependent: vision informs path planning which defines the maneuvers to be performed whose execution presents a new scene. Despite a long history of work seeking to understand how birds process visual information, plan paths, and the aerodynamics of their maneuvers, little work has explored how these aspects work together in the real world. This work is investigating the feedback between vision, path planning, and aerodynamic maneuvering in the real world. <br/><br/>The fellow is developing instrumentation which pigeons (Columba livia) can carry in backpack-harnesses during free flight. This instrumentation, consisting of video devices and inertial sensors (IMUs), will allow researchers to record wing kinematic data, visual environment data, and flight paths over long outdoor flights through natural environments. As part of this work, the fellow will offer lectures on recent advances to high school biology teachers through Harvard Life Sciences? Outreach Program, and develop exhibit material for the Harvard Museum of Natural History focusing on the mechanisms required for successful biological flight. Additionally, increased understanding of these natural processes will inform future engineering efforts to produce fully or partially autonomous micro aerial vehicles.
1202620 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW, IRFP 06/01/2012 06/12/2012 Joe Baio WA Baio Joe Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 05/31/2015 $232,800.00 baio@mpip-mainz.mpg.de Seattle WA 981225540 BIO 1157, 5956 5956, 7137, 7174, 5936, 1228 $0.00 Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms Driving Spider Adhesion<br/><br/>One of the most well studied adhesion systems are the adhesive pads found in the feet of spiders. These pads are made up of hair-like bristles called setae. When in contact with a substrate the combined attachment force of these groups of setae can be hundreds of times the animal's body weight. Previous work has focused almost exclusively on the mechanical and kinematic aspects of adhesion, and not on the molecular interactions at the seta - substrate interface. This is a direct result of the difficulties associated with the surface characterization of biological interfaces. However, recent advances in surface analysis techniques now finally provide a way to fully characterize these surface interactions. Thus, the overall goal of this project is to use surface analytical techniques to construct a detailed characterization of the chemical environment at the surface of a spider spatula. These chemical characterizations will then be put into an evolutionary context - by comparing and contrasting the surface chemistry of setae taken from a range of spider species.<br/><br/>Upon the successful completion of this highly interdisciplinary project - preliminary connections, between the behavior and mechanics of spider adhesion to the molecular interactions driving this process, will finally be formed. This molecular level understanding will lead biologist to expand on their current understanding of how adhesion organs evolved while also providing engineers with details that can be exploited in the future design of adhesives. The proposed project also directly fulfills the NSF's goal of broadening research opportunities by providing opportunities for scientists, from underrepresented groups, to learn the techniques and concepts of both biomechanics and surface analysis.<br/><br/>This award is co-funded by the PRFB Program and the International Research Fellowship Program (IRFP) in the Office of International Science and Engineering.
1202778 NSF NPGI Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 IOS NPGI PostDoc Rsrch Fellowship 07/01/2012 06/26/2012 Joshua Puzey MA Puzey Joshua R Fellowship Diane Jofuku Okamuro 06/30/2015 $195,900.00 jpuzey@fas.harvard.edu Cambridge MA 021382020 BIO 8105 7577, 9109, 9179, BIOT $0.00 This action funds a National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2012. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow to focus his studies in plant genomics with an emphasis on quantitative genetics, modern breeding approaches, and bioinformatics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Joshua R. Puzey is "Connecting Genetics and Form: Developing an Automated High-throughput Phenotyping Platform using Mimulus". The host institution for the fellowship is Duke University (North Carolina) and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. John Willis. Co-faculty mentors are Drs. John Kelly (University of Kansas, KS) and Sharon Gerbode (Harvey Mudd College, CA).<br/><br/>Linking genotype and environment to phenotype is a fundamental goal of quantitative genetics. As a first step, this project will develop an automated phenotyping platform using a set of 600 developmental variable lines in Mimulus. The primary design criteria for this platform are limiting cost while maximizing configurability. High levels configurability will allow researchers and breeders working on specific questions in other systems to alter this platform to their specific needs. Algorithms traditionally used for astronomy and colloidal physics image analysis will be employed for plant time-lapse image analysis.<br/><br/>Training objectives include computational science, physics, quantitative genetics and plant genomics. Broader impacts include capacity-building and advanced training for students from the United States to engage in interdisciplinary research in plant improvement and associated sciences such as physiology, quantitative genetics, and computational biology.
1202676 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 08/01/2012 06/26/2012 Megan Rua NC Rua Megan A Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 07/31/2015 $189,000.00 megrua@unc.edu Chapel Hill NC 275145409 BIO 1157 1228, 7137, 7174 $0.00 Exploring the relative importance of biotic and environmental sources of selection for pine-fungal interactions<br/><br/>Research that considers mechanisms by which plants evolve in response to complex environments including mutualists, enemies, and variable environmental factors is important for understanding what the most important selective factors are in driving trait evolution in plants. Interactions among plant hosts and their diverse associated microbes may provide an ecologically unique arena in which to examine the nature of selection in multispecies interactions. In particular, interactions between coniferous plants and their associated microbes provide a good system for experiments exploring the relative importance of sources of selection, as conifers interact with a suite of belowground microorganisms, and these interactions vary along environmental gradients. Using experimental approaches, this research will investigate the evolutionary dynamics of traits surrounding the interaction among plants, enemies and mutualists under changing environmental conditions. Novel field estimates of selection will be conducted and key predictions of coevolutionary theory will be tested.<br/><br/>Training objectives include developing expertise in statistical, empirical and analytical techniques. Career enhancement activities comprise the development of a unique research program including developing skills related to publication and presentation of research. The broader impacts of this project include training for underrepresented undergraduates in research skills such as field collection, molecular work, statistics and scientific presentation. Finally, while Monterey pine is considered threatened in its native range, it is widely cultivated as a plantation timber species in many temperate parts of the world so research which considers its response to changes in biotic and abiotic selection forces will inform both conservation and agricultural practices.
1202729 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 08/01/2012 06/26/2012 Henry Streby IA Streby Henry M Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 07/31/2015 $189,000.00 henrystreby_umn@yahoo.com Ames IA 500104267 BIO 1157 9150, 1228, 7174, 7137 $0.00 Migratory connectivity for full-cycle conservation of imperiled songbirds<br/> <br/>Connecting geographically distinct areas used by migrant songbirds is a formidable challenge. However, migratory connectivity is a research frontier that is essential for understanding population dynamics, informing global conservation plans, and building a framework within which ecological questions about speciation, energetics, disease transmission, and much more can be addressed. It is particularly important to identify population-specific wintering grounds for species experiencing dramatic declines despite apparently high productivity on breeding grounds. In collaboration with researchers from many universities and government agencies, two fast-developing research tools (stable isotope analysis and light-level geolocation) will be employed to identify migration routes and wintering grounds for golden-winged warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) from ten populations across the species' breeding range. This research will allow investigation of associations between wintering-ground anthropogenic land-use patterns and breeding population trends, and to develop a global conservation plan for this species of high conservation concern. This study will provide a blueprint for investigating range-wide migratory connectivity and initiating global conservation efforts for other migrant songbirds, many of which of are experiencing similar long-term declines.<br/> <br/>The Fellow will continue to work with Native American communities in Minnesota by developing a curriculum for schools and summer academies to nurture ecological and environmental interest in underserved Native American youth. The Fellow will also conduct individual educational programs for Native American elementary schools near the study sites.
1202779 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 IOS NPGI PostDoc Rsrch Fellowship 06/01/2012 06/12/2012 Katie Greenham NH Greenham Katie M Fellowship Diane Jofuku Okamuro 05/31/2015 $197,700.00 katie.greenham@gmail.com Etna NH 037503518 BIO 8105 9109, 9150, 9179, 1329, BIOT $0.00 This action funds a National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2012. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow to focus their studies in plant genomics with an emphasis on quantitative genetics, modern breeding approaches, and bioinformatics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Kathleen M. Greenham is "Computation analysis of global gene expression changes at the intersect of the circadian clock and the response to drought in the crop plant Brassica rapa". The host institution for the fellowship is Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. C. Robertson McClung.<br/><br/>The plant drought response includes numerous physiological and gene expression changes. The circadian clock regulates both the physiological and gene expression processes that respond to drought, as well as the magnitude of the response. Understanding the circadian regulation will enable us to modify this complex network of signaling events following water deficiency. In this project, global gene expression changes in response to drought, measured by RNAseq, will be determined in a population of Brassica rapa recombinant inbred lines (RILs) under water sufficient and deficient conditions. These results, along with previous measurements of period length, will be used to identify expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) contributing to the circadian regulation of water use efficiency. In addition, a network analysis will be used to uncover expression modules important for the drought response. The data will enhance the annotation and functional analysis of the Brassica genome and these analyses should be generally applicable in the translation from model organisms to important crop species.<br/><br/>Training objectives include bioinformatics, quantitative genetics and plant genomics. Broader impacts include capacity-building and advanced training for students from the United States to engage in interdisciplinary research in plant improvement and associated sciences such as physiology, quantitative genetics, and computational biology. Outreach activities include participation in an existing educational outreach program that involves developing resources for enhancing K12 and undergraduate programs using B. rapa.
1202725 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 08/01/2012 07/13/2012 Jeanine Refsnider IA Refsnider Jeanine M Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 07/31/2015 $189,000.00 refsnider@berkeley.edu Ames IA 500104267 BIO 1157 1228, 7174, 9150, 7137 $0.00 Stressors to native species under global change: Invasive species as vectors of infectious disease<br/><br/>As climate change progresses, invasive species will play an increasingly prominent role in mediating the spread of infectious diseases around the world. This research will investigate the role of invasive bullfrogs in spreading chytridiomycosis via the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) to native amphibian populations. Invasive bullfrog populations now occur in numerous countries, and they compete with or prey on native frog species. In addition, bullfrogs are resistant to Bd and act as vectors in spreading Bd to native populations. This research will combine observational field studies with controlled laboratory experiments to disentangle the effects of invasive bullfrogs and Bd infection on native frogs, providing a framework for evaluating the potential for invasive species to serve as disease vectors. Moreover, the approach taken here is broadly applicable to other combinations of stressors, species pairs, and regions of the world, and will be particularly relevant as climate change broadly affects native-invasive and host-pathogen interactions in systems around the world.<br/><br/>Approaches to broadening participation in ecological research will include an educational outreach program for high-school students and a training workshop for their teachers. These programs will give students and teachers the opportunity to form their own hypotheses, design a study to test those hypotheses, collect field data, analyze results, and present their studies to peers. The course for high school students will provide a valuable opportunity for students to conduct their own ecological research in the unique Sierra Nevada ecosystem, and the teacher workshop will build the content knowledge necessary to incorporate ecological research into high school learning objectives.
1202829 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 06/01/2012 06/12/2012 Louise Giam IL Giam Louise R Fellowship Julie Dickerson 05/31/2014 $123,000.00 louise@alum.mit.edu Chicago IL 606114141 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 High-throughput Screen to Characterize and Understand the Role of Synaptic Cell Adhesion Proteins in Neurons<br/><br/><br/>Many proteins control and affect the billions of connections among neurons in the brain. At the simplest level, the mapping of such neuronal interactions dictate how we learn, think, and remember. Moreover, when certain proteins are altered, neurological diseases can result ranging from learning disorders to memory impairment. This work will integrate high-throughput imaging technologies to characterize and systematically understand the role of certain synaptic cell adhesion proteins in neurons. For each protein, high-throughput microscopy methods will be used to image and quantify the cell morphology, visualize calcium signalling, and correlate the protein location with other neuronal markers having known functions. The results and broader impacts of this work may shed fundamental insight on how the brain is wired and how different neurons connect to and recognize each other.<br/><br/>The postdoctoral fellow, from a materials science and engineering background on the development and use of massively parallel scanning probe tools, will gain extensive experience in neurobiology, molecular biology, large-scale data analysis, and neurobiology in the context of imaging calcium signalling within cells. In addition to scientific training, the fellow will mentor undergraduate students in how to conduct research. Educational outreach activities such as teaching classes about recent scientific advances, writing web articles about biology intended for a non-science audience, and designing museum exhibits highlighting the intersection of biology and engineering will help engage public awareness.
1202838 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Daniel Runcie NC Runcie Daniel Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2014 $123,000.00 daniel.e.runcie@gmail.com Durham NC 277054246 BIO 8054 7174, 7137 $0.00 Using gene network models in evolutionary ecology: Gene duplication roles in flowering time control under natural environments<br/><br/><br/>Gene duplications are a rich source for evolutionary novelty and are thought to promote both speciation and adaptation. However, understanding why particular duplications are preserved by evolution is difficult because the functions of related genes tend to overlap. The Arabidopsis flowering time pathway is an ideal system to investigate the role of ecological factors in maintaining genetic redundancy due to a long history of detailed molecular genetic, modeling and evolutionary ecological work on floral control in this species. This fellowships supports research that will combine mathematical modeling to explore the role of redundancy within gene networks and gene expression profiling in field trials to identify functional differences among duplicate genes. These data will be used to test the hypothesis that seemingly redundant genes in the Arabidopsis flowering time pathway have different roles in regulating the timing of flowering under real-world environments.<br/><br/>Training objectives include becoming proficient in fitting practical and realistic models of biological systems, and carrying out effective field and lab experiments to test predictions of these models. The broader impacts include incorporating evolutionary simulations into an ongoing summer training programs on genetics and evolution for high school teachers in Wyoming. Also, the Arabidopsis flowering time gene network has analogs in many important crop species. Models that can predict flowering under complex, natural environments in this model species may translate into improvements in crop models useful for agriculture.
