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Grant Allows Postdoc Researcher to Study Aquatic Plant Life at Maine National Park
Maine's picturesque Acadia National Park will become a living laboratory for Northeastern postdoctoral researcher Jeremy Long, thanks to a prestigious $120,000 grant from the National Parks Ecological Research (NPER) Fellowship Program.
Long's pioneering research will examine how seaweeds defend themselves against predators by releasing certain chemicals.
Acadia National Park encompasses more than 47,000 acres of granite-domed mountains, woodlands, and rugged ocean shoreline. Long will spend two summers at the ocean's edge of the pristine setting, gathering field data.
During the winter months, he'll return to Northeastern's Marine Science Center, in Nahant, Massachusetts, to conduct experiments and analyze results.
Long hopes his research will improve scientists' knowledge of the marine environment and how different organisms interact. "In the long term, the better we understand the natural community, the better we can interact with it," he explains.
Assistant professor of biology Geoffrey Trussell will oversee Long's project. "Jeremy brings significant expertise in chemical ecology and a creative perspective on how chemical defenses dictate interactions between algae and the herbivores that consume them," he says.
"Winning this competitive fellowship illustrates that he is a first-rate, up-and-coming marine ecologist."
Trussell points out that the award also brings national attention to a Northeastern research center. "The Marine Science Center is poised to become a leader in marine ecology in New England," he notes. "Grants like this let others know that Northeastern is a place to do marine ecology, and help us attract new faculty and graduate students."
Long chose Northeastern for his post-doctoral research because he was impressed by the university's outstanding research facilities in Nahant and by Trussell's work on the evolutionary ecology of marine and aquatic organisms.
The research outlined by Long is the first marine project ever funded by NPER. The program, which grants only two to three fellowships annually, praised the proposal, calling it an "innovative study" that "has the potential to contribute substantially to knowledge" of intertidal seaweeds.
NPER, which represents a partnership among the National Park Foundation, Ecological Society of America, is funded through a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. "The Ecological Society of America is pleased to partner with Northeastern in this groundbreaking research," says Rhonda Kranz, NPER program manager.
|This article was published in the May 2005 issue of Northeastern University Magazine.|
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