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Grant awarded: NSF funds collaborative Biology Integration Institute at UMN and UW–Madison

UW-Madison and the University of Minnesota (UMN) were awarded an NSF Biology Integration Institute focused on the causes and consequences of plant biodiversity across scales in a rapidly changing world. In the 5-year, $12.5M project, Phil Townsend (lead PI, Forest and Wildlife Ecology), Amanda Gevens (Plant Pathology) and Amy Trowbridge (Entomology) along with collaborators at UMN seek to revolutionize biology using the tools of ‘spectral biology’ that only now have become fathomable. As the biological sciences have become increasingly fragmented, new ways to integrate biological processes across scales are needed to understand the basis of Earth’s life support systems. Their work harnesses new technologies to quantify building blocks of life spanning cells to leaves, landscapes to the globe, and drawing from disciplines covering ecology, physiology, evolution and more. Jeannine Cavender-Bares and Peter Reich are the co-PIs at UMN.