Dr. John Zobitz, Professor of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, has received a new three-year research grant from the National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology, to study mathematical models of soil carbon cycling. Dr. Zobitz will collaborate with Dr. Naupaka Zimmerman in the Biology Department at the University of San Francisco.
Together they will lead undergraduates to measure and mathematically model rates of change of soil carbon dioxide in response to environmental and climatic effects (soil microbes, weather, and other physical processes). They will also validate data collected by the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON, www.neonscience.org) and other databases in the scientific community. Additionally, they will lead a faculty training cohort in a suite of training and professional development to address the diverse identities of undergraduate students and researchers. The title of the project is “Collaborative Research: Development and Validation of a Continuous Soil Respiration Product at Core Terrestrial NEON Sites.” Dr. Zobitz’s grant award totals $100,427. The grant number for this award is NSF 2017829.
A short video linked here describes the importance of NEON for ecology researchers, and the public.
Congratulations to Dr. John Zobitz, Associate Professor of Mathematics, who will be participating as a Fellow in “Engaging Mathematics,” a NSF TUES funded project led by Wm. David Burns of SENCER (NSF ID: 1322883).
The Engaging Mathematics project will develop curricula that connects learning in mathematics courses to real and relevant local, regional, national and global issues and thus greatly improve students’ retention of the specific mathematics concepts and skills, along with their understanding of the role of mathematical modeling and quantitative literacy in everyday life. Dr. Zobitz will work in partnership with colleagues at two and four year colleges and universities locally and nationally to develop learning experiences across the mathematics curriculum.
To learn more about this project, please contact Dr. Zobitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1322883. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Ann Impullitti, Assistant Professor of Biology, received a $122,684 Major Research Instrumentation Grant from NSF’s Division of Biological Infrastructure, and a $52,400 from the LiCor Environmental Education Fund (LEEF).
The funds will be used to purchase a suite of instruments for plant ecophysiology research. Dr. Impullitti and her Co-Principal Investigators, Dr. John Zobitz, Associate Professor of Mathematics, and Dr. Dean Malvick, University of Minnesota, will use the instrumentation to investigate the physiology of economically important plants infected by fungi and study mathematical modeling of ecophysiological processes. Research activities will explore: 1) the physiology and productivity of economically important plants colonized by pathogens that do not cause symptoms of disease; 2) the functional role of endophytes in plants; 3) the impact of sublethal infections by soil-borne pathogens of roots on plant productivity; and 4) the measurement of leaf-level physiological processes to parameterize ecosystem models of carbon cycling.
The instruments will be used for faculty research and undergraduate research in plant biology, environmental science, and mathematics. Students interested in research will have opportunities to be involved in quantitative data analysis in biology and mathematics, and research in a field and/or lab. The instrument will also improve collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects with faculty at the University of Minnesota. Results from these collaborations will improve our understanding of plant-fungal interactions, and will be applied to improving soybean yield and productivity, an important model plant due to its economic importance and growth throughout the U.S.
Editor’s Note: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DBI-1337582. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.