Biology Faculty Obtain Grants for Research Projects

NSF Awards $337K to Professors Will Ambrose and Mike Retelle for Collaborative Climate Change Research in Norway

Will Ambrose

Professor William Ambrose

William Ambrose of the Biology Department and Michael Retelle of the Geology Department have been awarded a $337,228 grant by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Polar Programs for a collaborative research project on “the role of oceanic and atmospheric forcing on Arctic marine climate from newly developed annual shell based records in coastal Norway”. Together with Prof. Alan Wanamaker of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences at Iowa State University (which received its own NSF grant, for a total project cost of $810,000), Profs. Ambrose and Retelle will test the relative influence of dominant climate modes on the regional oceanography in northern Norway during the last millennium. Students from both Bates and Iowa State will be supported by and involved with the project, and the PIs will use data and ideas developed in this project for several courses at Iowa State and Bates College relating to climate change, paleoclimate and oceanography. In addition, the PIs will make visits to local K-12 schools in both Maine and Iowa and conduct teacher professional development and curriculum development in the area of climate change.

Maine-INBRE Awards $495K Grant to Asst. Professor Larissa Williams for Advanced Genomic Research with the Zebra Fish Model

Larissa Williams

Asst. Professor Larissa Williams

Assistant professors Larissa Williams, a biologist, and Jason Castro, a neuroscientist, are the Bates research grant recipients. In a competitive process, their projects were awarded $92,000 apiece annually for five years. All told, INBRE funding for Bates over the next five years could total nearly $2.3 million.

Using zebrafish as her test subjects, Williams is investigating a protein known as Nfe2 and its role in protecting embryonic fish against the harmful effects of chemicals that create reactive oxygen species, better known as oxidants. Essential to life in small amounts, oxidants wreak biological havoc in larger quantities. Go to feature article.