1202622 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 06/01/2012 06/12/2012 Piercen Oliver PA Oliver Piercen M Fellowship Julie Dickerson 05/31/2014 $123,000.00 pierceno@gmail.com Bethlehem PA 180153516 BIO 8054 7137, 7174 $0.00 Studying the influence of membrane curvature on positioning lipids and proteins in bacterial membranes<br/><br/>Many proteins in bacteria are preferentially located at specific sites within the cell. These proteins can control anything from cell shape, growth, division, movement of intracellular components, or assembly of motility systems to cell polarization. An untested hypothesis is that microdomains of a uniquely-curved phospholipid, cardiolipin, function as 'landmarks' to localize proteins in bacteria at regions of high negative curvature via a mechanism similar to lipid rafts. The aim of this proposal is to determine the relationship between the localization of CL microdomains, protein localization, and membrane curvature using spheroplasts of Escherichia coli, giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), and supported lipid bilayers (SLBs). By compressing spheroplasts and GUVs in microfluidic channels, or by conforming SLBs to either micropatterned curvy substrates or subject to deformation over a micropore, the temporal and spatial organization of CL and its putative binding proteins can be measured. An understanding of the reorganization of lipid microdomains in response to membrane curvature will be critical in developing a complete picture of the physical forces that influence biomolecule localization in bacteria. It is envisioned that the strain induced reorganization of membranes may be a widely spread phenomenon in biology that extends to eukaryotes.<br/><br/>Training objectives include developing an expertise in bacterial lipid metabolism and its quantification by in vivo labeling or through in vitro analysis. Broader impacts of this work include educational outreach through the Research Experience for Teaching Program. The PI will mentor local teachers by developing educational kits that will be incorporated into after-school programs in the Madison Metropolitan School District through the MicroExplorers Program.
1202746 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 10/01/2012 06/26/2012 Tim Covino MT Covino Tim P Fellowship Julie Dickerson 09/30/2014 $123,000.00 tpcovino@gmail.com Bozeman MT 597173120 BIO 8054 9150, 9179 $0.00 Biological and physical influences on ecosystem metabolism and nutrient uptake<br/><br/>Deciphering the interconnections between energy and nutrient resources and how they combine to influence nutrient uptake and ecosystem metabolism remains a grand challenge in the ecological sciences. Previous research has focused on static measures of these processes and limited information exists on the spatial and temporal variability of these dynamics. This project uses new methods and sensor technologies to decipher the dynamic interconnections between energy, nutrient resources, ecosystem metabolism, and nutrient uptake. Data across two zones of differing climate, vegetation, landforms, and ecology will allow for comparisons between regions. This research seeks new understanding of the coupled biological and physical influences on ecosystem metabolism and nutrient uptake.<br/><br/>The postdoctoral fellow will develop advanced skills in measuring and modeling ecological and hydrological processes. The development of an inter-university field-based course will train students in the newly developed methods, technologies, and data analysis techniques. Interdisciplinary interactions at the Nicholas School of the Environment and the River Center will help expand this work beyond stream studies to aquatic ecosystems. Data generated from this research will be made publicly available through the hydrologic data sharing system, CUAHSI HIS, and interaction with local water quality groups will expand the impacts beyond the scientific community.
1202873 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Hannah Wood CA Wood Hannah M Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2014 $123,000.00 woodhannahmarie@gmail.com Berkeley CA 947042031 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 Function and rates of diversification in complex miniature structures: the trap-jaw mechanisms in spiders<br/><br/><br/>The goal of this research is to use principles of engineering to discover basic mechanical patterns in the function of a complex biological structure, and then to use these findings to examine evolutionary diversification. Studies that determine function are essential for understanding how species diversify. However, such studies are difficult on the millimeter-sized organisms that tend to make up the majority of earth?s diversity, as size limitations make dissections and in vivo manipulations virtually impossible. However, synchrotron-based micro-tomography scanning presents a means for gathering detailed information about internal minute biological structures in even the smallest organisms. This technique is crucial in the case of the millimeter-sized trap-jaw spider family. Within this family extremely rapid, inertia-based, jaw closing mechanisms have evolved 3-4 times independently. Synchrotron scans will allow for visualizing internal musculature and structures implicated in jaw function, but also, this technique will allow for constructing 3D computer models to be used as inputs for kinematic simulations. Results from these simulations, coupled with a pre-existing phylogeny, will allow for testing (1) the hypothesis that changes in form directly relate to changes in function; and (2) the hypothesis that patterns of species diversification are proportional to rates of morphological and functional change.<br/><br/>Training includes learning techniques for reconstructing 3D computer models from synchrotron-based tomography scans, performing kinematic simulations, and running statistical analyses that determine shifts among lineages in rates of evolutionary diversification and functional and morphological change. Broader impacts during the course of the postdoctoral fellowship include training and mentoring undergraduates, giving guest lectures in undergraduate courses, and making results, such as 3D digital reconstructions, available online. Other opportunities for community outreach include presenting research at public venues and creating online lesson plans that facilitate the teaching of evolution.
1202801 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Catherine Hulshof AZ Hulshof Catherine M Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2015 $189,000.00 hulshof@email.arizona.edu Tucson AZ 857210001 BIO 1157 1228, 7137, 7174 $0.00 What drives ecological specialization in plants and caterpillars in harsh serpentine soils? <br/><br/>The unique physical and chemical properties of serpentine soils (e.g. low nutrient content and high levels of heavy metals) often result in the evolution of unique plant communities with rare and endemic plant species. In turn, the distinct physical and chemical properties of plants should affect herbivore performance and specialization, however, little is known about the consequences of plant specialization on serpentine soils for herbivore diversity. This study will document the unique flora and insect fauna of Santa Elena Peninsula, Costa Rica, and quantify the extent to which habitat specialization in plants and Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) occurs on serpentine soils using observational and experimental approaches. The Santa Elena Peninsula consists of ancient serpentine soils surrounded by younger, volcanic and sedimentary deposits and provides likely conditions for environmental specialization yet the region is underexplored and the effects of plant differentiation on Lepidoptera are unknown. <br/><br/>The results of this study will fill a significant gap in knowledge on tropical serpentine ecology. This study will provide a baseline dataset for developing future work as well as create new national and international collaborations in this area. This study will provide post-doctoral training in plant and insect systematics, soil and plant biochemistry as well as training in undergraduate teaching. The insect specimens will be showcased in K-12 outreach programs at UC-Davis and the study and results will be used to build interactive tools for introductory, undergraduate ecology courses.
1202833 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 07/01/2012 06/26/2012 Laura Kloepper HI Kloepper Laura N Fellowship Julie Dickerson 06/30/2015 $189,000.00 kloepper@hawaii.edu Honolulu HI 968171131 BIO 8054 7137, 7174 $0.00 Understanding bat biosonar performance using the Cram�r-Rao Lower Bound and adaptive beamforming<br/><br/><br/>This proposal will test the series of hypotheses that bats use adaptive beamforming for echolocation and that this adaptive beam provides more tracking information than a stationary transmit beam. The project will use a combination of biological, behavioral, acoustic, engineering, signal processing and statistical techniques as well as new acoustic technology and a creative mathematical approach to investigate adaptive beamforming in the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). A high-resolution, multi-element microphone array will measure the echolocation beam from both stationary and flying bats and the Cram�r-Rao Lower Bound will be used to determine the tracking accuracy for static and adaptive transmit beams.<br/><br/><br/>As part of the project, the postdoctoral fellow will create a bioacoustic curriculum on the biological, physiological, and ecological characteristics of bats that includes acoustic files and spectrograms and students will be encouraged via inquiry-based approaches to create bioacoustic experiments and mathematically interpret their results. The curriculum, alone with outreach components, will be implemented at high schools across Rhode Island to foster an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of science and encourage student excitement and engagement about biology, mathematics, and the physical sciences.
1202859 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 11/01/2012 06/26/2012 Christine Romano MT Romano Christine Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 10/31/2015 $189,000.00 romano.christine@gmail.com Bozeman MT 597154821 BIO 1157 7137, 7174, 1228, 9150 $0.00 The physiological role and biochemical mechanism of bacterial manganese(II) oxidation<br/><br/>As one of the most abundant transition metals in the earth's crust, manganese is prevalent in biological systems. It is found in superoxide dismutase, the oxygen evolving complex of photosystem II, and it plays an important role in biogeochemical cycling of carbon, sulfur, and several trace elements. Some microbes can even oxidize Mn(II), transforming it to Mn(III) and Mn(IV) oxides. Although bacterial Mn(II) oxidation is thought to be ubiquitous in nature, its physiological role remains poorly understood. Recently, researchers identified two putative Mn(II) oxidase genes, mnxG and mcoA, in the organisms Pseudomonas putida GB-1 and Bacillus sp. SG-1. The proteins are predicted to be multicopper oxidases, a family of Cu-containing enzymes that couples oxidation of metal or organic substrates to reduction of dioxygen. This project will use a combination of molecular and spectroscopic techniques to investigate both possible physiological roles for bacterial Mn(II) oxidation, and the enzymes that mediate this process. <br/><br/>This research will teach the fellow a variety of biological, environmental, and chemical techniques, allowing her to pursue an independent research career after she completes her post-doctoral training. Additionally, she will volunteer with several ongoing outreach efforts in the laboratory of her sponsor. In particular, she will work with the NSF Science and Technology Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction (CMOP) to provide undergraduate internships and K-12 educational programs. She will also mentor students in the laboratory and teach summer school classes through the Saturday Academy (www.saturdayacademy.org). She aims to provide young students with hands-on training in environmental microbiology.
1202821 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 07/01/2012 06/26/2012 Silvia Alvarez-Clare IL Alvarez-Clare Silvia Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 06/30/2015 $189,000.00 silviacr@ufl.edu Chicago IL 606407134 BIO 1157 7137, 1228, 7174 $0.00 Effects of nutrient availability and warming on greenhouse gas fluxes from lowland tropical forest soils: An integrated approach<br/><br/>The response of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes to multiple and interacting global change factors, such as warming and increased nutrient availability resulting from changes in biogeochemical cycles, is poorly understood in tropical forests but will certainly play a key role in the future global climate. This study will use a novel, integrated approach, that includes simultaneous measurements of three of the most important GHGs (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O)) both in the field and in the laboratory, to advance our understanding of how increased nutrient availability and warming influence fluxes of these GHGs from soils in a lowland tropical rain forest in Costa Rica. This study will provide a new perspective on biological and physical controls on these fluxes after chronic (5 years), relatively large scale (30 x 30m), and replicated (N= 6) nutrient manipulations.<br/><br/>The proposed research will broaden conceptual understanding of lowland tropical forest ecology by investigating belowground processes and fluxes, and will enable the Fellow to acquire new methodological and analytical tools. Data stemming from this project will be relevant to calibrate models used to generate regional or global emission inventories. The proposed research will broaden conceptual understanding of lowland tropical forest ecology by investigating belowground processes and fluxes, and will enable the Fellow to acquire new methodological and analytical tools. Data stemming from this project will be relevant to calibrate models used to generate regional or global emission inventories. In addition, exploring GHG emissions that occur at the soil-atmosphere interface is an essential part of the effort to integrate land management strategies with climate change mitigation and adaptation in the tropics. Finally, this project will provide opportunities for training of undergraduate minority students, and will include mentoring for Costa Rican and US students through participation in field and laboratory work.
1202776 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Matthew Toomey AZ Toomey Matthew B Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2014 $123,000.00 mbtoomey@asu.edu Tempe AZ 852815456 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 Title: The optics of avian cone oil droplets<br/><br/>The brilliantly colored oil droplets within the cone photoreceptors of birds have fascinated biologists since the dawn of microscopy, yet a conclusive understanding of their function has remained elusive. Located between the inner and outer segments, oil droplets are perfectly situated to filter and focus the light onto the photoreceptive visual pigment. Thus avian cone oil droplets may function as sophisticated photonic devices: (1) enhancing behavioral color discrimination by acting as long-pass spectral filters to modify the spectrum of light reaching the outer segment and (2) as focusing elements with a self-assembled liquid crystalline order optimized for light transmission within each different cone type. To test these hypotheses, the project will span the intersection of biology and physics combining molecular genetic manipulations of oil droplet pigmentation (via RNA interference) with behavioral tests of color vision, and advanced optical measurements (digital holographic microscopy) of the oil droplet molecular structure and light transmission. This project has broad implications because colorful cone oil droplets are an evolutionarily ancient adaptation to bright terrestrial environments shared by a diversity of animals. Understanding of the optical and behavioral function cone oil droplets has the potential to reveal previously unknown visual capabilities and adaptive mechanisms.<br/><br/>The training goals are to develop an understanding in, and technical competency with, molecular biological and optical physics approaches that will allow the fellow to build a research program at the intersection of biology, chemistry, and physics. Additionally, the fellow will receiving training in the communication of science to various audiences through written materials and formal and informal presentations.
