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EEB plants support in member proposals with six seed grants

Six budding research projects recognized for their potential to foster innovation and large-scale collaboration have been awarded support through the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB) program's new seed grant initiative.

The grants, totaling nearly $65,000, will support a range of costs associated with launching competitive proposals for significant external resources, including new research collaborations envisioned by EEB members. Seed grants are slated to be made available for at least two more funding cycles, through 2023. EEB intends to partner with other MSU entities, such as AgBioResearch, when advantageous to maximize the use of available funds, said EEB Director Elise Zipkin.

“This is about positioning MSU researchers to achieve their research goals and putting the full force of MSU resources behind creative, exciting proposals,” Zipkin said. “We have faith in our members and are dedicated to putting that faith into action.”

This year’s supported projects are:

  • “Integrating biodiversity sciences across scales” led by Kendra Cheruvelil in fisheries and wildlife.
  • “Mechanisms to prevent cheating in a newt-microbe symbiosis” led by Heather Eisthen in integrative biology.
  • “Identifying the genetic basis of adaptive flagellar loss in mormyrid electric fish” led by Jason Gallant in integrative biology.
  • “The Conservation Genetics Coalition: Building international capacity and leading cultural change in applied genetics” led by Mariah Meek in integrative biology.
  • “Unraveling growth-defense interactions across biological scales using the grape genus Vitis” led by Marjorie Weber in plant biology. This seed grant is funded in partnership with MSU AgBioResearch.
  • “The Herbivory Variability Network: Expanding beyond the mean to embrace higher moments in the ecology and evolution of species interactions” led by Will Wetzel in entomology.

“This is an excellent way of building on the great success of the EEB program,” said Doug Gage, interim vice president for research and innovation. “There is a proud history of creating a community of faculty and students that enables people to excel on national and international scales. EEB members’ leadership as researchers and educators enhances our institutional reputation, and the recent hiring of three outstanding MSU Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows highlights MSU’s commitment to the future of EEB.”

The committee was co-chaired by Lars Brudvig and Kay Holekamp.  Other members include Catherine Lindell, Jean Tsao, Jiquan Chen, Emily Dolson, Darren Incorvaia.

The next round of EEB seed grant proposals will begin in late fall, available to EEB core faculty members.