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NSF Awards Dr. Metz Additional Funds for Student Research

March 22, 2019

  • M. Metz

The National Science Foundation has awarded Assistant Professor of Biology Margaret Metz a new $7,000 supplement to her grant, “RUI: LTREB: Collaborative Research: Cyclic vs. anthropogenic causes of long-term variation in the regeneration of tropical forests with contrasting latitude and diversity.” These funds will allow a second Lewis & Clark undergraduate student to conduct field research for several weeks in Yasuní National Park in eastern Ecuador this summer, in an attempt to better understand regeneration dynamics in the rainforest understory. Specifically, while in the Amazon, the selected student will measure seedling functional traits and document variation in light availability in the forest. These traits are the characteristics of the leaves and stems that reflect how a seedling is able to survive and grow by defending against herbivores and capturing light for photosynthesis. This fieldwork will contribute to understanding the year-to-year variation seen in the multi-decadal dynamics data that have been the focus of Dr. Metz’s collaborative work in three tropical forests—Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and Panama. On campus, the student researcher will participate in the John S. Rogers Summer Science Research Program, learning to analyze the data related to their self-designed research question and combining these with Dr. Metz’s long-term demography data. This immersive research experience will provide training in tropical ecology, plant biology, design of large field studies, data collection and analysis, and effective scientific communication.

More information about the amazing and ground-breaking research going on in the Metz Lab is available here.

Please join us in congratulating Margaret on securing more funding for her students and landing another competitive external grant!

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