- Large and unpredictable stressors like new diseases are impacting practically all species with increasing frequency and strength. Understanding how species respond often relies on studies of genetics. Islands are a good place to study such responses because a large fraction of resident species are usually impacted. The COVID pandemic has disrupted the ability of many students – especially those from underrepresented groups -- to get the training and mentoring they need to study genetic responses to stressors. This workshop will help fix that problem by providing students from Puerto Rico and southern Florida with cutting edge skills for analyzing and interpreting genetic data that they may find challenging.The workshop will help ensure the continued academic progress of participants from STEM underrepresented communities by engaging them in research activities that can be undertaken when most laboratory and fieldwork is limited. Workshop participants will acquire skills to analyze gene expression data from their independent research projects on response of organisms across the span of biological diversity to biotic and abiotic stressors. A high degree of “hands-on” virtual interaction between participants and instructors will be used as a platform. This will be followed with email and chat group communications and coupled with posted recorded sessions and associated supporting instructional materials. Results are likely to yield new insights about how organisms adapt to new environmental challenges.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
- August 1, 2021 - July 31, 2022
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- Chen, Shu-Ching Principal Investigator