Awardees, Funding, Research

2016 Grant Awardees

Published:

In January, nine interdisciplinary research teams were selected to receive funding, totaling $797,772, from the Science & Technology Advisory Council (STAC). Research projects directly address the RI NSF EPSCoR proposed program themes of Assessment and Impacts, Visualization and Imaging; and Forecasting and Management.

Genetic Sensors for ecosystem functions: new ways of quantifying predation in the ocean

This pilot project will bring together scientists from URI and RIC to develop novel genetic sensors for grazers by using newly acquired transcriptomics data that specifically targets gene expression of predators under varying grazing conditions.

Collaborators

  • Susanne Menden-Deuer, University of Rhode Island
  • Tatiana Rynearson, University of Rhode Island
  • Sarah Knowlton, Rhode Island College

Monitoring the Impact of Climate Change Stressors on Horizontal Gene Transfer in Marine Microbial Populations

The goal of this project is to assess the impacts of climate change-induced stressors on the potential of marine microbial populations to transfer virulence, antibiotic resistance, and other genetic traits by bringing together experts in molecular microbiology & immunology, and aquatic pathology.

Collaborators

  • Peter Belenky, Brown University
  • Ying Zhang, University of Rhode Island
  • Marta Gomez-Chiarri, University of Rhode Island

A Nanoscale Biosensor for in-situ Monitoring of Water-Borne Contaminants in Coastal Ocean Environments

This team will develop and explore the use of a highly selective and near-field enhanced nanoscale biosensor that can be useful to conduct in-situ monitoring of water-borne contaminants such as toxic algae and others in coastal waters.

Collaborators

  • Yi Zheng, University of Rhode Island
  • Tracey Dalton, University of Rhode Island
  • Benjamin McPheron, Roger Williams University
  • Charles Thangaraj, Roger Williams University

Allelopathic effects of macroalgae on shellfish larvae in RI under current and projected sea surface temperatures

This team of researchers will prepare preliminary data to determine the identity and effects of allelochemicals released from bloom-forming macroalgae on the survival and physiology of shellfish larval stages.

Collaborators

  • Marta Gomez-Chiarri, University of Rhode Island
  • Lindsay Green, University of Rhode Island
  • David Rowley, University of Rhode Island
  • Roxanna Smolowitz, Roger Williams University
  • Jason Grear, US EPA, Atlantic Ecology Division

Alternative nitrogen management strategies and nitrous oxide emissions from coastal watersheds and marshes

This project measures nitrous oxide from a waste water treatment plant (Field’s Point) and on-site wastewater treatment systems in the Narragansett Bay watershed to identify sources and evaluate alternative nitrogen management strategies.

Collaborators

  • Vinka Oyanedel-Craver, University of Rhode Island
  • Jose Amador, University of Rhode Island
  • Rebecca Brown, University of Rhode Island
  • James McCaughey, Narragansett Bay Commission
  • Caitlin Chaffee, Coastal Resource Management Council

Developing 3D Tissue Culture for Marine Invertebrates

This project combines expertise in marine biology at URI and biomedical design and manufacturing at MicroTissues, Inc. to develop a method for culturing invertebrate cells in a 3D environment.

Collaborators

  • Steven Irvine, University of Rhode Island
  • Jeffrey Morgan, MicroTissues, Inc.

Bringing planktonic holograms to life with YURT Ultimate Reality Theatre

Field-based holographic microscopy of phytoplankton collected at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography will be parsed into meaningful, quantitative products through 3D visualization at Brown University’s YURT Ultimate Reality Theatre.

Collaborators

  • Melissa Omand, University of Rhode Island
  • Susanne Menden-Deuer, University of Rhode Island
  • Tatiana Rynearson, University of Rhode Island
  • Tom Sgouros, Brown University
  • Ben Knorlein, Brown University

A multifaceted approach to determine zooplankton community response to environmental change

This project will work to reveal the extent of zooplankton biodiversity, including the potential to identify new species, in Rhode Island waters.

Collaborators

  • Tatiana Rynearson, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography
  • Jonathan Hare, NOAA Narragansett Lab Director

Development of a Cyclodextrin-Based Sensor for Selective Pesticide Detection in Complex Environments

This research team will develop a fluorescence-based hand-held sensor for pesticides that can detect different pesticides from diverse environmental and biological samples in the field.

Collaborators

  • Tatiana Rynearson, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography
  • Jonathan Hare, NOAA Narragansett Lab Director