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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Universidad Del Turabo
  • Sharon A Cantrell
  • (787) 743-7979
  • Jose R Perez-Jimenez
Award Date:03/01/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 79,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 79,000
  • FY 2021=$79,000
Start Date:03/01/2021
End Date:02/28/2022
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:RAPID: Microbial Diversity along an elevational gradient in El Yunque National Forest before and after Hurricane Maria
Federal Award ID Number:2120367
DUNS ID:135988632
Parent DUNS ID:090456609
Program:IIBR: Infrastructure Innovatio
Program Officer:
  • Robert Fleischmann
  • (703) 292-7191

Awardee Location

Street:P O Box 3030
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Universidad Ana G Mendez Gurabo Campus formerly Turabo
Street:P O Box 3030
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

An award is made to Universidad Del Turabo to support student learning and research which has been severely impacted by several natural disasters including Hurricane Maria (September, 2017), the 2020 earthquakes (January, 2020), and the current Covid-19 pandemic. The award will support stipends, supplies, and travel for three undergraduate students and one masters student studying the impact of Hurricane Maria on biodiversity across the elevation gradient of El Yunque National Forest. The students will utilize a variety of genomic approaches to analyze soil core samples taken across 15 plots to study how microbial diversity changes along elevation gradients and whether Hurricane Maria significantly altered the biodiversity across the elevation gradient. The students will particular use of an ABI 3500 Genetic Analysis platform acquired with a previous NSF MRI award (1726158). Climate change can have a significant impact on microbial (fungi and bacterial) diversity by impacting surface litter, canopy openings, solar radiation, and winds. The El Yunque National Forest, located in Puerto Rico, has been dramatically impacted by Hurricane Maria. The El Yunque National Forest provides a natural setting for several forest types (tubonuco, palm forest, palo Colorado, and elfin forest), across its natural elevation gradient, with each forest type having its own endogenous biodiversity. The University has created 15 forest plots from 300 to 1000 meters in elevation at 50 meter intervals. At each elevation a 50 X 20 meter plots was established and divided into ten 10 X 10 plots. Soil core samples were taken before and after Hurricane Maria from adjacent plots at each elevation. The samples will be used to address two fundamental questions: 1) how does microbial diversity change along the elevation gradient and 2) how was microbial diversity effected by Hurricane Maria along the elevation gradient? The students will extract DNA samples from each of the core soil samples and use a variety of specific primers to amplify gDNA from the samples to quantify the presence and abundance of specific microbial species. DNA sequence analysis will be used to further identify and discriminate species providing insights into both elevation associated diversity and changes in this diversity as a result of Hurricane Maria. Students will obtain training in the use of a variety genomics techniques and laboratory equipment and will further strengthen current collaborations with the NSF-LTER at Luquillo, US Forest Service, DNA Learning Center (at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), and Bio-Link (NSF-ATE BIO). 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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