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News Release 18-098

NSF announces new awards for research to better understand Earth’s biodiversity

Projects simultaneously explore ecological and evolutionary processes to grasp synergistic impact

Carla Atkinson studies the evolutionary ecology of freshwater mussels.

Carla Atkinson studies the evolutionary ecology of freshwater mussels.


October 25, 2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is investing over $18 million in 10 new projects to research processes in nature and their complex interactions with climate, land use and invasive species at local, regional and continental scales. The awards are funded through NSF's Dimensions of Biodiversity program in the agency's environmental biology division.

Despite centuries of discovery, most of our planet's biodiversity remains unknown. The scale of the unknown diversity on Earth is especially troubling given the rapid and permanent loss of biodiversity across the globe. The goal of the Dimensions of Biodiversity campaign is to transform how we describe and understand the scope and role of life on Earth.

"This research is unique in that multiple dimensions of biodiversity are addressed simultaneously," said Joanne Tornow, acting assistant director for NSF's Directorate for Biological Sciences. "These are novel approaches that intend to get at synergistic roles of critical ecological and evolutionary processes."

This campaign promotes novel integrative approaches to fill the most substantial gaps in our understanding of the diversity of life on Earth. It takes a broad view of biodiversity, and focuses on the intersection of genetic, phylogenetic and functional dimensions of biodiversity. The projects all integrate these three dimensions to understand interactions and feedback among them.

This year's funded projects include:

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Ivy F. Kupec, NSF, (703) 292-8796, email: ikupec@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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