Young Women Faculty Receive $1.6 Million in Research Support

Five junior women faculty in Mac’s Olin-Rice Science Center recently won grants of over $1.6 million to support collaborative research with students, providing a wealth of academic opportunity. On average, only 20 percent of early career scientists applying for federal research funds are successful (NSF, 2007).

  • kristi curry rogersKristi Curry Rogers (biology and geology) was awarded a $571,209 CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). CAREER awards recognize excellence in the early stages of an academic career. Funds will support analysis of the life histories of living and fossil vertebrate animals through detailed analysis of their bones. The project includes fieldwork in Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Montana, and research in Macalester’s hard tissue histology lab, where data on the relationship between growth rates and environment can be extracted. The grant also funds K–12 science curriculum development.
    Read Lizard Lover, Macalester Today
  • sarah boyerSarah Boyer (biology), with a co-investigator at the University of Minnesota, has received $285,076 from NSF to conduct a four-year study of mite harvestmen (tiny daddy longlegs) in Queensland, Australia, naming many new species and shedding light on diversity and evolution. (A mite harvestman is named after Boyer — Siro boyerae. Boyer collected this new species during a trip to Mt. Ranier when she was a graduate student. )
    The funding supports eight students doing fieldwork in Australia and 12–18 more in her course, Research in Biodiversity and Evolution.

    Listen to Macalester Talks with Sarah Boyer and her work with daddy long legs

  • devavani chatterjeaDevavani Chatterjea (biology, community and global health) received a three-year National Institutes of Health AREA grant of over $450,000 in support of research into the immune mechanisms underlying pain. Chatterjea came to Macalester from biotechnology industry leader Genentech, Inc., and expects to
    involve three to four students each summer and semester in active research and several others in her research courses.
  • roopali phadkeRoopali Phadke (environmental studies) is a political scientist whose $248,744 NSF grant continues previous research, also funded by NSF. Phadke investigates options for more effective public participation and decision-making in the siting of wind energy farms. The research will involve up to 10 students and an extensive national advisory board of federal officials, academics and practitioners.
    Listen to Macalester Talks with Roopali Phadke about her class Water and Power

  • katy splanKaty Splan (chemistry) was awarded $50,000 by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund to explore the potential of new synthetic porphyrins, highly colored molecules that absorb an extraordinary amount of light. The study will contribute to a variety of optical applications including solar cell design.
    At least three student researchers are supported by this award.

Macalester students involved in these types of collaborative research projects experience exceptional opportunities including co-authoring articles in prestigious journals and presenting at national conferences rarely attended by undergraduates.

October 4 2010

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