Grant News

Check out these recent articles about grant-funded research and initiatives at Bates from the Bates Communications team!


October 2018

In this issue:

  • Ongoing NSF Supported Research on Sponge-Algae Symbiosis in April Hill’s Lab
  • Holly Ewing Finds Big Data in the “Ecological Long Tail”
  • Upcoming Grants Lunch Panel for Social Scientists

NSF Supports Research on Sponge-Algae Symbiosis in April Hill’s Laboratory

The symbiotic relationships between sponges and algae are essential not only for the survival of these organisms, but also for the health of the coral reef ecosystems in which they live. But how do they get it done at a molecular level? How does one species adapt to having another species living inside it, and what happens to that relationship when formerly hospitable environmental conditions become less hospitable to both? These are among the questions that Malcolm and April Hill, as biology faculty members at the University of Richmond, proposed to the National Science Foundation to study in collaboration with Prof. Jeremy Weisz of Linfield College. Now that Malcolm is Bates’ new Dean of the Faculty and April is the new Wagener Professor of Equity and Inclusion in STEM, the research continues—primarily in April’s lab—with the support of just shy of $130K in grant support from the NSF. April and students in her lab will be continuing this work through January 2020. We look forward to being able to report interesting new discoveries!

Holly Ewing Finds Big Data in the “Ecological Long Tail”

Holly Ewing, as part of a collaboration led by computer scientist Ken Chiu at SUNY Binghamton and including ecologists and from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is participating in what the NSF is calling a “Big Data Spoke.” The team is studying how to help the many producers of small- to medium-sized data sets integrate their data with each other and with larger data producers to make the data more useful for answering ecological questions, something the team calls a problem of “data integration of the ecological long tail.” This project is a “spoke” that feeds into the Northeast Region’s “Big Data Innovation Hub,” supported by NSF and based at Columbia University. As part of the project, they will hold a series of workshops along with proofs-of-concept implementations that bring ecologists and computer scientists together to work out how to appropriately incentivize and facilitate data integration by smaller labs. Efforts will be ongoing during this year while Holly is on sabbatical, and continue into the following academic year as well.

Faculty Panel on Grantseeking Strategies for Social Scientists

We will discuss building collaborative and interdisciplinary scientific relationships, communication with program officers, revisions in response to reviewer comments, and other strategies and tactics that can help secure research grants in a funding environment that is often challenging for social and behavioral scientists, particularly at smaller institutions like Bates.


  • Kristen Barnett (Anthropology)
  • Amy Douglass (Psychology)
  • Nathan Tefft (Economics)

 Where: Pettengill G10

When: Monday, November 5th, noon – 1:00

Lunch will be provided. RSVP and provide your meal preference

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