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December 2007

Research News

SBI Research Feature: Developing a Biosensor to Increase Waste Water Treatment Efficiency - Faculty members from Botany and Plant Pathology, Biological and Ecological Engineering and Environmental Engineering have combined efforts to develop a biosensor that could increase the efficiency of waste water treatment plants.  The five-year project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Biocomplexity in the Environment program and makes use of new genomic approaches to study bacteria that remove nitrogen from waste water.  Read a short Web interview where professor Dan Arp and post-doctoral researcher Barbara Gvakharia (Botany and Plant Pathology) describe the project.



Peter and Dan pictured with the Soil Science Society of America President Rattan Lal (right) along with the President of Bangladesh, Iajuddin Ahmed (left), who was the guest lecturer at the SSSA Awards Program. Congratulations to Peter Bottomley (Crop and Soil Science/Microbiology) and Dave Myrold (Crop and Soil Science), who received the Soil Science Research Award from the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) at their annual meeting on November 5 in New Orleans. The annual awards are presented for outstanding contributions to soil science through education, national and international service, and research.


Upcoming Events

December 7, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Burt 193. Archives of Seawater Mo Isotope Composition (Marine Geology & Geophysics Seminar). Speaker: Thomas Nagler, University of Bern.

January 7-10, 2008. Deadlines to submit abstracts for presentations at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting. The meeting will be held June 1-5, 2008, in Boston, MA.

Link to a calendar of other related events...


Funding Opportunities for Students

Student Travel Grants to the 2008 American Society for Microbiology General Meeting (June 1-5), Boston - The Corporate Activities Program Student Travel Grant is a $500 grant given to approximately 160 students who will be presenting a poster at the meeting. The deadline to apply is January 17, 2008.

NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships (EAR-PF) - The Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) awards postdoctoral fellowships to highly qualified investigators within 3 years of obtaining their PhD to carry out an integrated program of independent research and education. The research and education plans of each fellowship must address scientific questions within the scope of EAR disciplines.  The program supports researchers for a period of up to 2 years with fellowships that can be taken to the institution or national facility of their choice. The program is intended to recognize young investigators of significant potential, and provide them with experience in research and education that will establish them in leadership positions in the earth sciences community. Proposal Deadline:  January 8, 2008.


Funding Opportunities for Faculty

DoD Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), Core Solicitation, Focus Area on Environmental Restoration - Among the topics identified in the FY2008 Statement of Need are Reduced Uncertainty and Costs for Managing Large, Dilute Contaminant Groundwater Plumes; Improved Understanding of the Vapor Intrusion Pathway from Chlorinated Solvent-Contaminated Groundwater Plumes; Improved Understanding of the Impact of Environmental Parameters and Sampling Methods on Measured Groundwater Contaminant Concentrations. View details about these topics in the Statement of Need Documents. Preproposals due: January 8, 2008.

NSF - Division of Integrative Organismal Systems - Physiological and Structural Systems Cluster - This program supports research aimed at furthering the understanding of organisms as integrated units of biological organization.  It considers proposals focused on interacting physiological and structural systems, their environmental and evolutionary contexts, and how these components are constrained by their integration into the whole organism.  Projects that use systems approaches to understand why particular patterns of architecture and regulatory control have emerged as general organismal properties are particularly encouraged. Multidisciplinary approaches to the study of organismal systems including research at the interfaces of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and engineering are encouraged in each of the following areas: Symbiosis, Defense and Self-recognition; Processes, Structures and Integrity; Organism-Environment Interactions. Proposals due: January 12, 2008.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Basic Research and Training Program (SBRP), Individual Research Grants (R01) Development and Application of Nanotechnology-based Tools to Understand Mechanisms of Bioremediation - The objective of this 2007 RFA is to enhance our understanding of the basic structural and functional properties of biological populations that are involved in the bioremediation of hazardous substances by integrating or adapting innovative nanotechnology based tools for sensing, detecting, and elucidating processes at the molecular and nano-scale. The NIEHS intends to commit a total of $2 million to fund six to eight grants that will be awarded in Fiscal Year 2009. Projects may have a duration of up to three years. Research themes include: nano-sensors, integrating novel microbial ecology methods; atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilevers; microelectronic array technology; microfluidic channels; lab-on-a-chip devices. Letters of intent due: January 16, 2008; full applications due: February 15, 2008.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Basic Research and Training Program (SBRP), Multiproject Program Grants (P42) - SBRP grants support coordinated, multi-project, multi- and interdisciplinary research programs that have both a biomedical and non-biomedical (engineering, geochemical and ecological sciences) components. Projects need a unifying conceptual theme. Example topics include using environmental genetics and genomics to discern the contributions of environmental and genetic factors in relation to disease susceptibility in vulnerable populations or in relation to the impact on microbial communities involved in biodegradation; developing novel computational, statistical, and/or mathematical tools to create risk assessment models that incorporate the complex biological data being generated through high-data content approaches; or employing fate and transport modeling of contaminants in environmental media as it relates to the development of effective remediation strategies or for predicting exposure risk in humans or ecosystems. The NIEHS intends to commit approximately $8.0 million dollars in FY 2009 to fund three to four new and/or renewal SBRP multi-project grants in response to this FOA. A new applicant may request a budget for direct costs of up to $2.1 million dollars for the first year and a project period of up to 5 years. Letters of intent due: February 15, 2008; full applications due: April 15, 2008.

Don't forget that the SBI has funding available for proposal development and maintains a list of external grant opportunities related to the subsurface biosphere.

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