A $2 Million NSF grant brings technology and biology together at UC Riverside

Monitors that can sense too much fertilizer in a running river and tiny sensors that warn when a plant is starving are among the possible future breakthroughs to be pioneered by a new $2 million National Science Foundation project at UC Riverside.

Michael Allen, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology and Chair of the Department of Plant Pathology, is the lead investigator on a five-year biocomplexity project designed to develop the kinds of instruments that can monitor the soil environment in real time, rather than in laboratory recreations. He will work with James Borneman, a professor of plant pathology at UCR; Botany Professor Edith Allen; Mike Hamilton, director of the James Reserve in the San Jacinto Mountains, and Tom Harmon, a professor from UC Merced.

This is the third UC Riverside project to receive funding this year from the National Science Foundation's program on "biocomplexity," or the impact of human activity on complex biological systems. The projects, all earned by faculty members affiliated with UCR's Center for Conservation Biology, will bring a total of $5.5 million for research to UCR over the next several years.

  • In August, Prof. Norman Ellstrand earned a $1.5 million grant to study the impacts of plant genomics on the environment, an issue at the heart of the controversy over genetically modified foods. http://www.newsroom.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/display.cgi?id=869

  • In September, Prof. Edith Allen earned a $2 million grant to study the impact of excess nitrogen from air pollution on the plant world. http://www.newsroom.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/display.cgi?id=890

  • Now Professor Mike Allen is leading a team to use technology to monitor agricultural impacts on the environment.

    "Our project will deve

  • Contact: Kris Lovekin
    951-827 -2495
    University of California - Riverside

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