1202684 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 08/01/2012 06/26/2012 Kristina Fontanez MA Fontanez Kristina M Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 07/31/2015 $189,000.00 fontanez@mit.edu Arlington MA 024748519 BIO 1157 7137, 7174, 1228 $0.00 Microbial processing of marine particulate organic carbon <br/><br/>Microbes play important roles in the cycling of carbon through our biosphere and thus their activity has profound implications for atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and climate change. The biological pump is a globally significant process in which atmospheric CO2 is transferred to the deep-sea in the form of particulate organic carbon (POC). The bulk of deep-sea metabolism is particle-associated and yet our knowledge of how microbial composition and activity combine to regulate the transformation of POC is limited. Microbial blooms act to stimulate pulses of POC export and thus serve as excellent case studies for examining the roles of free-living and particle-attached microbes in the deep-sea carbon cycle. This study will be conducted in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, which has recurring summer blooms, using new molecular techniques that enable the simultaneous examination of taxonomic composition, gene content, and gene expression (metagenomics and metatranscriptomics).<br/><br/>The scientific training objectives of this study are to receive training in metatranscriptomic and metagenomic analysis and gain field experience in oceanographic sampling and deployments. Professional development will be provided by a Professional Development Training program sponsored by the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE). The broader impacts of the proposed research will be facilitated by C-MORE, which will enable the broad dissemination of scientific findings to the wider community and promote K-12 education through the translation of scientific findings into age-appropriate science kits. Finally, this study will broaden participation of underrepresented ethnic groups by increasing the representation of Hispanic women in biology.
1202861 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 11/01/2012 06/26/2012 David Wheatcroft IL Wheatcroft David Fellowship Julie Dickerson 10/31/2014 $123,000.00 djwheatc@uchicago.edu Chicago IL 606604017 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 The evolution of vocalizations with specific "meanings" in songbirds <br/><br/>The assignment of arbitrary sounds with culturally defined meanings is a key building block in the development of language. However, a similar phenomenon can be found in the non-human animal world. Some animals, ranging from non-human primates to birds, use certain alarm signals in association with particular predator types, which allows others to respond appropriately without themselves observing the predator. How such communication systems arise is difficult to understand, because both the form of the signals and how others interpret them must develop in tandem. Are such context-specific signals truly arbitrarily assigned to stimuli? This project addresses these issues by evaluating the evolution of vocalizations used by a group of related species. Members of these species use a particular type of alarm call that is very similar across species when they observe cuckoos that seek to lay their eggs parasitically in their nests, but use species-specific alarm calls when confronting other types of threats. The project will develop theoretical mechanisms to explain why the evolution of the cuckoo-specific vocalizations is so constrained across species in comparison to other types of vocalizations and test the assumptions and predictions using field experiments.<br/><br/>This project involves collaboration between mathematicians and field biologists, exposing theoreticians to real world, testable problems and training field biologists in techniques of mathematical modeling so that their experimental research can be better planned and informed. The principal investigator will employ and train undergraduate research assistants in field techniques and basic research.
1202894 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 08/01/2012 06/26/2012 Peter Homyak CA Homyak Peter M Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 07/31/2015 $189,000.00 petehomyak@aol.com Riverside CA 925030548 BIO 1157 1228, 7137, 7174 $0.00 Gaseous nitrogen fluxes in dry soils: are surviving microbes controlling nitrogen emissions?<br/><br/>Soil gaseous nitrogen (N) emissions are not typically considered in ecosystem N budgets, presumably because in mesic sites, hydrologic N losses balance N inputs. However, in dryland environments, significant amounts of N are exported through gaseous pathways, yet the mechanisms controlling fluxes are poorly understood. In particular, are microbes controlling N emissions in dry soil? Does soil rewetting hinder microbial activity while enhancing abiotic processes? Paradoxically, biological control of N emissions appears to intensify during soil drying and becomes less important during soil rewetting. Because dryland regions comprise about 1/3 of the land surface and account for 25% of soil NO emissions, understanding what processes control N losses is critical for developing nutrient budgets and modeling N pollution. This research seeks to transform understanding of N cycling by evaluating two widely held paradigms: 1) that in dry soil, biological cycling of N is unimportant and 2) that N emissions are not significant in annual N budgets.<br/><br/>The training objectives are to broaden knowledge in soil C and N cycling, learn the application of eddy covariance, develop a method for measuring the isotopic composition of oxygen in NO. Broader impacts include land management applications to establish N critical loads in ecosystems impacted by N pollution through vegetation type conversions and increased incidence of wildfires. This research will also be used to foster participation of underrepresented groups in science and mathematics by delivering lesson plans through the PUENTE program, the "Outdoor Classroom" at Sedgwick Reserve, and Scienceline, a website that partners scientists with K-12 students.
1202815 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 09/01/2012 06/26/2012 Bret Pasch FL Pasch Bret Fellowship Julie Dickerson 08/31/2014 $123,000.00 bpasch@ufl.edu Gainesville FL 326015646 BIO 8054 7174, 7137 $0.00 Steering sound beams: Biophysics of public and private signaling in mixed media<br/><br/>Animals display an extraordinary diversity of sounds, odors, and colors to communicate within and between species. The efficacy of communication hinges on signal detection by receivers following propagation through an often cluttered environment. Two key solutions to minimizing distortion involve producing signals that are resistant to degradation, and advertising at times and positions that optimize signal transmission. While much attention has focused on the physics of signal design, little research has explored physical mechanisms underlying behavioral strategies aimed at maximizing propagation. This work explores the biophysics of behavioral strategies employed by Neotropical singing mice (Scotinomys) to maximize sound propagation in different social contexts. The goal is to quantify the influence of relative humidity on the active space of advertisement signals, and investigate how postural changes contribute to the directionality and degradation of specific acoustic parameters.<br/><br/>Training objectives include developing proficiency in physical acoustics, publishing at the interface of biology and physics, mentoring undergraduate students, and improving methods of disseminating research findings to the scientific community and public. Broader impacts include development of inquiry-based curricula aimed at exploring the interface of biology and physical sciences as they relate to animal communication. The fellow will build on existing networks within local communities in Costa Rica where fieldwork is conducted. Students from elementary schools will be trained to assist in collection and presentation of biological data.
1202869 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Barbara Going CA Going Barbara M Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2015 $189,000.00 bmgoing@ucdavis.edu Elk Grove CA 957581138 BIO 1157 7174, 7137, 1228 $0.00 How can spatial heterogeneity buffer plant communities against climate change?<br/><br/>Spatial heterogeneity in the physical environment plays a critical role in driving many ecological patterns and processes and has recently been implicated as an important factor responsible for buffering some communities against climate change. However, the specific mechanism by which spatial heterogeneity confers temporal stability remains unclear. Here, field experiments and empirical models will be used to test two classes of mechanisms for how spatial heterogeneity might buffer communities against climate change. Some buffering mechanisms may operate independently of species interactions, such as when heterogeneity provides physical refugia for species. Alternatively, in communities structured by competitive interactions, spatial heterogeneity might buffer communities via a class of mechanism involving species coexistence mechanisms. This project will test the relative importance of these mechanisms using field experiments in annual serpentine grasslands and simulation models parameterized with data collected from the experiments. <br/><br/>This NSF fellowship will support postdoctoral training in research and teaching. Professional training will include extensive analyses using modern statistical programs, such as R, and current modeling approaches. In addition to participating in teaching seminars and course to improve pedagogical skills, the Fellow will teach core courses and serve as a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students at the host institution, Utah State University. Another promising avenue for community outreach is through participation in Distributed Graduate Seminars on climate change in the sagebrush steppe plant community. Finally, the Fellow will continue to provide logistical and long-term planning support to the K-12 science education program, Kids into Discovering Science (KiDS).
1202682 NSF NPGI Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 IOS NPGI PostDoc Rsrch Fellowship 07/01/2012 06/26/2012 Malia Gehan MI Gehan, Malia A Fellowship Diane Jofuku Okamuro 06/30/2015 $197,700.00 dongmali@msu.edu East Lansing MI 488241312 BIO 8105 9109, BIOT, 1329, 9179 $0.00 This action funds a National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2012. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow to focus her studies in plant genomics with an emphasis on quantitative genetics, modern breeding approaches, and bioinformatics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Malia A. Gehan is "Improving Environmental Stress Tolerance in the Grass Model, Brachypodium distachyon." The host institution for the fellowship is the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Todd Mockler.<br/><br/>This project focuses on temperature perception and stress (cold and heat) under circadian regulation in Brachypodium distachyon, a model plant for wheat and other important food and biofuel crops. The specific aims include 1) transcriptional profiling of B. distachyon across a range of stress and sub-optimal temperatures; 2) prioritizing transcription factor genes for misexpression in B. distachyon by filtering differentially expressed genes found in Objective 1 by their circadian patterns; 3) assessing the responses of misexpression lines to various abiotic stresses; and 4) identifying additional targets of temperature-responsive genes using yeast one-hybrid, ChIP-seq, and microarrays to develop comprehensive gene networks. <br/> <br/>Training objectives include bioinformatics and plant genomics. Broader impacts include capacity-building and advanced training for students from the United States to engage in interdisciplinary research in plant improvement and associated sciences such as physiology, quantitative genetics, and computational biology. Outreach focuses on developing an online-accessible teaching module based on this research. Assessments and improvements of the teaching module, made throughout the duration of this fellowship, will be documented online.
1202895 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 10/01/2012 06/27/2012 Naomi Ondrasek CA Ondrasek Naomi R Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 09/30/2015 $189,000.00 nrondrasek@berkeley.edu Union City CA 945874567 BIO 1157 1228, 7137, 7174 $0.00 Flocking Behavior in Wild Birds: The Role of Seasons, Hormones, and the Brain<br/><br/>The roles of the hormones vasopressin and oxytocin in the regulation of social behavior have garnered considerable interest within the neuroscience community. These compounds modulate a variety of affiliative behaviors, including mother-offspring interactions and the formation of social bonds. Although the influence of oxytocin and vasopressin on social bonding has been firmly established, little is known about their relationship to social behaviors aside from bonding. Is group cohesion established solely through social bonding? In gregarious species characterized by the formation of large aggregations, maintenance of the group by close social bonds alone is unlikely. This research will investigate the relationship between hormones and variations in seasonal flocking behavior in the wild White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), a conspicuous and abundant North American songbird. <br/><br/>Training objectives include learning: (1) to locate, capture, and handle wild birds and (2) how to integrate techniques employed in neuroscience and field biology. By examining the physiological processes underlying group formation within the environments experienced by free-living animals, this research stands to reveal a more comprehensive view of social behavior than currently exists. This research will also augment our understanding of winter sociality (group-living that is limited to the winter, non-breeding months) and facilitate comparisons of captive and free-living animals. Broader impacts of this award include: (1) research opportunities for undergraduates, (2) delivery of public lectures to local non-scientist groups, particularly those dedicated to persons with autoimmune disease; and (3) dissemination of research findings to those with learning and visual disabilities using audio files.
1202892 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2013 06/26/2012 Erin Mordecai CA Mordecai Erin A Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2014 $123,000.00 mordecai@lifesci.ucsb.edu Santa Barbara CA 931013086 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 Community ecology of infectious diseases: mechanisms maintaining pathogen and host diversity<br/><br/><br/>Identifying the causes and consequences of biological diversity remains a major challenge in ecology. Although pathogens are highly diverse, we lack a more general understanding of how the rules of community ecology apply to them. The objective of this research is to examine what maintains pathogen diversity in nature, and how pathogen diversity affects host community dynamics. The model system being studied is the barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDVs) in California grasslands. B/CYDVs are a group of viruses spread by aphids that infect hundreds cultivated and wild grasses, such as wheat and barley, causing significant damage. The consequences of pathogen diversity include decreased yields and poor grain quality. Mathematical modeling will help researchers understand the causes and consequences of pathogen diversity.<br/><br/>The fellowship training will enhance the postdoctoral fellow's mathematical skills and lab skills such as molecular techniques for identifying viruses. B/CYDVs are important not only as a model system for studying disease in wildlife, but also as a crop pest, so results of this fellowship may inform agricultural practices. The postdoctoral fellow will involve undergraduates in research, deliver department seminars, give guest lectures in Population Ecology and Disease Ecology and participate in public outreach via programs at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center.
1202871 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2012 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 09/01/2012 06/29/2012 Teri Orr CA Orr Teri J Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 02/29/2016 $219,750.00 teri.orr@email.ucr.edu Riverisde CA 925072903 BIO 1157 7137, 7174, 1228 $0.00 Bats are one of the best examples of vertebrate evolutionary diversification and ecological specialization. Furthermore, bat reproductive physiology is extremely diverse and includes reproductive delays, interruptions in the sequence of events leading from insemination to birth. Due to their diverse reproductive physiologies, bats are an excellent system for asking questions about genital evolution. The hypothesis that bat genital morphology is influenced by sexual selection will be evaluated by performing an interspecific anatomical comparative study. The Fellow will determine if reproductive delays facilitate sexual selection, and examine the nearly undescribed female reproductive morphology in the context of male morphology. This study will make substantial contributions to our understanding of genital evolution and the role of delays in facilitating post-copulatory sexual selection, advancing knowledge of how sexual selection interacts with physiology and ecology. <br/><br/>Bat reproduction and ecology are linked. If, as predicted, climate change results in non-linear changes in cues previously used for timing reproduction, bats may mistime reproduction. This is particularly true for long-lived species with disjointed reproductive periods such as those with reproductive delays. Understanding the role of delays in reproduction will help us to predict high risk species. This project will include several undergraduates from diversity programs who will be trained in all of the project's methods and mentored for professional development. The Fellow will maintain her blog aimed at educating the public about science and bats and will encourage undergraduate researchers to maintain pages documenting their experiences.
