National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Biology Research Project | University of Portland

National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Biology Research Project

Funded by a $635,000 grant by the National Science Foundation, our own Dr. Laurie Dizney, Assistant Professor of Biology, will lead a three-year research project to study the effects of urbanization on wildlife survival. Along with colleagues from Gonzaga University and Carroll College, Dizney and a cohort of student researchers will explore how humans have impacted the physiology of species around Eastern Washington.

“This three-year grant will allow us to examine wildlife longevity and survival in a novel way, by integrating a large suite of physiological factors that likely interact,” says Dizney. These have been overlooked by previous research studies that have focused on other factors leading to the decline of wildlife.

Not only is the research working to understand a biodiversity crisis, but “it also supports training the next generation of scientists, our students, in research,” according to Dizney, who will hire two students from UP to join her team each summer. Throughout the process, students will learn the methods and techniques of scientific research, work collaboratively with cross-disciplinary students and faculty, and discover how to be contributing members to an ever-growing community of scientists.

For fifteen days, the team will trek to their field sites to collect data on wildlife and their habitats. After that, students and faculty will return to their respective institutions to further scrutinize their findings in a laboratory setting. Then, during the fall semester, they will all meet online to share their findings from their research.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a highly acclaimed organization with intensely competitive grants for research funding. An award like this is an outstanding accomplishment for Dr. Dizney and the entire Biology department here at UP.