Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kaspari & Davidson receive NSF funds to work on BCI

Good stuff from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute:

NSF granted funds to do research on BCNM to STRI research associate Michael Kaspari from the University of Oklahoma ($324K) and Adam Kay Davidson, St. Thomas University ($316K) for the project “Toward stoichiometric theory of ant ecology--from colony performance to community composition," on Barro Colorado Nature Monument. This project explores a basic goal of evolutionary ecology: to understand how organisms respond to environmental challenges and to scale that information up to predict the behavior of communities and ecosystems.

The big goal is to detail the natural history of 50-75 common ant species, link their reproductive biology to the colony's niche, and access the degree to which those niches are phenol typically plastic.
Also of interest is the fact that this was announced through their Twitter feed. Rock on Smithsonian!