1103610 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 10/01/2011 06/15/2011 Loralyn Cozy IN Cozy Loralyn M Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 09/30/2014 $189,000.00 lcozy@hawaii.edu Bloomington IN 474053700 BIO 1157 9179, 1036, 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Loralyn Cozy is "Connecting cell division and development in Anabaena." The host institution is University of Hawaii and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Sean Callahan.<br/><br/>Multicellular organisms that develop distinct cell types must tightly regulate the transition between growing and differentiated cells. The multicellular cyanobacterium Anabaena provides a simple, tractable model for studying the genetic and molecular mechanisms of growth inhibition during development. Under nutrient replete conditions, Anabaena grows as long multicellular filaments of actively dividing cells. However, when fixed nitrogen becomes limiting, approximately every tenth cell of the filament terminally differentiates into a non-dividing specialized cell called a heterocyst, which is capable of nitrogen fixation. This research explores the regulation of cell division in dividing and differentiated heterocyst cells. This will determine the stage at which cell division is inhibited and identify regulators of the proliferating to non-proliferating transition. Further, it uses techniques of cytology, genetics, and biochemistry to characterize the role of a protein known as the heterocyst patterning protein. Although pattern formation and heterocyst biochemistry have been studied in detail, no one has yet examined the cessation of growth during differentiation in a thorough, systematic fashion.<br/><br/>Training objectives include learning genetic and microscopic techniques to study this simple and evolutionarily ancient developmental system. The work broadly impacts scientific areas as diverse as developmental biology, cell division, nitrogen metabolism, and biofuel production. In addition, the host institution affords a special opportunity to include undergraduates from groups that are underrepresented in science, especially those of Pacific Island descent.
1103600 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 09/01/2011 06/15/2011 Juan Giraldo MA Giraldo Juan P Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 08/31/2014 $189,000.00 jgiraldo@mit.edu Cambridge MA 021382097 BIO 1157 1036, 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Juan Giraldo is "Carbon nanotubes as sensors for understanding sugar transport and signaling in plants." The host institution for this research is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Michael Strano.<br/><br/>Sugars are key signaling molecules that regulate growth and development in plants. To date there are no techniques for directly determining the concentration and location of sugars in living cells of plants. Carbon nanotubes have been shown to detect sugars such as glucose and other key biological molecules in animal cells. These nanosensors emit light in the near infrared, do not photobleach, and enable single particle detection through living tissue. This research develops this new technique for studying sugar transport and signaling in plant cells, unveiling the poorly understood pathways of sugar movement through the vascular system of plants, and testing their hypothesized role as signals regulating the onset of flowering. <br/><br/>Training objectives include acquiring new techniques in nanofabrication and imaging at nanoscales. Development of sugar nanosensors for plants promises a new field of science at the interface of nanotechnology and plant biology. Plant nanosensors are expected to be capable of monitoring key factors associated with crop yield, such as plant sugar and nutrient status, under field conditions. Additional broader impacts include mentoring students, public outreach through lectures at the MIT Museum, and online videoconferences to K-12 school communities in Colombia.
1103689 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 07/01/2011 06/15/2011 James VanDyken IN VanDyken James D Fellowship Julie Dickerson 06/30/2014 $189,000.00 vandyken@fas.harvard.edu Bloomington IN 474083816 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow whose plan involves innovation at the intersection of biology with physics, applied mathematics, and population biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to James VanDyken is "Adaptation in large metapopulations." The host institution for this research is Harvard University; and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Michael Desai and Michael Whitlock (of the University of British Columbia).<br/><br/>The spread of beneficial mutations (i.e., adaptations) is central to creating the patterns of biodiversity observed in nature. Yet the empirical study of adaptation has far outpaced its theoretical study, leaving much about the underlying process unclear. In particular, most theoretical studies of adaptation make two assumptions that will often be violated in nature: 1) populations are not geographically structured and 2) beneficial mutations are rare, such that a given beneficial mutation will sweep to fixation before another one arises. The first assumption is violated for most species, while the second is violated for species with large populations, such as microbes. The greater mutational diversity maintained in large populations, and the spatial structuring of these populations, may radically alter the way in which populations explore the adaptive landscape, leading to different predictions about the rate, direction, endpoint, and geographic and genetic patterns of adaptation. <br/><br/>This research determines how population size and population structure interact to influence the amount of variation available to natural selection, and how this in turn influences the rate and outcome of adaptation. Training objectives include the development of theory using methods from physics and applied mathematics, including stochastic differential equations and branching processes, and tests this theory using experimental metapopulations of budding yeast.<br/><br/>Broader impacts include creating a collaboration between scientists in different institutions, countries, and scientific fields, facilitating a fruitful sharing of ideas across boundaries that would not otherwise be possible. Community outreach includes activities to promote scientific literacy and public understanding of evolution, at the K-12 level.
1103652 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2012 07/11/2011 Talina Konotchick CA Konotchick Talina Fellowship Julie Dickerson 03/31/2014 $123,000.00 tkonotch@jcvi.org La Jolla CA 920372602 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology and mathematical science. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Talina Konotchick is "Comparative Metatranscriptomics of Marine Phytoplankton Communities." The host institution for this fellowship is the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) with sponsoring scientists Drs. Andrew Allen and Shibu Yooseph. <br/><br/>Marine phytoplankton communities contribute a significant fraction of the primary productivity of the planet. Large-scale datasets of community-level gene expression, termed the metatranscriptome, have become available for these important organisms in the oceans. This research examines metatranscriptomes from several real-world eukaryotic marine phytoplankton communities to understand the collective physiological and biochemical processes and evolutionary relationships that define phytoplankton growing in a particular environment. The research advances our ability to predict phytoplankton response and resilience to increased ocean temperatures, shifts in pH, and changes in stratification due to changing climate. The rapidly growing field of environmental genomics and the recent availability of several eukaryotic phytoplankton genomes have increased capacity for comparative analyses and provide a unique opportunity to develop analytical and modeling tools that may extend beyond this group of organisms.<br/><br/>Training objectives include establishing the mathematical and statistical background to translate biologically motivated questions into testable hypotheses. Mathematical modeling of physical data with the diversity, abundance, and expression level of genes involved in various aspects of metabolism plays a central role in characterizing the physical-biological aspects of marine phytoplankton distributions. Broader impacts include educational outreach to encourage the next generation of genomic researchers through the development of K-12 educational modules with the JCVI education department and through active mentoring and training of undergraduate interns.
1103667 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 08/01/2011 06/15/2011 Kerri Crawford TX Crawford Kerri M Fellowship Julie Dickerson 07/31/2013 $123,000.00 kerri.m.crawford@gmail.com Houston TX 770063660 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 ---<br/><br/><br/>This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology with Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology with mathematics and geochemistry. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Kerri Crawford is "Plant diversity and soil development in a primary successional ecosystem." The host institutions for this fellowship are the Washington University in St. Louis, Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis, and Indiana University Bloomington, and sponsoring scientists are Drs. Jonathan Chase, Pierre-Andre Jacinthe, and James Bever.<br/><br/>Soils provide services that are critical to ecosystem functioning. For example, plant growth is mediated by soil nutrients, and soils sequester a large amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The chemical and physical structure of soil determines its ability to fulfill these functions. Therefore, understanding what factors influence soil properties provides insights into preserving soil services. Plants and their associated microbes influence soil properties by altering nutrient cycling, soil stability, and the amount of soil organic matter. In primary successional ecosystems, such as the sand dunes along Lake Michigan - where this research is taking place, soil development has not yet occurred. This provides a unique opportunity to test what factors influence soil development. Furthermore, this experimental system allows for direct examination of soil development through time along chronosequences, where ecosystems of different ages are preserved along a spatial gradient. In this project, experimental tests of how plants and microbes influence soil development are being paired with observational studies along chronosequences, contributing to our understanding of the factors that influence soil functioning. <br/><br/>The training objectives include mathematical modeling and gaining knowledge of the role of soils in sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The broader impacts are directly applicable to restoration and conservation of the Great Lakes sand dunes, a critically endangered ecosystem. Outreach and educational activities include opportunities for undergraduates to engage in interdisciplinary environmental research.
1103738 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 07/01/2011 06/15/2011 Luisa Cacheaux CA Cacheaux Luisa P Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 06/30/2014 $189,000.00 lpcacheaux@yahoo.com Berkeley CA 947091304 BIO 1157 1036, 1228, 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Luisa Cacheaux is "Characterizing changes in calcium channel protein synthesis and its effects on neuronal excitability." The host institution for this research is University of Texas at Austin and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Kimberly Raab-Graham.<br/><br/>A fundamental property of neurons thought to underlie learning and memory is their ability to alter the strength of their connections with one another. One way by which these connections are strengthened or weakened is by altering the synthesis of new proteins at synapses, the junctions between neurons. There are several proteins that serve as regulators of this process including a protein kinase that is known as the mammalian target of rapamycin and is symbolized as mTOR. This protein plays an important role in the control of cell growth and proliferation. The functioning of mTOR is not fully understood and the goal of the proposed research plan is to identify targets of mTOR and determine the general mechanism by which it alters protein synthesis. There is preliminary data indicating that a calcium channel protein is a likely target. Calcium channels play an important role in determining neuronal excitability and therefore characterizing interacting proteins at the synapse advances understanding of how local protein synthesis changes neuronal excitability and ultimately learning and memory processes.<br/><br/>Training objectives include the acquisition of new laboratory techniques in molecular biology including advanced microscopy techniques and calcium imaging. Career development activities include improving writing and public speaking skills. Broader impacts of this project include a plan to mentor undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups as well as scientific outreach to the community.
1103402 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 09/01/2011 07/11/2011 Sarah Pabian PA Pabian Sarah E Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 08/31/2014 $189,000.00 Sarah.Pabian@colostate.edu University Park PA 168023604 BIO 1157 1036, 1228, 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Sarah Pabian is "From soils to songbirds: movement of calcium, aluminum, and mercury in food webs of forest ecosystems impacted by air pollution." The host institutions for this fellowship are Syracuse University, Colorado State University, and State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry, and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Charles Driscoll, Colleen Web and Colin Beier. <br/><br/><br/>Air pollution, including acid rain and mercury deposition, has the potential to negatively affect entire forest ecosystems through decreased availability of calcium and increased availability of aluminum and mercury in forest soils. These three changes in soil conditions could act synergistically to negatively affect songbird reproduction. However, little is known about the availability of aluminum and mercury in terrestrial systems, their interactions with calcium supply, or the mechanisms of trophic transfer to songbirds. Also, modeling these complex interactions requires advanced mathematical and analytical techniques. This research evaluates and compares trophic pathways for calcium, aluminum, and mercury acquisition by forest songbirds using a combination of field studies and dynamical network modeling. A better understanding of the availability and interactions among these elements permits an evaluation of the degree to which air pollution is posing threats to the health and structure of forest ecosystems. <br/><br/><br/>Training objectives include acquiring new skills in environmental chemistry, community ecology, and mathematical modeling. In addition, the Fellow gains skills in advising graduate students, scientific outreach, and managing multidisciplinary collaborations with scientists working at different institutions. Broader impacts of the research include providing undergraduates with research opportunities and sharing results with scientific, policy, and public audiences. The Fellow uses her knowledge and enthusiasm in science to work with many different organizations, including 4-H, Women in Science and Engineering, and nature centers, to stimulate science interest in a diversity of young people.
1103715 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2012 07/06/2011 Maria Kamenetska NY Kamenetska Maria Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2013 $123,000.00 masha@alum.mit.edu New York NY 100275845 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology with physics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Maria Kamenetska is "Unwinding DNA: measuring mechanical stiffness of a single DNA molecule to understand histone control over gene transcription." The host institution for this fellowship is Yale University with sponsoring scientists Drs. Lynne Regan and Simon Mochrie.<br/><br/>Histone proteins package DNA into chromatin. This research explores how histones control the unwinding of DNA to open it for the steps that lead to protein synthesis. Changes in histones are believed to affect the pliability of chromatin and thus the accessibility of DNA for transcription. Single molecule nano-manipulation and force-spectroscopy techniques from physics are being used to quantitatively assess the affect of histone modification on DNA. Chromatin re-constituted with exclusively wild-type or modified histones is being prepared for studies that use optical tweezers and AFM-based force-spectroscopy techniques to stretch single chromatin tethers and measure their mechanical and structural properties. These experiments enable an unambiguous comparison of pliability of individual DNA molecules with different histone compositions and thus reveal the role of histones in controlling gene expression.<br/><br/>Training objectives include learning molecular biological techniques and acquiring relevant biochemical skills to prepare homogenous preparations of chromatin fibers. Broader impacts include educational outreach to biology students to learn single molecule nano-manipulation techniques and generally promoting the dissemination of physical approaches in biological science at the host institution. Also, outreach includes developing and teaching a physics-based module to supplement the biology curriculum for Breakthrough New Heaven, a summer program for disadvantaged middle-school students.
1103767 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2012 07/06/2011 Rori Rohlfs WA Rohlfs Rori V Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2014 $189,000.00 rrohlfs@berkeley.edu Seattle WA 981955065 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology and statistics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Rori Rohlfs is "Developing statistical tools to examine the evolution of gene expression." The host institution for this fellowship is the University of California, Berkeley, and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Rasmus Nielsen and Sandrine Dudoit.<br/><br/>The regulation of the degree to which a particular gene is used, called gene expression, has been proposed as an important mechanism explaining much of species diversity yet a rigorous statistical framework that models gene expression evolution has not yet been established. This research uses the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process to build a model of the evolution of gene expression. It takes into account the existing phylogeny, relationships between genes and between species, factors limiting constraints on gene expression, and an optimally fit expression level. After demonstrating the model's biological and statistical validity, the research uses a data set of mammalian gene expression, as measured with new RNA-Seq technology. Specific hypotheses regarding the evolution of gene expression levels in mammals are tested. For instance, based on the model, the likelihood ratio test determines if genes expressed in human brain are undergoing rapid expression adaptation along the human species lineage. A goal is to produce an open source software package of the model for broad use in studies of expression evolution across biological disciplines.<br/><br/>Training goals include strengthening scientific collaborations and developing and distributing tools that will be accessible widely to the scientific community. Broader impacts include outreach to the public through collaborations with science media and public museums on the underlying causes of differences between species. Educational outreach includes designing and teaching a course at K-12 schools and community colleges.
