You are here

New Ant Grant

September 1, 2011
Printer-friendly version

Senior Ecologist Aaron Ellison and collaborators from the University of Vermont, University of Tennessee, and North Carolina State University have received a large grant from the National Science Foundation to study the adaptability of forest ants to climate change. Ants process forest soil, cycle nutrients, disperse seeds of many understory plants, and respond rapidly to changes in air temperature. In addition to conducting laboratory experiments, the research group will collect samples of ants from forests throughout the eastern U.S. and use gene sequencing to reveal particular genes that may have evolved in response to climate change. Genes will also be sequenced from ants collected at the Harvard Forest Warm Ants experiment. The results of this research will help illustrate the many ways that key species are likely to respond to climate change. Additionally, the research program will train undergraduates and graduate students and will provide public outreach and education on the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

Content Tags: