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National Science Foundation grant to fund research on urbanization and the ecosystem

Professor Marina Alberti, Ph.D. has been awarded a five-year, $500,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate and understand how humans and their settlements affect the planet’s ecosystem. Professor Alberti is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Built Environments and director of the Urban Ecology Research Lab (UERL).

According to the grant abstract, “a new Research Coordination Network (RCN) to bring together scientists from different institutions to design and perform long-term cross-comparative studies, to synthesize the science, and to explore mechanisms that link urban development patterns to rapid evolution and the potential for those changes to feedback to shape ecosystems. The RCN will train scholars, postdocs, and PhD students, and will recruit members with diverse backgrounds offering them direct experience in collaborative, transdisciplinary research.”

The RCN has five objectives:

  1. Develop a shared research framework to integrate multiple disciplinary approaches and domains of knowledge to study urban eco-evolutionary dynamics.
  2. Produce a new synthesis of existing evidence on the mechanisms that link urban development patterns to rapid evolutionary changes and their potential feedbacks to ecosystems.
  3. Identify scientific gaps and research priorities to advance knowledge of eco-evolutionary dynamics in an urbanizing planet.
  4. Build a global network of collaborators with complementary skills and diverse study systems to support the development of multi-city empirical studies of urban eco-evolutionary dynamics.
  5. Explore implications and generate insights for conservation and ecological planning.

For more information contact Marina Alberti at 206-616-8667 or (Twitter: @ma003)