Erika Hersch-Green Wins CAREER Award for Biodiversity Research

by Kelley Christensen, University Marketing and Communications

Erika Hersch-Green (BioSci) has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award to investigate how increased nitrogen and phosphorus availability across different temperature and water regimes alters the primary productivity of some plants, while reducing the growth of others.

Hersch-Green will examine how nutrient availability selects for plants with specific genome attributes. She will investigate these changes to specific plant transcriptomes and functional traits, but also how these changes affect the species that interact with those plants, such as other plants, herbivores and pollinators, and lead to changing patterns of community biodiversity.

Every CAREER award features an education component. Hersch-Green’s approach features multiple methods to enhance scientific literacy for middle schoolers, high schoolers and undergraduates. At Hersch-Green’s Ford Center site, she is working with a STEM educator to formulate different science communication and botany modules based on photosynthesis research conducted by Hersch-Green and graduate students in her lab. She is also collaborating with Erin Smith (HU), director of the Humanities Digital Media Zone and faculty advisor to Cin/Optic Communication and Media Enterprise students, to create a series of educational modules.

Read more at mtu.edu/news about Hersch-Green’s CAREER Award.


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