About Environmental Biology (DEB)

The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) Core Track supports research and training on evolutionary and ecological processes acting at the level of populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. DEB encourages research that elucidates fundamental principles that identify and explain the unity and diversity of life and its interactions with the environment over space and time. Research may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative studies; synthesis activities; phylogenetic discovery projects; or theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or computational modeling. Proposals should be submitted to the core clusters (Ecosystem Sciences, Evolutionary Processes, Population and Community Ecology, and Systematics and Biodiversity Sciences). DEB also encourages interdisciplinary proposals that cross conceptual boundaries and integrate over levels of biological organization or across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Research addressing ecology and ecosystem science in the marine biome should be directed to the Biological Oceanography Program in the Division of Ocean Sciences; research addressing evolution and systematics in the marine biome should be directed to the Evolutionary Processes or Systematics and Biodiversity Science programs in DEB. 

All DEB programs also encourage proposals that leverage NSF-supported data networks, databases, centers, and other forms of scientific infrastructure, including but not limited to the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), Environmental Data Initiative (EDI), and Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio).

DEB Cluster Descriptions:

Ecosystem Science Cluster

Evolutionary Processes Cluster

Population and Community Ecology Cluster

Systematics and Biodiversity Science Cluster

Funding Opportunities Information:

To discover more information about DEB's programs, please click “Programs” in the left navigation bar.

For information about active DEB funding opportunities including cross-directorate and NSF-wide activities, please click "Funding" in the left navigation bar.

For “Dear Colleague Letters,” information about supplements, and BIO's guidance on data management plans, please click "Additional Resources" in the left navigation bar.

Contact Us:

General questions may be directed to DEB by email at DEBQuestions@nsf.gov or by phone at (703) 292-8480. Specific DEB staff may be contacted via individual email addresses in the DEB staff directory.

DEB also encourages the community to engage with us through our blog, DEBrief: https://debblog.nsfbio.com.

Media Inquiries:

NSF Public Communications & Media Policy: https://www.nsf.gov/news/policies_for_media.jsp

Media inquiries should be directed to the NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, Division of Public Affairs: (703) 292-8070; Public Affairs Officer for BIO: Ivy Kupec

Legislative Inquiries:

Legislative inquiries should be directed to the NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, Division of Legislative Affairs: (703) 292-8070; Legislative Affairs Officer for BIO: Eric Hammond

If you're a new visitor to the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) website or just want a quick visual and textual summary of BIO areas of support, please visit the "About" page for the Directorate to access an interactive organization chart.


Home Page Image Credits:

Drosophila: Dr. George Gilchrist

C. elegans under microscope: Dr. Patrick C. Phillips

Biodiversity "Tilman plots:" Cedar Creek Long Term Ecological Research Site

The Sundarbans (mangrove forest): NASA

Tree of life: Hinchliff et al., 2015 (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1423041112)