Dr. Amy Burgin, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas (KU), Associate Scientist for the Kansas Biological Survey, and KU Aquatic Team Leader for the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas (MAPS) has received a 2020 NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaboration (RII Track-2 FEC) award. NSF EPSCoR RII Track-2 FEC awards provide opportunities to build inter-jurisdictional collaborative teams of EPSCoR investigators in scientific interest areas consistent with NSF priorities. Projects must include researchers from at least two EPSCoR RII eligible jurisdictions. The collaborative research must demonstrate an integrated and comprehensive vision focused on discoveries that include opportunities to build sustainable STEM capacity that embodies diversity.

Dr. Burgin’s EPSCoR collaborators include Dr. Kevin Kuehn, Professor of Biological, Environmental and Earth Sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi; Dr. Daniel Allen, Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Oklahoma; Dr. Sarah Godsey, Associate Professor of Geology at Idaho State University; and Dr. Carla Atkinson, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Alabama. The title of their project is Aquatic Intermittency Effects on Microbiomes in Streams (AIMS).  The following is an excerpt from the abstract that explains the project:

“Understanding of links among microbial communities (microbiomes), stream health, and water quality relies on studies of perennially flowing streams. However, more than half of global stream-miles do not flow continuously. These intermittent streams occur across the entire country–from western deserts to eastern forests. Despite their ubiquity, research on intermittently flowing streams is impeded by a lack of: 1) physical infrastructure designed to measure intermittency, and 2) scientific training that straddles aquatic and terrestrial ecology. The Aquatic Intermittency effects on Microbiomes in Streams (AIMS) project will address the first obstacle by creating a network of instrumented sites designed to generate Big Data to quantify flow intermittency, stream microbiomes, and water quality. AIMS will confront the second obstacle by using its network to provide training in collaborative science and interdisciplinary methods to study intermittent streams, and by providing workforce training in environmental “Big Data” tools through a new On-Ramps to Data Science program, which will focus on data generated by microbiome sequencing, environmental sensors, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).”

Read the full abstract here

Read the KU News story here