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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

PD/PI:
  • Jennifer Bigman
Award Date:06/22/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 138,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 138,000
  • FY 2021=$138,000
Start Date:06/01/2022
End Date:05/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2021: Tracing coral reef energy fluxes from genes to ecosystems in a changing climate
Federal Award ID Number:2109411
DUNS ID:NR
Program:Biology Postdoctoral Research
Program Officer:
  • Daniel Marenda
  • (703) 292-2157
  • dmarenda@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:
City:Bellingham
State:WA
ZIP:98226
County:
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute
Street:
City:Port Aransas
State:TX
ZIP:78373-9998
County:Port Aransas
Country:US
Cong. District:27

Abstract at Time of Award

This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2021, Integrative Research Investigating the Rules of Life Governing Interactions Between Genomes, Environment and Phenotypes. The fellowship supports research and training of the fellow that will contribute to the area of Rules of Life in innovative ways. Understanding and measuring aspects of the biology of species and the communities in which they live is crucial to predicting how they will respond to a changing climate. Metabolic rate, or the rate at which organisms acquire and allocate energy to life-sustaining processes such as growth and reproduction, links species to their environments. Thus, metabolic rate may be a useful tool to understand the structure and dynamics of species and their ecosystems, as well as provide an opportunity to predict the effects of climate change. This is especially important for ecosystems that are sensitive to climate change such as coral reefs, which are globally in decline due to climate change, overfishing, pollution, and other human-induced threats. Thus, this project will use coral reef ecosystems as a model to test whether the metabolic rate of individual fish species can be used to explain and predict the dynamics of ecosystems now and in the future. The project supports education and outreach for other scientists, local communities, and students and other members of the public through a variety of methods. The project aims to empirically test ecological theory that posits that metabolic rate governs biological processes at all scales of organization and as such, can be used to predict current and future ecosystem dynamics that are traditionally difficult-to-estimate. The Fellow will use cryptobenthic fishes in the gobiid genus Eviota as a model system to test the validity of using metabolic rate to understand and predict these processes. Specifically, the Fellow will couple field-based collections, molecular ecology, and physiological trials alongside a novel theoretical modeling framework to (1) validate the use of metabolic rate to explain and predict the demography and life history of cryptobenthic fishes, (2) assess whether metabolic rate governs ecosystem functioning through its influence on life history, demography, and interspecific interactions, (3) quantify the cascading effects of increasing temperature on ecosystem functioning through its effects on individual metabolism, and (4) explore the eco-evolutionary determinants of metabolic rate through a population genomic framework. Through this project, the Fellow will become broadly trained in diverse and cutting-edge methodologies and contribute to other broader impacts including engagement with other researchers via working groups, outreach with local communities, no-cost quantitative ecology workshops for under-represented groups in science, and opportunities for student participation in metabolic theory and coral reef ecology. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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