City College of New York biodiversity expert Ana Carnaval co-heads an interdisciplinary team of scientists that won a National Science Foundation Growing Convergent Research award. Twenty-two other teams nationally are recipients of the NSF's first grants to address societal challenges through scientific collaboration.
Carnaval's collaborators include:
Robert Anderson, biology (CCNY);
- Michael Hickerson, biology (CCNY);
- Jeannine Cavender-Bares, biology (University of Minnesota);
- Renato J. Figueiredo, electrical and computer engineering (University of Florida); and Bette A. Loiselle, biology (University of Florida).
Cavender-Bares, Figueiredo and Loiselle are Carnaval's co-PIs. The group will receive $500,000 over five years for its project "RCN: Cross-Scale Processes Impacting Biodiversity."
"NSF has supported cross-disciplinary collaboration for decades," said NSF Director France Córdova. "Convergence is a deeper, more intentional approach to the integration of knowledge, techniques, and expertise from multiple disciplines in order to address the most compelling scientific and societal challenges."
Highlighting the importance of her team's project, Carnaval pointed out that nearly 10 million species share the world with mankind. This diversity of living beings -- Earth's biodiversity -- is both a legacy of how life evolved and is essential to mankind's survival and well-being.
"Biodiversity provides crucial services to the planet, to all of life, and to humans," said Carnaval. "Because it is so relevant to the health of our planet and to human societies, science has a crucial role to play in understanding how it is generated, maintained and lost."
At City College, the NSF grant, Carnaval noted, will help leverage a Center of Biodiversity and Climate Change that she is establishing in the Division of Science.