Published 09/07/10

Bryant receives $534,000 NSF research grant

SMITHFIELD, R.I.  (Sept. 7, 2010) - The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded to Bryant University a five-year $534,000 grant to support the University's research on the effect of climate change on marine life in Narragansett Bay. It is the largest award for sponsored research ever received by Bryant.

"With the recent expansion of Bryant's laboratories, the interest in our environmental science program and the addition of the biology major, this grant comes at a most opportune time," said Vice President for Academic Affairs José-Marie Griffiths.

The largest award for sponsored research ever received by Bryant will be used to explore effect of climate change on marine life.

Dan McNally, associate professor of environmental science and project director for the grant, agreed. "The grant is huge for Bryant," he said. "It enables us to add key pieces of highly-specialized analytical equipment that are necessary for ongoing faculty research. In addition, our environmental science and biology majors, who undertake two years of fieldwork and laboratory research to graduate, will have access to the same kind of equipment they will use in graduate programs and throughout their careers."

McNally is one of three faculty members in the Department of Science and Technology whose research will benefit immediately from the grant. McNally, faculty colleague Julia Crowley-Parmentier and their students frequently travel to Prudence Island to measure how climate change affects the fate and transport of contaminate and biodegration rates in a coastal environment. Professor Gaytha A. Langlois, who chairs the Department of Science and Technology, has conducted long-term studies of microbial communities on Prudence Island, and will continue to supervise student research on shifts in ecosystem dynamics associated with climate change.

The award is Bryant's share of a $20-million grant made by the NSF through EPSCoR - Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. The grant supports the work of nine Rhode Island institutions, led by the University of Rhode Island, working together to advance life sciences in the Ocean State. In addition to Bryant and URI, the collaborators are Brown University, Community College of Rhode Island, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams University and Salve Regina University.

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