Investigator is Awarded Two National Science Foundation Grants


Ali Arab           Leslie Ries

 Ali Arab                                     Leslie Ries 

Climate Change Research Persists

Two proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation by Leslie Ries in October 2016 were recommended for funding. Her proposals were reviewed by the Macroecology panel of the NSF, which funds large-scale research centered on understanding global drivers of ecological dynamics, with a primary focus on climate.

One of the grants, which awards $94,000 to Georgetown, is for research projecting future conditions for monarch butterflies under different climate and land-use scenarios. Ries will be working on the project with a joint Principal Investigator, Elise Zipkin at Michigan State University. The second grant, which awards $330,000 to Georgetown, is for research examining climate-driven phonological mismatch (lack of coordination in seasonal timing of factors such as plant flowering, caterpillar abundance, feeding schedules, etc.). For this research, Ries will be working with Ali Arab of the Mathematics and Statistics Department. The other three primary institutions collaborating on the project are the University of Connecticut, the University of Florida, and the University of North Carolina.

Ries is an ecologist who focuses on patterns at both medium and large scales. She has worked both in the fields of landscape ecology and biogeography with a main focus on butterflies. Ries has worked to develop knowledge databases that compile life history and other trait data to enrich multi-species analyses in her large-scale ecological research. Her grant acquisition is especially impressive considering the recent political trend towards defunding climate change research.

For more information on Ries, her research, and her publications see the link below to The Ries Butterfly Lab.