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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

  • Benjamin R Lee
Award Date:06/22/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 138,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 138,000
  • FY 2021=$138,000
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
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: How spatial and temporal variation in environment and soil fungal diversity shapes plant phenotypes
Federal Award ID Number:2108128
Program:Biology Postdoctoral Research
Program Officer:
  • Daniel Marenda
  • (703) 292-2157

Awardee Location

City:Ann Arbor
Awardee Cong. District:

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Cong. District:18

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. The majority of plants in temperate forests rely on interactions with soil fungi (called arbuscular mycorrhizae, AMF) to acquire important resources necessary for growth and survival. Scientific understanding of these interactions has so far been limited to relatively short-term studies, but with new advances in methodology, the field is now poised to leverage information about these relationships extracted from decades- to centuries-old museum (herbarium) specimens. In this project, the fellow will use museum specimens, combined with new field sampling, to 1) identify large spatial and temporal patterns in plant-fungi interactions; 2) link these patterns to drivers of global change; and 3) investigate how these relationships affect important plant traits linked to overall performance. Results from this work will improve our understanding of how global change affects these critical relationships, inform museums about best collection practices, and lead to the development of important educational outreach in both museum and traditional classroom settings. To complete this work, the fellow will sequence mycorrhizal genomes from a combination of historical herbarium samples and newly collected field specimens of various Trillium species from across eastern North America. The fellow will then use hierarchical Bayesian modeling approaches to assess how climate, geographic distribution, and presence of allelopathic invaders (i.e., garlic mustard) affect AMF community composition and, consequently, how AMF composition affects important plant traits such as leaf area and foliar nitrogen content. Broader impacts resulting from this work include collaboration with museum educators and highlighting the importance of museum collections. The fellow will also develop educational outreach materials targeted for classroom and academic settings. This research will provide the fellow with new research collaborations as well as training in herbarium methodology, high-throughput genetic sequencing, invasive species modeling, and scientific communication. 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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