1103661 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2012 08/24/2011 Nyeema Harris NC Harris Nyeema Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2014 $189,000.00 nyeemaharris@gmail.com Raleigh NC 276100000 BIO 1157 1036, 9179, 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Nyeema Harris is "Impacts of predator losses on communities in a diverse African ecosystem." The host institution for this fellowship is University of California, Berkeley and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Justin Brashares.<br/><br/>Local extinctions of apex predators can lead to cascading effects throughout food chains and ecosystems. However, some communities are buffered against these trophic cascades because species can shift their diet, behavior, or distribution over time. Unfortunately, much of our knowledge about predator losses comes from diminished ecosystems in North America where trophic cascades and community compensation are difficult to detect. In contrast, many African ecosystems support a greater assemblage of predator and prey species and offer a rich research environment. This research uses a community viability framework to compare the numerical and behavioral responses of species at lower trophic levels across replicated areas with and without apex predators in West Africa. Focal apex predators include African lions (Panthera leo), leopards (Panthera pardus) and spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta).<br/><br/>Training objectives include enhancing technical skills in occupancy and niche modeling through the collection of data from observational surveys, stable isotope and scat analysis, and camera trapping efforts. Understanding which species interactions are more sensitive to changes in community composition informs the resilience and health of ecosystems. Broader impacts include the first estimates of distribution and density of many small mammal and mesopredator species in Ghana, thus building local capacity for carnivore conservation and apprising global patterns of species diversity. Collaborations with scientists at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University of Ghana add an international dimension. A citizen science component involves distributing disposable cameras to visitors to photograph wildlife inside the study areas.
1103668 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 08/01/2011 06/15/2011 Kyle Hernandez IN Hernandez Kyle M Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 07/31/2014 $189,000.00 kmhernan@purdue.edu Lafayette IN 479051208 BIO 1157 1036, 9179, 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Kyle Hernandez is "Modeling the responses of plants to herbivory in changing environments." The host institution for this research is the University of Texas at Austin, and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Thomas Juenger.<br/><br/>Tolerance is the degree to which plants are unaffected by plant-eating insects. The ability of plants to maintain fitness in the face of herbivore damage has important ecological, evolutionary and applied implications, yet relatively little is known of its environmental consequences or its genetic basis. This research investigates the patterns of tolerance in plants in different environments, identifies possible underlying phenotypic and physiological mechanisms, determines the genetic architecture of these underlying mechanisms, and describes the genetic trade-offs associated with tolerance using the model species Brachypodium distachyon. This research has a strong mathematical modeling aspect that allows more accurate estimations of important genetic parameters in continuous traits. Also, Brachypodium is being developed as a model system for research, as biofuel, and as a food crop. Therefore, this project explores the basic biology of an important plant with potentially significant broader impacts for society.<br/> <br/>Training objectives include developing a novel perspective for the study of tolerance in plants and acquiring skills in mathematical modeling to permit comparisons of the relative merits of different mathematical models for estimating evolutionary parameters of continuous traits. Career development activities include improved technical writing, mentorship, leadership, teaching, and outreach skills. Broader impacts include educational and outreach activities with a diverse body of students in the Austin, TX area, local communities, and schools.
1103746 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 10/01/2011 07/11/2011 Mercedita Madison-Villar TX Madison-Villar Mercedita J Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 09/30/2014 $189,000.00 mersee@uta.edu Arlington TX 760153524 BIO 1157 9179, 1036, 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Mercedita Madison-Villar is "Investigation and implications of gigantism in an animal's genome." The host institution for this fellowship is Colorado State University and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Rachel Mueller.<br/><br/>Salamanders have genomes that can be eight times bigger than that of humans. The increase is not due to the presence of more genes nor by more copies of genes; it is the result of excess repetitive DNA, possibly derived from transposable elements (TEs). TEs are "genomic invaders" and, throughout evolutionary history, eukaryotic genomes have engaged in an "arms race" with them. Most of the time, the genome wins and maintains its size. However when TEs win, the result can be unchecked proliferation and genome gigantism (GG). Nobel laureate and plant geneticist Barbara McClintock demonstrated that inter-species crosses, known as hybridization, can result in an impaired ability of hybrid genomes to disable TEs, thus providing opportunity for copies to randomly insert themselves. Therefore, one would expect TE proliferation to limit successful hybridization, as newly inserted TEs can disrupt genes and render offspring non-viable. However, plants show this is not always the case. This study investigates what happens in salamanders: is GG in salamanders caused by TEs and does GG reduce the cost of additional TE insertions, thereby permitting frequent hybridization among salamanders' lineages? <br/> <br/>Training goals include acquiring genomic, bioinformatics, and computer programming skills. This project broadens participation at the postdoctoral level of a member of a group under-represented in biology who encourages and mentors others who are under-represented.
1103575 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 07/01/2011 06/15/2011 Katherine Mackey CA Mackey Katherine R Fellowship Julie Dickerson 07/31/2014 $189,000.00 mackeykrm@gmail.com San Jose CA 951173639 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology and chemistry. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Katherine Mackey is "Photosynthetic strategies for iron limitation in Earth's most abundant photosynthetic organism." The host institutions for this research are the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with sponsoring scientists Drs. Anton Post and Mak Saito. <br/><br/>Photosynthesis is a complex process in which cells use energy from light to grow, and optimizing this process can be difficult when nutrients needed for growth are scarce. In freshwater algae and marine diatoms, numerous strategies have evolved to optimize photosynthesis during iron and nitrogen limitation and are well-studied. However, less is known about the photosynthetic strategies employed by picocyanobacteria to cope with less than optimal levels of iron and nitrogen. These small, single-celled algae are the most abundant photosynthetic organisms on Earth, and their diversity and global ubiquity provide an ideal model system in which to characterize responses to iron and nitrogen limitation, using both wild type and laboratory cultures. This research probes the short-term (acclimation) and long-term (adaptation) responses of picocyanobacteria to iron and nitrogen limitation and determines how these strategies impact iron, nitrogen and carbon cycling in the environment. Training goals include learning cutting-edge methods in global and targeted proteomics, automated gene sequencing, and trace metal analysis, allowing the Fellow to branch into geochemistry. <br/><br/>This project offers new insights on photosynthetic strategies in the global distributions of photosynthetic organisms from algae to land plants and on how nutrient stress drives the evolution of photosynthesis in nature. Broader impacts include one-on-one mentoring of students in the laboratory and outreach to local schools. A teaching option supports the Fellow to develop a photosynthesis course for the Partnership Education Program for minority students at WHOI and other institutions.
1103734 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2012 07/06/2011 Melanie Harsch WA Harsch Melanie A Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2014 $189,000.00 harsch.melanie@gmail.com Des Moines WA 981980000 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology and mathematics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Melanie Harsh is "Global assessment of the variability of plant species response to climate change." The host institution for this research is University of Washington with sponsoring scientists Drs. Hille Ris lambers Janneke and Mark Kot.<br/><br/>Managing, and therefore predicting, the effects of climate change is one of the greatest societal challenges. Developing and prioritizing management strategies, complicated by variability between species and regions globally, require realism in analyses and accuracy in predictions. This research seeks to understand and predict climate change impacts on species limits through models that incorporate complexity apparent in natural systems, specifically, species sensitivity (functional traits) and ability to respond to climate change (demographic and dispersal rates) along with possible interactions with the rate of climate change. The approach utilizes theoretical mathematical models, based on stage-structured integrodifference equations, and statistical models, built within a hierarchical Bayesian framework to address (1) How climate and demographic rates interact to determine response to climate change; (2) If functional traits or demographic rates can predict response to climate change. This project also identifies potential threshold limits of tolerance and relationships not readily identified through observational studies, thus rapidly advancing the field of biology and conceptual understanding by encouraging new research questions.<br/><br/>Training goals focus on developing the necessary skills to conduct interdisciplinary research through advanced training in modern mathematical and statistical methods, model implementation, and validation techniques, as well as communication training through oral presentations, written documents, and visual displays. Broader impacts include the dissemination of the results to conservation and natural resource organizations through written documents and presentations as well as public outreach.
1103622 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 04/01/2012 07/06/2011 Cynthia Chang CT Chang Cynthia Fellowship Julie Dickerson 03/31/2014 $123,000.00 cynthiacchang@gmail.com New Haven CT 065118902 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Math. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology with mathematics and geochemistry. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Cynthia Chang is "Using hierarchical Bayesian modeling to understand community assembly after an eruption and predict responses to global change." The host institution for this fellowship is the University of Washington, Seattle and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Janneke Hille Ris Lambers and Peter Guttorp.<br/><br/>Understanding how natural communities assemble following major disturbances gives unique insight into the dynamic nature of ecosystems through time. In plant communities, dispersal strategy, life history, and growth traits are deterministic factors that influence community interactions. Stochastic factors, such as random chance, can also dictate how communities assemble. Both types of interactions influence community species diversity over the course of succession. Bayesian hierarchical modeling has the unique ability to incorporate deterministic and stochastic factors, multiple scales, and interactions. Biological insight, however, is necessary to build meaningful models. Based upon a 30-year dataset on plant colonization, composition, and trait distribution after a major volcanic eruption, this research is generating models that further our understanding of community assembly processes after a major disturbance, as well as predict future community response to global change based on past relationships.<br/><br/>Training objectives include developing expertise in statistical and analytical techniques. Educational outreach includes developing undergraduate and high school course curricula that use Mount St. Helen?s research as a case study and involving graduate and undergraduate students with research. The broader impacts include informing policy makers for future land management of the characteristics of this and similar ecosystems. The predictive models can serve as a theoretical framework for understanding how ecological communities may respond to other major disturbances as well as anticipated global change. The findings of this research are being disseminated through scientific and popular talks, meetings with The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Forest Service, and publications in peer-reviewed journals.
1103716 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 10/01/2011 07/01/2011 Melissa Pespeni CA Pespeni Melissa H Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 09/30/2014 $189,000.00 mpespeni@stanford.edu Pacific Grove CA 939504553 BIO 1157 1036, 1228, 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Melissa Pespeni is "Revealing the genetic underpinnings of morphological diversity in horned dung beetles." The host institution for this research is Indiana University and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Armin Moczek.<br/><br/>Horned dung beetles in the genus Onthophagus are the most speciose genus in the world, with some 2000 species described. These beetles originated in Africa and diversified with the diversification of mammals by feeding on the dung of specific mammal species. Most interestingly, species differ with radical variations in horn morphology, changing the size, shape and number of horns developing from their heads and thorax. Several genes that are known to be important in the development of other insects that lack these novel horn structures have been identified as critical for the development of diverse horn morphologies in dung beetles. Recently developed genomic and gene expression information make Onthophagus beetles a useful model for developmental biology in general and a valuable biological system for this study of the genetic underpinnings of morphological diversity and gene expression at various stages of development and in morphologically distinct yet closely related species. The scientific impacts include determining the genetic basis of evolutionary change that enables or constrains adaptive evolution and evolutionary responses on a changing planet.<br/><br/>Training objectives include learning developmental genetic techniques and applying genome-wide studies in a comparative, evolutionary, and developmental framework. Broader impacts of this fellowship include assisting conservation efforts and inspiring interest in biology when shared in K-12 classrooms, with undergraduates, at conferences, and in popular and scientific publications.
1103727 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 08/01/2011 06/15/2011 Alexandra Harmon-Threatt CA Harmon-Threatt Alexandra N Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 07/31/2014 $189,000.00 aharmonthreatt@gmail.com Oakland CA 946105007 BIO 1157 1036, 9179, 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Alexandra N Harmon-Threatt is: Understanding pollinator community structure and its effects on pollination service in a naturally fragmented landscape. The host institution for this fellowship is Washington University in St. Louis, and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Tiffany Knight.<br/><br/>In increasingly human-dominated and fragmented landscapes, valuable knowledge about community dynamics is gained and species losses are prevented by using both landscape and organism features to understand patterns of biodiversity. This is especially important for pollinators, which provide a supporting service to plants and help stabilize plant communities. This study investigates pollinator communities in the Ozark glades. The location for the research is a naturally fragmented ecosystem associated with rocky outcrops in a densely forested matrix where significant efforts to restore glades are occurring. Using common landscape features, such as patch size, isolation, and dispersal ability; adding new features, patch age and dietary breadth; and measuring extent of pollination service, this research poses and seeks to answer two questions: 1) How do landscape features affect pollinator diversity and composition? 2) How does pollinator diversity and composition affect pollination service to plants? Understanding pollinator communities in fragmented landscapes could prove key in averting a "global pollination crisis" and providing targeted recommendations for restoration.<br/><br/>The proposed research provides the Fellow diverse opportunities to develop as a researcher and teacher. The training goals being met are 1) building additional technical and methodological skills, 2) learning mentoring skills for a diverse group of students and 3) increasing teaching preparation and experience. To broaden participation, high school and college students from groups under represented in science are being included in the research; and guest lectures are being given in undergraduate courses to expose students to diversity in academia.
