Dr. Bryan McLean (Biology) receives 2 NSF grants to expand research on mammals

Dr. Bryan McLean (Biology) receives 2 NSF grants to expand research on mammals

March 1, 2023

In recent months, Dr. Bryan McLean, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, has received two new grants from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Biological Infrastructure.

The first, BRC-BIO: Flexible traits and functional trade-offs: an integrated analysis of gastrointestinal plasticity in mammals, totals more than $500,000 over 3 years. The project “takes a field- and laboratory-based approach to advance knowledge of gastrointestinal (GI) tract variation in small-bodied mammals inhabiting seasonal environments of the Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America.” The project will generate new, high resolution data on small mammal diet which will reveal more about “form-function relationships and illuminate pathways of mammalian response to changing resource availability.” The project will also establish a biodiversity literacy course and lab training opportunities that will engage diverse undergraduates in field research and encourage interest in STEM disciplines.

More info about this award can be found in the project’s NSF Award abstract.

The second project, Collaborative Research: Ranges: Building Capacity to Extend Mammal Specimens from Western North America, involves digitizing mammal specimen data from 19 natural history museums across the country. The effort — dubbed the Ranges Digitization Network — will document and publish an estimated 5 million individual trait measurements from nearly 1.2 million curated mammal specimens. UNCG’s portion of the grant totals nearly $840,000 over 4 years. The total grant across all sites, all years is nearly $2.7 M.

More info about this award can be found in the project’s NSF Award abstract.