1103725 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2012 07/06/2011 Amanda Ensminger KY Ensminger Amanda L Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2014 $189,000.00 amanda.ensminger@gmail.com Lexington KY 405151548 BIO 1157 1228, 1036, 9150, 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Amanda Ensminger is "Individual variation in visual physiology and foraging behavior of birds." The host institution for this fellowship is Purdue University and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Esteban Fernandez-Juricic.<br/><br/>The research plan centers on the relationship between individual variation in visual physiology and foraging behavior in birds. Foraging involves a trade-off between searching for food and watching for predators. Previous research has found that variation in retinal characteristics among bird species is related to both diet and habitat. However, little is known about retinal variation among individuals within a species, even though intraspecific variation is key to understanding the evolution of visual systems. This research quantifies the degree and nature of individual variation in retinal physiology in birds and directly tests hypotheses about how individual photoreceptor distribution is related to differences among individuals in their foraging behavior and skills. The findings explicitly link physiology and behavior in the context of foraging and benefit broadly the fields of visual ecology, foraging theory, and animal behavior.<br/><br/>Training objectives include learning techniques in avian visual physiology and behavioral ecology. Broader impacts include mentoring undergraduates through the host institution?s chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science and visiting local schools to introduce young students to behavioral ecology through hands-on activities.
1103619 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 10/01/2011 06/15/2011 Brooks Miner WA Miner Brooks E Fellowship Julie Dickerson 09/30/2014 $189,000.00 miner@uw.edu Seattle WA 981951800 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 -------<br/><br/><br/>This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow whose plan involves innovation at the intersection of biology with mathematics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Brooks Miner is "Evolutionary change and ecosystem properties: how does herbivore evolution influence nutrient dynamics in a model freshwater ecosystem?" The host institutions for this research are Cornell University and Arizona State University and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Nelson Hairston and Hal Smith.<br/> &#8232;&#8232;<br/>This project develops and tests new ecological theory for how evolutionary changes in a single species can affect an entire ecosystem using a model system of freshwater organisms composed of microscopic animals called rotifers and the algae they eat. A recent approach to study how evolution influences ecological interactions among species is called eco-evolutionary dynamics; this research extends this approach to the level of the ecosystem and asks, how can evolution in a critical species affect how much carbon is consumed from the atmosphere and how quickly are the basic chemical elements recycled? This project combines the concepts of population genetics, ecosystem chemistry, and ecological stoichiometry, which considers how the balance of energy and chemical elements is connected to ecological interactions, to test predictions about how evolution in a freshwater herbivore affects important ecosystem processes such as primary production, nutrient uptake, and nutrient recycling. <br/><br/>Training objectives include mathematical modeling, with an emphasis on developing mathematical expertise and applying it to ecological and evolutionary questions. The model freshwater ecosystem of rotifers and algae serves as a training ground for applying new ecological theory to empirical data. The broader impacts of this fellowship include elucidating the role of evolution in freshwater nutrient dynamics, which is critical to maintaining the health of rivers, lakes, and economically important fish populations worldwide. Because clean fresh water is a societal imperative, the findings are relevant to both public health and issues of water security. Broader impacts also include a teaching option to develop and assess active learning curricula for an introductory biology course and a set of lab modules focused on quantitative methods for a majors-level freshwater ecology course.
1103500 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 04/01/2012 07/06/2011 Daniel Allen OK Allen Daniel C Fellowship Julie Dickerson 03/31/2014 $123,000.00 daniel.c.allen@gmail.com Norman OK 730195112 BIO 8054 9150, 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology with physics and engineering. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Daniel Allen is "Biodiversity and engineering function: integrating physical processes into biodiversity and ecosystem function research." The host institutions for the fellowship are the University of Michigan and Virginia Tech, and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Bradley Cardinale and Theresa Wynn.<br/><br/>Some pressing environmental problems are being exacerbated by human-induced changes to riparian ecosystems that result in erosion and jointly influence fluid dynamics and materials transport along steam banks. It is not fully understood how plants modify the physical processes that control erosion by reinforcing soil with their roots. However, past research in this area has held a narrow view of biology, limiting ?biota? to a single species or functional group of plants. A completely separate area of research has shown that plant biodiversity can increase the density and biomass of roots produced by plant communities. The goal of this research is to merge these two areas of research to investigate how biodiversity influences physical processes and to conduct laboratory and field experiments to test if plant biodiversity reduces stream bank erosion.<br/><br/>Training objectives include fluid mechanics and sediment transport and, in biology, biodiversity and species coexistence theory. Career development activities include learning to publish proficiently, especially at the interface of biology and physics; mentor undergraduate students; and improve teaching skills. A practical outcome of the research is determining which plants best stabilize stream banks, as stream bank erosion is one of the most pressing environmental problems affecting North American streams. Educational outreach to undergraduate students and organizing a stream restoration project with public high school students are also being conducted.
1103639 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 09/01/2011 06/15/2011 Michael DeGiorgio MI DeGiorgio Michael Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 08/31/2014 $189,000.00 mikedegiorgio@gmail.com Ann Arbor MI 481052028 BIO 1157 1036, 9179, 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Michael DeGiorgio is "Using mathematical models to study the spatial distribution of human genetic variation." The host institution for this research is University of California, Berkeley and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Rasmus Nielsen.<br/><br/>The research promises a better understanding of the processes that led to the current distribution of genetic variation among human populations. The research plan includes testing different hypotheses of modern human origins by developing and analyzing models of human genetic history and applying statistical techniques to next-generation sequence data from human populations. Further, the Fellow is deriving mathematical formulas to describe the distribution of genetic variation under different models of human evolutionary history. Findings from this study add to greater knowledge of the demographic processes that shaped the spatial distribution of human genetic variation, enabling investigators to distinguish signals of adaptation from those of demography.<br/><br/>The training objectives include learning to make population genetic inferences from low-coverage next-generation sequencing data and gaining new perspectives for interpreting and understanding evolution. The new computational tools being developed are being made available to the public and results published with open access.<br/><br/>Broader impacts include research experience for undergraduate students from underrepresented groups early in their scientific training through the Berkeley Biology Scholars Program to expose them to population genomic research, computation, and the ethical implications of the research.
1103583 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 08/01/2011 06/15/2011 Julie Jedlicka CA Jedlicka Julie A Fellowship Julie Dickerson 07/31/2013 $123,000.00 julie.jedlicka@gmail.com El Cerrito CA 945303610 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology with mathematics and statistics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Julie Jedicka is "Prey selection by high order predators: modeling Western Bluebird foraging in patchy environments." The host institution for this research is University of California, Berkeley with sponsoring scientists Drs. Rodrigo Almeida, Perry de Valpine and Wayne Getz. <br/><br/>Insectivorous birds are ubiquitous, multi-trophic-level predators, whose ecological function is poorly understood, primarily because their consumption patterns elude researchers due to their high mobility and predation of relatively small organisms. This research develops novel experimental techniques that quantify the prey of a model predator, the Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana). Diet is analyzed through fecal DNA of nestling and adult bluebirds foraging in patchy environments. By pairing these data with arthropod availability in the field and prey consumed, customized mathematical models are being developed drawing from hierarchical statistical models, dynamic state variable models, and a biomass transformation approach to model populations in food webs. The scientific payoff includes interdisciplinary techniques for quantifying foraging niches not previously attainable and for understanding the ecological consequences of high order predator extinctions or exotic invasions.<br/><br/>Training goals include gaining expertise in mathematical modeling and statistics.<br/><br/>Broader impacts of this research include outreach to diverse student groups through workshops and existing programs to broaden participation. Mathematical models and sequence data are being made available on the web and through existing open databases.
1103693 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 10/01/2011 06/15/2011 Talline Martins WI Martins Talline R Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 09/30/2014 $189,000.00 tmartins@wisc.edu Madison WI 537031408 BIO 1157 1228, 1036, 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Talline Martins is "Genetic basis and evolution of petal pigmentation patterns in Clarkia." The host institution is Duke University, and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Mark Rausher<br/><br/>One of the most striking morphological characters organisms have evolved is ornamentation based on a multitude of pigmentation patterns. For example, pollinators are attracted to specific leaf and flower patterns of plants. These traits and their repeated evolution implicate pigmentation patterns as powerful drivers of evolution by natural selection. Yet, the genetic bases underlying patterning have been described in less than a handful of cases. This research investigates how members of the genus Clarkia produce one such pattern, petal spots. It surveys and compares all genes that are active in developing petals, known as the floral transcriptome, in several closely-related species. The result is a comprehensive map of the genetic, molecular, and biochemical interactions that led to the formation and diversification of this ecologically important trait. <br/> <br/>Training objectives include a range of genetic, genomic, and informatics techniques to explore the biological network that gives rise to pigmentation patterns in flowers. Broader impacts include increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities at the postdoctoral level, as well as at the undergraduate and high-school levels, through mentoring activities and outreach efforts.
1103593 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 12/01/2011 06/15/2011 Clayton Cressler MI Cressler Clayton E Fellowship Julie Dickerson 11/30/2013 $123,000.00 cressler@umich.edu Ann Arbor MI 481091048 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology with mathematics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Clayton Cressler is "A theoretical-empirical approach to life history evolution under joint starvation and predation risks in Daphnia." The host institution for this fellowship is Queen's University with sponsoring scientists Drs. William Nelson and Troy Day.<br/><br/><br/>The need to avoid starvation, on one hand, and to avoid predation, on the other, are two of the strongest selective forces acting on animal populations. Furthermore, many traits affect an organism's interaction with both its resources and its predators, so starvation and predation risk will often jointly affect trait evolution. However, very little is known about the relative importance of each risk to trait evolution for any organism. Disentangling the interaction between starvation and predation risk requires an intimate dialogue between biological experiment and mathematical theory. This project employs such a dialogue to (1) gain insight into how different resource and predator environments drive selection on life history in the zooplankter Daphnia pulex; (2) identify the traits most strongly influenced by each force; and (3) explore how feedbacks between resources, predation, and life history contribute to the coexistence of different Daphnia genotypes.<br/><br/>Training objectives include learning experimental techniques for the model organism Daphnia pulex, using empirical data to parameterize dynamical models at both the individual- and population-levels, and rigorously confronting these models with novel experimental data that definitively test model predictions or point out the need for better models. Data will be shared with the Daphnia Genome Consortium for public use. Broader impacts include mentoring undergraduates from both mathematics and biology to work across disciplinary boundaries, a crucial skill for tackling the complexity of natural systems.
1103468 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 09/01/2011 07/16/2012 Shermin deSilva CA deSilva Shermin Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 08/31/2014 $189,000.00 shermin@elephantresearch.net Concord CA 945182908 BIO 1157 1036, 1228, 9179, SMET $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Shermin DeSilva is "Social stratification and leadership in elephants." The host institution for this fellowship is the Colorado State University, and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. George Wittemyer.<br/><br/>Socioecology explores how social and ecological factors structure animal societies. This research builds much-needed bridges between theory and empirical observation in the study of social evolution. It poses three inter-related questions: 1) How does resource availability influence social cohesion? 2) What effect does this have on dominance and leadership behavior? 3) How do individuals adjust to social disruption? Theoretical predictions are tested by comparing the social behavior of wild Asian and African elephants, sister species that experience different ecological pressures. It examines how the spatial arrangement and abundance of resources shape social relationships via individual movement decisions, whether this in turn drives the emergence of leadership and dominance hierarchies, and ultimately how individuals cope with changes such as the loss of a companion.<br/><br/>Training objectives include acquiring experience working with a diverse array of data ranging from animal movements, to satellite imagery, and social networks. It also offers a comparative perspective on research and conservation in the African context relative to the Asian, with direct implications for wildlife management. Both field sites host local and foreign students at the undergraduate and graduate level, including those from the U.S. and Europe, encouraging collaboration and exchange of expertise. Researchers also oversee community-based education and sustainable livelihood programs seeking to reduce conflict between people and elephants. Long-term goals are not only to further the study of behavior, but also to address the challenges people and wildlife face in living together through participatory science-based conservation.
1103087 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 12/01/2011 07/06/2011 Rudolf von-May CA von-May Rudolf Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 11/30/2014 $189,000.00 rvonmay@gmail.com Oakland CA 946092142 BIO 1157 1228, 9179, 1036 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Rudolf von May is "Habitat shifts and physiology of high-elevation Andean frogs." The host institution for the fellowship is the University of California, Berkeley and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Craig Moritz.<br/><br/>In a rapidly changing world, many species are faced with shrinking native habitat, expanding new habitats, and novel climatic conditions. Tropical montane regions are of special concern because they are centers of unique biodiversity. While much attention has been given to modeling and predicting habitat-related range shifts in montane organisms, especially in the context of climate change, the underlying evolutionary factors and mechanisms of response to habitat change remain poorly understood. This research is improving our understanding of the evolutionary history of Andean frogs and explaining how major shifts in habitat are also influenced by physiological attributes and distributions of related taxa. It maps the distributions of ground-breeding frogs within forested and open habitats across elevations, tracing habitat preferences using an existing phylogeny constructed with molecular genetic data. Empirical data on physiological characteristics including thermal tolerance, desiccation tolerance, and locomotion of sister taxa pairs are being collected for species distribution modeling to gain insights of current and past species distributions and to improve predictions on future distributions. <br/><br/>Training objectives include molecular systematics, phylogeography, physiology, and species distribution modeling. Broader impacts include capacity-building and advanced training for minority students from the United States, students in Latin America, and an outreach program to promote ecological literacy about local and tropical biodiversity. Outreach focuses on developing a science education partnership with local teachers. The teaching option includes a short course on tropical ecology and evolution for undergraduate students from universities in the US and Peru.
1103692 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2012 07/06/2011 Silvia Newell NJ Bulow Silvia Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2014 $189,000.00 sebulow@princeton.edu Princeton NJ 085441003 BIO 1157 1036, 1228, 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Broadening Participation. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Silvia Newell is "Activity of nitrogen fixers and denitrifiers in coastal sediments." The host institution for this fellowship is Boston University and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Robinson Fulweiler.<br/><br/>Coastal systems are acutely vulnerable to nitrogen pollution, resulting in wide-spread reduced oxygen levels (hypoxia), decreased biodiversity, and increased harmful algal blooms. Nitrogen loading from wastewater into Waquoit Bay is documented and has more than doubled since 1938. Hypoxia in eutrophic coastal ecosystems can also stimulate puzzling microbial responses, including high rates of simultaneous denitrification (nitrogen removal) and nitrogen fixation. Continuing to fix nitrogen when fixed nitrogen is available is energetically unfavorable and leads to the central questions of this research: Why do bacteria turn on nitrogen fixation under nitrogen-replete conditions? Can nitrogen fixation exacerbate eutrophication and greenhouse gas production? This research investigates the distributions and activities of denitrifying and nitrogen-fixing bacteria within the sediment to determine if the patterns are consistent with the existence of highly localized, very rapid nitrogen transformations. <br/><br/>Training objectives include learning techniques of biogeochemistry including core incubation and isotope methods. Broader impacts include participation in the Women in Science program for 12-14 year olds at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, as well as outreach to local minority-serving high schools.
1103761 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 01/01/2012 07/06/2011 Christopher Kenaley WA Kenaley Christopher P Fellowship Julie Dickerson 12/31/2013 $123,000.00 ckenaley@u.washington.edu Seattle WA 981955100 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow whose plan involves innovation at the intersection of biology and robotics. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Christopher Kenaley is "A novel approach to exploring form, function, and behavior in the deep sea using experimental biorobotics." The host institution for this fellowship is Harvard University; and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. George Lauder and Rob Wood.<br/><br/>Predatory deep-sea fishes are the primary consumers of crustaceans and intermediate-sized plankton in what is known as the ocean's "twilight zone," that depth in the ocean to which only a small amount of light penetrates, thus driving the largest and most frequent mass movement of animals on Earth. These fishes possess some of the most dramatic feeding morphologies among vertebrates, including huge fangs set on enormous jaws. Because of the inherent difficulties associated with studying deep-sea animals in the laboratory, how morphology limits prey choice in these fish, i.e., the ecomorphology of these fishes, remains largely unexplored. Previously, biologists have relied on manipulation of museum specimens and, more recently, on simple biomechanical models to explore how morphology limits the behavioral repertoire of these fishes. Although these models show promise for the study of feeding ecomorphology, they are limited by current understanding of the hydrodynamics of jaw adduction in fishes. To study relationships between form, function, and feeding behavior in deep-sea fishes, an innovative approach is being taken, one that does not rely on laboratory study, yet is based on empirical analyses. This fellowship supports the experimental study of feeding performance based on robotic models of stomiid dragonfishes, the most diverse group of pelagic predators. Using biorobotic models of a dragonfish lower jaw and head, this project is the first to gather empirical data for the major forces that resist jaw adduction. Experimental analysis of kinematics and fluid dynamics of biorobotic dragonfishes can answer longstanding questions surrounding feeding in deep-sea fishes and provide the empirical information needed to refine existing biomechanical models of jaw adduction and assist in studying the ecomorphology of rare, fragile, or extinct vertebrate fish.<br/><br/>Training goals include developing skills in biomechanics and biorobotics. Broader impacts include mentoring students, presenting to K-12 classes, and revising public museum displays to showcase the importance of combining physical and biological sciences in the study of the natural world.
1103768 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2011 DBI Inters Biol and Math and Phys 09/01/2011 07/01/2011 Jonathan Dyhr AZ Dyhr Jonathan P Fellowship Julie Dickerson 08/31/2013 $123,000.00 jon.dyhr@gmail.com Tucson AZ 857181322 BIO 8054 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2011, Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow at the intersection of biology and engineering. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Jonathan Dyhr is "Multisensory control of insect flight." The host institution for this research is the University of Washington, Seattle with sponsoring scientists Drs. Thomas Daniel and Kristi Morgansen. <br/><br/>Coordinated animal movement requires combining multiple and different types of sensory information whether the movement is on land, in water, or in air through flight. Moving organisms must parallel process many changing and complex sensory signals. Individually, these signals carry limited information about the world and are transmitted with varying latencies and levels of precision. This research applies quantitative techniques and tools from control theory to better understand how the hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, integrates sensory information to orchestrate appropriate behavioral responses during flight. First, the roles of different sensory systems for maintaining flight stability are measured in freely flying moths as they recover from external visual and mechanical perturbations. Second, a control theoretic model of the moth flight control system is used to characterize the sensitivity of the system to different parameters, such as the transmission delay of sensory signals. This research establishes a control theoretic toolbox for studying biological systems.<br/><br/>Experimentally advantageous invertebrate model systems, such as M. sexta, provide key insights into the basic neural processes that underlie motor control and new experimental techniques that are economical. Furthermore, broader impacts include potential applications for treating motor deficits, developing better prosthetic strategies, and designing biologically inspired robots. Specific training objectives for the Fellow include expanding expertise in control theory and biomechanics, gaining teaching experience by designing an undergraduate short course on control systems in biology, gaining experience mentoring high school and undergraduate students, and assisting the Pacific Science Center with new exhibits for communicating science to public audiences.
1003133 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2011 07/13/2010 Quinn McFrederick VA McFrederick Quinn S Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2013 $189,000.00 qsm5a@virginia.edu Charlottesville VA 299026440 BIO 1157 1228, 9179, , 1036 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Quinn McFrederick is "Microbial communities associated with social and solitary sweat bees: implications for bee health." The host institution for this research is University of Texas at Austin, and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Ulrich Mueller. <br/><br/>Wild and managed bee populations are in decline, threatening both natural and agricultural ecosystems that depend on their essential pollination services. Although no causal relationships have been established, links between pollinator declines and pathogens have been posited. This project uses next generation sequencing to screen microbial communities found in the nests of socially variable wild bees in the genus Megalopta. Two hypotheses are being tested: 1) microbial communities inside the enclosed ecosystem of a bee's brood chamber exhibit predictable patterns of community structure and 2) microbial communities in the nests of social bees are more diverse than communities in the nests of solitary bees. A major goal of the project is to determine how microbes affect bee health by identifying putative pathogens and mutualists and examining their interactions. <br/><br/>Training objectives include analysis and interpretation of the large amounts of data produced by next generation sequencing technology, and development of a research program that utilizes new tools to answer as yet unanswered questions of social evolution and pollinator health. This greater understanding of how microbes affect the health of pollinators is all the more important in the era of honey bee colony collapse disorder and wild pollinator decline. Broader impacts include substantial public outreach as well as educational outreach to students, especially those with disabilities.
1003272 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2011 02/02/2012 Jessica Osuna IL Osuna Jessica L Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 04/30/2014 $189,000.00 jessicalosuna@gmail.com Sterling IL 610818990 BIO 1157 1036, 1228, 9179, $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Jessica L. Osuna is "A physiological study of the progression from drought stress to mortality in pi�on pine." There are two host institutions for this research, the University of New Mexico and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and joint sponsors, William T. Pockman and Nate G. McDowell. <br/><br/>Recent warm droughts have caused very high pi�on pine mortality rates in the<br/>Southwestern USA. A complete understanding of the underlying mechanisms of this mortality would allow accurate prediction of its occurrence in other regions, species, and periods of time. This research investigates the autotrophic carbon budget via measurements of photosynthesis, respiration, non-structural carbohydrate levels, and resin flow under varying levels of drought stress to test whether carbon starvation is responsible for drought-induced pi�on mortality. Carbon starvation occurs if a prolonged decrease in stomatal<br/>conductance leads to reduced photosynthetic carbon fixation, causing the depletion of carbohydrate pools by maintenance respiration which continues through a drought.<br/><br/>Because pi�ons provide vital ecosystem services such as reducing floods and erosion,sequestering carbon dioxide, and providing habitat for wildlife and culturally significant plants, the ability to proactively adopt management strategies that could reduce mortality, or the effects thereof, is vital to the region and has a significant broader impact. The research crosses disciplinary boundaries by forming links between climatologists, ecophysiologists, and plant physiologists. Training objectives include learning to use the novel tunable diode laser to measure carbon isotope discrimination simultaneously with gas-exchange as well as techniques used for measuring aspects of the carbon budget other than photosynthetic fluxes. Finally, educational outreach is being conducted to promote diversity within biology through mentorship of younger minority scientists and by guest lecturing in undergraduate and graduate courses, thus exposing students to diversity in academia.
1003283 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 10/01/2010 07/22/2010 Kristine Kaiser CA Kaiser Kristine Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 09/30/2013 $189,000.00 kristinekaiser@gmail.com Los Angeles CA 900345438 BIO 1157 1228, 9179, , 1036 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Kristine Kaiser is "Effects of man-made noise on stress physiology, immunology and reproductive biology in frogs." The host institution for this research is University of California-Riverside, and the sponsoring scientists are Drs. Wendy Saltzman and Emma Wilson. <br/><br/>Noise is a natural component of an ecosystem, but for a species which tries to attract mates acoustically, it can be problematic. Most species have adaptations to allow for communication to occur despite naturally-occurring noise. However, habitat alteration has become pervasive; such change often introduces human-made, or anthropogenic, noise such as traffic noise into the environment. Anthropogenic noise differs from natural noise in many structural features, and how it affects acoustically communicating animals is not well known; yet an animal's ability to cope with this problem can affect its likelihood of survival in a rapidly changing landscape. Although recent work has shown behavioral compensation to noise in frogs, the effects of noise on fitness and physiology are not well studied. The three major goals of the project are to determine if anthropogenic noise (1) increases the stress response in frogs; (2) decreases frog immunocompetence; and (3) decreases frog fitness or impacts reproductive physiology. <br/><br/>Training objectives of this project include integrative biological research in the fields of endocrinology, immunology, and reproductive physiology. This research provides valuable insight into amphibian physiology and a possible mechanism of amphibian population dynamics. In addition, the postdoctoral Fellow will serve as a mentor to a diverse group of undergraduate researchers in all aspects of the project.
1003087 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2011 07/22/2010 Lauren Esposito NY Esposito Lauren A Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2013 $189,000.00 esposito@amnh.org New York NY 100245192 BIO 1157 1228, 9179, 1036, $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Lauren Esposito is "Biogeography of Caribbean Scorpions: The complex relationship between biodiversity and geography." The host institution for this research is University of California at Berkeley and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Rosemary Gillespie. <br/><br/>The Caribbean Islands have long been recognized for their important role in human history as the gateway to the Americas, yet the rich plant and animal communities of the islands are too often overlooked. Centuries of agriculture and development have resulted in major conservation concerns for much of the region. A better understanding of the biodiversity of the islands and the processes that have contributed to its evolution are vital to preserve it for future generations. The region has a long history of scientific study, but major questions remain about the origin and diversification of the islands' unique plants and animals. This project is searching for answers to those questions by analyzing a living fossil: scorpions. As a major group of predatory arthropods, scorpions are ideal organisms for understanding Caribbean biogeography (the distribution of biodiversity over space and time). This study is examining several independent lineages of scorpions inhabiting the Caribbean, all with varying dispersal abilities, in order to test the role of vicariance (geographic separation) vs. dispersal in the formation of new species in the Caribbean.<br/><br/>Training objectives include working and collaborating with a researcher who is a major contributor to arachnid and biogeographical research. Additionally, this project enhances the career development of a minority researcher dedicated to education of underserved communities. Inquiry-based lessons on evolution and island biogeography are being developed for dissemination in Bay Area and Caribbean schools, and via the Berkeley Museum of Natural History education website.
1003098 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 07/01/2010 07/08/2010 Samuel Diaz CA Diaz Samuel L Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 06/30/2013 $189,000.00 sdiazmunoz@ucsd.edu Berkeley CA 947031354 BIO 1157 1036, 9179, , 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Samuel Diaz is "Cooperation and conflict in viruses during genetic exchange." The host institutions for this research are the University of California-San Diego and Yale University and the sponsoring scientists are Dr. Lin Chao and Dr. Paul Turner, respectively.<br/><br/>Genetic exchange occurs in some viruses and affects properties such as virulence and host specificity. This project uses social evolution theory to examine the roles of cooperation and conflict during genetic exchange, wherein referred to as "sex." In a process roughly similar to sexual reproduction,"sex" occurs in some viruses when genomic fragments mix during infection of a cell, creating progeny with fragments from different parental viruses. Laboratory studies have shown that depending on the density of infecting viruses, viruses can evolve strategies to exchange genetic material evenly (termed cooperation, as in sexual reproduction) or to bias genetic exchange in their favor (termed conflict, as in meiotic drive). This project uses natural isolates of the Cystoviridae as a model system to understand how viral reproductive strategies evolve in nature. These strategies play a role in the emergence of a variety of viruses and this study enhances understanding of genetic exchange in viruses.<br/><br/>The training goals include standard microbial isolation, plating, viral fitness assays, development of new genetic techniques, and theoretical and modeling skills. Broader impacts include mentoring McNair Scholars, a program proven to enhance undergraduate advancement. Outreach efforts beyond the campus walls involve high school students and teachers in the UCSD Early Academic Outreach Program and participation in the Science Matters public lecture series held at off-campus museums.
1002465 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 07/01/2010 07/08/2010 Juliana Rangel-Posada NY Rangel-Posada Juliana Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 06/30/2013 $189,000.00 jr369@cornell.edu Ithaca NY 148532702 BIO 1157 1036, 9179, , 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Juliana Rangel-Posada is "Queen supersedure in honey bees: how and why do workers replace their mother queen with a sister queen?" The host institution for this research is North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. David Tarpy. <br/><br/>Social insects are a paradigm of cooperation among group-living species. However, cooperative behaviors are not observed in all aspects of colony life. When decisions about reproduction need to be made, conflict may arise if the interests of the workers in a colony differ from those of the reproductives. In honey bees (Apis mellifera), reproductive conflict can occur when workers and queens strongly interact during queen replacement, which occurs (a) when a colony reproduces via "swarming," i.e. a daughter queen is produced to inherit the maternal nest while the mother queen leaves with most of the colony's workers to establish a new nest, or (b) when a colony performs queen "supersedure," i.e. the mother queen is replaced by a daughter queen. While much attention has been paid to swarming, very little is known about supersedure. Nonetheless, this subtle and ephemeral event has significant fitness implications because a colony's fitness will strongly depend on the quality of the queen that inherits the nest. <br/><br/>Training objectives include (1) exploring the mechanisms of supersedure; (2) evaluating the effects of supersedure on colony fitness; (3) assessing the current rate of supersedure; (4) determining if preparations for queen supersedure can be predicted. The broader impacts of the project include the dissemination of the results to the beekeeping community through workshops, the publication of findings in popular articles featured in beekeeping magazines, the inclusion of undergraduate exchange students from Zamorano University in Honduras, and the collaboration with other social insect biologists at NCSU and other institutions.
1003009 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW, IRFP 01/01/2011 07/13/2010 Jason Sexton CA Sexton Jason P Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2013 $239,000.00 sexton.jp@gmail.com Davis CA 956165383 BIO 1157, 5956 1228, 5912, 5956, 5978, , 9179, 9178, 1036 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010, co-funded with the NSF International Research Fellows Program. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Jason Sexton is "Gene flow and niche breadth in novel environments: Adaptation under predicted climate change in Australian alpine plants." The host institution for this research is University of Melbourne, and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Ary Hoffmann.<br/><br/>Gene flow has long been hypothesized to affect niche breadth and adaptive processes within novel environments. Yet, the understanding of the effects of gene flow on adaptation in empirical systems is meager. Climate change is predicted to cause much extinction, particularly in alpine systems where high numbers of endemic species have little space to migrate uphill and must rely on in situ adaption. Field experiments are being conducted in alpine environments of southeastern Australia with plant species from several genera, including grasses, sedges, and forbs. The effects of experimental gene flow (controlled crosses) from different distances on genetic variation and adaptive responses are being assessed in current and experimentally warmed conditions, allowing a comparison of the effects of gene flow on niche breadth across multiple taxa and at multiple geographic scales. <br/><br/>The training objects include quantifying natural selection in natural and experimental populations, conducting a large-scale, multi-species climate change study to answer important questions in evolutionary and conservation biology, and collaborating among scientists and management groups to achieve research goals and to disseminate research findings to natural resource managers and to the public. Developing an understanding of how gene flow, genetic diversity, and climate adaptation interact within alpine systems may contribute to strategies aimed more broadly at geographically restricted biological systems, which, to persist, must respond to environmental shifts as a result of human-induced climate change.
1003112 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 07/01/2010 07/08/2010 Rebecca Calisi-Rodriguez CA Calisi-Rodriguez Rebecca M Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 06/30/2013 $189,000.00 calisi@berkeley.edu Berkeley CA 947031354 BIO 1157 1036, 1228, 9179 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Rebecca Calisi-Rodriguez is "The role of the newly discovered neurohormone, gonadotropin inhibitory hormone (GnIH)." The host institution for this research is the University of California - Davis and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. John Wingfield. <br/><br/>Expression of behaviors appropriate to a particular stage within an individual's life is critical for reproductive success. Many animals experience hormonal changes when transitioning from aggressive/territorial and mating behaviors to caring for their offspring. This transition often involves a decrease in circulating androgens, like testosterone, as high concentrations of testosterone can interfere with male parental care. Androgens can also affect female behavior, though these effects are much less well-understood. Also, how the brain acts to regulate these patterns of circulating androgen concentrations is unknown. Based on preliminary results from birds (male and female European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris), the project predicts and explores if a specific novel neurohormone, gonadotropin inhibitory hormone (GnIH), mediates the inhibition of circulating androgens during parental care. <br/><br/>Training objectives include experimental field and laboratory techniques, methods to measure hormone concentrations, and genomics approaches to studying mating versus parental care phases. This project bridges a gap between neuroendocrinology and behavior. Because GnIH presence and function appear to be conserved throughout most vertebrates studied, including humans, the findings in birds promise to inspire new avenues into not only the study of reproductive physiology but into the neural mechanisms that may control reproductive strategy and behavior. Additionally, this project provides laboratory and field research opportunities for undergraduates and increases the participation of underrepresented groups in science.
1002586 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2011 07/22/2010 Rebecca Cole CO Cole Rebecca J Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2013 $189,000.00 cole.rebeccaj@gmail.com Boulder CO 803013893 BIO 1157 1036, , 9179, 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Rebecca Cole is "Understanding carbon storage in extremely wet tropical forests." The host institution for this research is the University of Colorado at Boulder and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Alan Townsend. <br/><br/>Tropical forests play a critical role in the terrestrial carbon budget. Global efforts to reduce carbon emissions from tropical deforestation and degradation are increasing along with implementation of novel market instruments, such as Payments for Environmental Services (PES), to enhance carbon sequestration. Yet information on the carbon dynamics of intact tropical forests and the degraded forest types that are rapidly replacing them is lacking, particularly in the wettest portions of the tropical biome where rates of biosphere-atmosphere carbon exchange are exceptionally high. This research is generating baseline data on the carbon stocks and fluxes in extremely wet topical forest and forest types currently under PES initiatives: intact rainforest, selectively logged and successional forests, and forestry plantations.<br/><br/>The training objectives include developing expertise in field and laboratory-based techniques in biogeochemistry, broadening the Fellow's knowledge of rainforest biogeochemistry and ecosystem responses to climate change, and improving grant writing, mentorship, and outreach skills. The results of this project enable an evaluation of carbon storage that will inform carbon offset programs in Costa Rica and other tropical countries. The research will produce key ground-truthing measures for high spatial resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy of forests allowing for mapping of carbon storage over a broad geographic region. The project also provides research experience for Costa Rica and US undergraduate students and outreach to local communities and schools. The results of this project are being disseminated through publication in major research journals, presentation at national meetings, and to Costa Rican conservation, government, and university groups.
1002993 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2011 07/22/2010 Brandi Coyner OK Coyner Brandi S Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2013 $189,000.00 bcoyner@cabnr.unr.edu Stillwater OK 740755928 BIO 1157 9179, , 9150, 1228, 1036 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Brandi Coyner is "Landscape genetics of the Neotoma fuscipes species complex: evaluation of landscape variables as pre-isolating mechanisms of hybridization." The host institution for this research is the University of Nevada, Reno and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Marjorie Matocq<br/><br/>Geographic areas where hybridization occurs have long fascinated biologists in the ecological and evolutionary sciences and offer unique opportunities to study speciation. Physical barriers such as rivers and mountain ranges, behavioral differences related to mating season and mate choice, and reduced fitness and survival of hybrid individuals are mechanisms that can prevent hybridization and lead to speciation. Therefore, landscape characteristics have the potential to contribute to and explain patterns of hybridization. Four models have been proposed to explain the maintenance of stable hybrid zones, and each model predicts differences in hybrid versus purebred fitness and the distribution of pure and hybrid individuals across the landscape. Landscape genetics utilizes the power of geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial statistics to test environmentally-based hybrid models. This study uses a landscape genetics approach to evaluate landscape variation as a potential mechanism preventing or encouraging hybridization. Additionally, this study proposes to evaluate the four models explaining the occurrence of stable hybrid zones in the area where dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes) and big-eared woodrats (Neotoma macrotis) hybridize.<br/><br/>Training objectives of this research include expanding current and learning new laboratory and analysis skills. Broader impacts of this research include mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, outreach includes taking the research into high school classrooms through the sponsoring scientist's Molecules On The Road (MOR) program. This program teaches advanced laboratory and analysis techniques to minority, at-risk high school students to equip those students underrepresented in science to pursue scientific degrees.
1003035 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2010 DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW 01/01/2011 08/11/2010 Cristina Ledon-Rettig NC Ledon-Rettig Cristina C Fellowship Sally E. O'Connor 12/31/2013 $189,000.00 ccledonr@ncsu.edu Carrboro NC 275101523 BIO 1157 9179, 1036, 1228 $0.00 This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY 2010. The fellowship supports a research and training plan in a host laboratory for the Fellow who also presents a plan to broaden participation in biology. The title of the research and training plan for this fellowship to Cristina Ledon-Rettig is "Ecological Epigenetics in Invasive House Sparrow." The host institution for this research is the University of South Florida and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Lynn Martin.<br/><br/>Historically it was thought that the instructions for an organism's behavior are contained in its genome. However, genes only influence an organism's behavior when they are expressed. It is now known that a network of chemical switches - collectively known as the "epigenome" - governs when genes are expressed or silenced. Further, these chemical switches can be modified by an organism's environment. For instance, a stressful environmental can generate stable epigenetic changes that "program" individuals to be less fearful and more aggressive when they encounter future stressors. This rapid modification of behavior may enable certain species to expand their ranges and become pests because epigenetics shortcuts genetic mutation in generating fearless, aggressive behaviors. This project is using the common house sparrow to investigate the role of epigenetics in biological invasions. While the house sparrow has colonized most of the planet, it is currently invading central Kenya. To test the hypothesis that epigenetic modifications facilitate the rapid expansion of a species into novel habitats, these chemical switches are being characterized and compared among house sparrow populations in Kenya. <br/><br/>Training objectives include applying new technologies for investigating epigenetic modification to an ecologically relevant setting. The scientific impact of this work is broad, as epigenetic modification is pertinent in evolutionary and developmental biology and plays an important role in conservation studies. In addition, the results from this research prevent future invasions when it is communicated locally through conservation groups, and abroad through involvement with the National Museum of Kenya.
0962445 Core Support for the Board on Life Sciences at the National Academies of Science DBI MINORITY POSTDOC RSRCH FLW-NEW, HUMAN RESOURCES 04/15/2010 02/28/2012 Frances Sharples DC National Academy of Sciences Continuing grant Sally E. O'Connor 03/31/2013 $244,658.00 fsharples@nas.edu 500 FIFTH STREET NW WASHINGTON DC 200012721 2023342254 BIO 1157, 7226 0000 $0.00 This action funds renewed support for the Board of Life Sciences (BLS) at the National Academy of Sciences. The BLS serves as the National Academies' focal point for a wide range of scientific, technical and policy topics in the life sciences, including infrastructure, bioterrorism, genomics, biodiversity conservation, and key topics in basic biological and biomedical research. It organizes and oversees studies that provide advice to government and the scientific community on the biological sciences and their impact on society. Further, it maintains expertise in and understanding of the full spectrum of life science disciplines, from molecular genetics to ecology. This enables it to deal with issues of both basic science (e.g., knowledge gaps, research priorities, needed investments) and the higher level policy concerns that flow from or build on the basic science. The Board also oversees important studies on the improvement of biology education, particularly at the undergraduate level, and the maintenance of a strong life sciences workforce.
import csv, os, sys
from Bio import Entrez
Entrez.email = "james.estevez@gmail.com"
nsf = csv.DictReader(open("Awards.csv", 'rt'))
names = []
for row in nsf:
names.append(row['PrincipalInvestigator'])
"""
Nature:410462 Science:0404511 Cell:0413066
"""
glamour_NLM_ID = ['410462','0404511','0413066']
annointed_ones = []
no_xml = []
for name in names:
# Search pubmed for all hits with our authors name
try:
search = Entrez.esearch(db="pubmed", term=''.join([name, '[AUTH]']))
record = Entrez.read(search)
# Get the records
if len(record["IdList"]) > 0:
hits = Entrez.efetch(db="pubmed", id=record["IdList"], retmode="xml")
hitlist = Entrez.read(hits)
hits.close()
# make a list of NLM UIDs
nlmIDs=[hit['MedlineCitation']['MedlineJournalInfo']['NlmUniqueID'] for hit in hitlist]
if len([val for val in nlmIDs if val in glamour_NLM_ID]) > 0:
# Wow, congrats!
journal_titles = [hit['MedlineCitation']['Article']['Journal']['Title'] for hit in hitlist]
annointed_ones.append(name)
else:
continue
else:
pass
except NotXMLError:
no_xml.append(name)
print len(no_xml)
pct = float(len(annointed_ones))/len(names) * 100
"""
In [110]: pct
Out[110]: 5.681818181818182
"""
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